How Do I Deal with a Bisexual Girlfriend?

Our contributor Dr. AlanK had some sage advice for a young male reader whose girlfriend recently discovered that she is bisexual:

You’re an early 20-something man and your girlfriend announces she’s bisexual. She has discovered that an important piece of her erotic makeup involves women. She will eventually connect with one. Hell, she probably should connect with at least one; nobody should go through life without fulfilling all her (innocent) sexual desires. The question therefore is “How do you get ahead of this inevitable event in a way that doesn’t destroy your relationship?”

You set up ground rules NOW. You find some agreed-upon way for her to manage her feelings without destroying yours. If you cannot, you break up now before anyone gets further hurt.

What are good rules? That’s up to you. If it were me, I’d suggest allowing her to have any relationship she likes with women as long as she tells you about it and does not extend this to men. Then, you’d get the same rights with men. You’re young, remember? A little dick couldn’t hurt. (I’m mostly kidding about this part.) You may prefer stricter rules — e.g. nothing more than a little kissing — but setting rules that won’t be followed is a recipe for disaster. In my experience, the more elbow room the better. But then again, I’m not you.

Actually, my ideal solution would be that she has sex with women only if you’re also invited. (Yeah, all men are pigs.) And good luck with that!

Just remember that the odds of establishing a life-long monogamous relationship in your early 20s are pretty bad, and the odds of establishing one with a woman who has just discovered an interest in other women are even worse. So if you want to keep this woman, you’re going to have to give her space.

Which is of course my personal, only-for-me, not-guaranteed-for-anyone-else, not-to-be-taken-too-seriously, your-results-may-vary advice.

Want help with those rules?
The 8 Do’s and Don’ts of Opening Up Your Relationship

Dr. Alan, a psychologist specializing in the way people interact with ‘progress’ in general and technology in particular, describes himself as educated beyond his competence and opinionated beyond his education. Besides being an MVP commenter on EMandLO.com, he is currently working on a book about how increased healthy life expectancy will influence family structure.


  1. This is honestly biphobic and offensive. Just treat us like you would treat a straight girl, PLEASE. We’re capable of being monogamous just like everyone else. That whole paragraph about allowing her to date girls but not other men is also homophobic. It means you don’t view gay relationships as seriously as straight relationships.
    “… odds of establishing one with a woman who has just discovered an interest in other women are even worse.” That entire sentence is disgusting. We’re bisexual, not uncontrollable nymphomaniacs.

  2. Great three-way with hot girl-on-girl action advice, no doubt. Not very good relationship advice at all.

    Bisexuality only helps determine which person one might want to be involved with. Period. And so in the context of giving advice to the young man as to whether to accept his partner’s desire to have another partner or partners her orientation is kind of irrelevant.

    Put another way, sort of by definition the young man’s relationship is as much at risk whether his partner wishes to be with a woman as a man. Or as little.

    The question shouldn’t be about whether her interest lies in other women or other men. Instead it’s about monogamy vs. polyamory.

    What is he comfortable with? How comfortable is she with that? Is she comfortable with his attractions (again regardless of who?) How comfortable is he with that?

    Work that out first. Then and only then worry about what sort of third party she’d like to play with.

  3. First thing you’ve got to do is weed the bisexuals from the big talkers. In my experience nearly all women will claim to be bisexual, yet nearly none of them will follow through. There’s a HUGE amount of response bias when it comes to this subject. Women will say they’re bi to titillate their boyfriends; or to dangle the threesome carrot in front of their mens’ noses; or because they don’t want to sound homophobic; etc.

    Check out the OKCupid data-based research on this subject: almost no men claim to be bi, yet the ones that do follow through; a huge number of women claim to be bi, yet almost none of them ever attempt to connect with another woman.

    One thing I liked about my wife early on when I floated the idea of girl-on-girl action was her response that she’s not into girls, never was, never will be, and won’t have sex with another woman for my amusement. So refreshing! Literally every single other girlfriend I’d ever had claimed some degree of (unactualized) bisexuality.

    Here’s where I’d differ from a lot of people on this subject: I don’t think fantasy cuts it. Masturbating to girl-on-girl porn doesn’t make you bi. Having a fantasy about another woman doesn’t make you bi. The term is biSEXUAL, not biFANTASTICAL. You have to have had at least one sexual encounter with a member of the same sex and one with a member of the opposite sex in order to claim bisexuality.

    So if you’re bothered by your girl’s “bisexuality,” breathe a sigh of relief, and if you’re totally into it, sigh in frustration: There’s a better than 90% chance that nothing is ever going to come of this.

    If you’re bothered by it, I’m not sure what to say. I can’t relate to that. I’d be totally psyched if my lady did other women. If you ARE into it, push for the threesome, but gently! Don’t insist! Odds are she doesn’t really want one.

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