Ask A Bi Dad: Struggling with attractions outside my relationship

By Lewis Oakley

March 15, 2024



Photo credit: Pexels/RODNAE Productions

Hey man! 

Fellow bisexual dude here in a long-term engagement. Do you find it hard to be monogamous while being bi? Of course, all people have attractions outside their partner, but I think being bi is different and much more complex than that. Any advice?

Ian from Instagram


Hey Ian,

Thanks for the question, and congratulations on the engagement. It’s great to hear that you’re doing well.

The issue with non-monogamy and bisexuality has a lot of stigma around it. I do think that, as bi people, we can tend to overthink the situation, especially when people tell us that one person will never be enough for us, and then we see attractive people who aren’t our partner. It can make us think that they were right and that it’s not possible. However, the truth is there are lots of happily sexually fulfilled bi people in monogamous relationships in the world, and they’re getting on just fine.

That’s not to say there are no issues, and for some people, it can be really hard to balance a monogamous relationship with their bisexual attractions. That's part of the bi experience, and everyone has to individually find their own way to handle it in a manner that works for them.

What I’ve always found is that if you are having good sex and your sex life is fulfilling, then it won’t impact you as much. So, I would always say if you’re having issues or worries about non-monogamy, focus on the relationship you have first before looking outside that relationship. I’d also say that a lot of people can get into a rut where they over-romanticise sex with someone different from their partners. Over the years, I’ve heard from lots of people who have been single after a long relationship, and they're finally going to have sex with a gender different from their ex, and it’s never what they imagined it to be.

It often ends sooner than expected. How was one person ever going to be able to compete with all the porn and romanticizing of what that experience might be like? It’s not possible. Sometimes we can get a bit obsessed with thinking about the sex we’re not having, which may not live up to the fantasy we've created in our heads.

As for tips, I would say make sure that you are trying new things with your partner. Don’t ever let that get stale because then bisexuality becomes an excuse for things going on in your own bedroom. Make sure that you’re putting a lot of energy into that relationship, ensuring that it's as passionate as possible.

I also think it’s important to accept your reality and embrace your desires. You're bi, there’s no getting away from it. Yes, you’re in a committed relationship, but that doesn’t stop you from having attractions and fantasies. That’s perfectly fine. As you say, that’s what it’s like for everyone, regardless of their sexual attraction. Straight men fantasize about women they’re not sleeping with, gay men fantasize about men they’re not sleeping with, and that’s healthy and normal. So, don’t overthink it just because you’re bi. Embrace that this is who you are.

I have nothing against non-monogamy. So, if you do reach the conclusion that you would like to open up your relationship, that’s another conversation that you and your partner should have. Consider whether you're comfortable with your partner having sex with others, if they're okay with you doing the same, and how it would impact your relationship dynamics. It’s not something you should get into lightly. You definitely want to have a couple of conversations and really understand what the rules are, what each other expects from the other person, if that’s something that you’re going to pursue.

Either way, good luck, and I hope it all works out.


Lewis Oakley standing confidently and smiling against a brick building.

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 in the UK, 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.

If you have a question that you would like a perspective on, please email to [email protected]. The briefer the email, the more likely I will be able to respond.

*Lewis is not a licenced therapist, and the advice offered in this column is not intended to replace or substitute for any professional advice. If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require professional, psychological, or medical help, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified specialist.