I’m dating a man for the first time after a life of only dating women. It feels great to finally be embracing my bisexuality in such a way and this guy and I have really great chemistry. I am noticing some differences between dating men and women though. In particular, my new partner seems less emotional and sometimes I feel he is cold. He runs a mile at the talk of feelings and just doesn’t seem to want to analyse life in the same way I do.
I guess what I’m asking you is, is this just a normal thing when going from women to men or am I right to expect more emotion and feeling sharing from a man?
One thing I find is that bi people don’t often get to talk to other bi people about our unique issues, and going from women to men is certainly a bi issue where there isn’t a lot of information sharing out there.
When it comes to differences between men and women, it can be everything and nothing. There isn’t really a set characteristic of any gender, each one is really a spectrum of different personality types.
That said, of course if we generalise there are some common differences in dating men and women. I actually experienced it the other way, when I went from a long-term relationship with a man to dating women again. I’d describe it as an extra layer. Most people might struggle with going from one partner to another and adjusting to their different ways of doing things. Bis have an extra layer sometimes because different genders can sometimes expect different things. It’s a bit of culture shock really.
I myself struggled with sharing more emotions with partners because it just wasn’t something I overly did with men.
With regard to your situation, I feel there are two approaches to your question.
The first would be to enjoy the challenge. You’re dating someone new and they have a different way of behaving compared to your previous partners. Try it their way for a while. Then try it your way. Take the gender out of it, this is just two people trying to see if this relationship could be meaningful and wholesome for each other. It’s always going to be a little different at first as each of you work out what the other one wants and if you can provide it.
The second approach is really to think about what you need from a relationship. If you need more emotion from your partner and you aren’t getting it, perhaps this isn’t the relationship for you. I’m a big believer that you can’t go into a relationship expecting people to change. You also can’t get their good qualities without their bad ones. People are human and no one is perfect.
Being a man doesn’t mean you can’t share your emotions and there are plenty of men out there who are in touch with their feelings. Maybe your new partner will learn to be more open by watching the example you set.
Good luck with everything.
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Bisexual people often have few other bi people to turn to for support or to ask questions. This means we often can’t build on the experience of other bi people and improve things for the next generation. Ask a Bi Dad is aimed at tackling this.
Lewis Oakley is one of the leading bi advocates and writers, campaigning to improve the public’s perception of bisexuality. Recognised by the Pride Power List 2021 and with various award nominations under his belt, Lewis has been successful in making bisexuality national news.
Lewis knows more than most how lonely being bisexual can feel, particularly in those early years. Now, confident in himself, his relationship, and a dad of two, Lewis recognises how rare and lucky he is. This is why he wants to help where he can by answering the questions of bi people from all around the world.
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