Relationships are sensitive territories. They’re structures that are sustained thanks to shared communication, trust, respect, and love. However, at the same time, they’re rather fragile since their solidity can be threatened by unforeseen situations. Sometimes, these might be changes, discoveries, and transformations in one of the partners.
In this article, we’re going to explore what you can do if your partner claims to be bisexual. You may find this situation confusing and challenging. However, at the same time, it may facilitate new learning and growth for you.
At first glance, and when you take into account the meaning of the prefix “bi” (two), it appears pretty easy to define bisexuality as a sexual orientation in which the erotic-affective attraction is directed toward both men and women. That’s because we’re used to thinking about the world and sexuality on the male/female axis.
However, when we broaden the spectrum, we realize that bisexuality can involve sexual desire and romantic expectations directed toward more than one gender and gender identity.
In this way, bisexuality is configured as one of the most common forms of sexual diversity. In addition, it shows how exclusive heterosexuality has a certain normative character and that desire can travel along more than one single predetermined path.
Myths about bisexuality
Due to the challenge that bisexuality represents to heteronormativity, a series of stigmatizing myths have been built around people who identify as bisexual. These myths, as well as being untrue, generate discrimination and questions about the choices and decisions of bisexual people.
- Promiscuity and infidelity. Perhaps the most widespread myth is that bisexual people tend to be promiscuous. In fact, it’s assumed, wrongly, that when a person’s attracted to more than one gender, they tend to have more sexual partners and avoid monogamy. However, there’s no evidence to show the correlation between sexual orientation, promiscuity, and infidelity.
- Indecision and confusion. Another widely spread myth is that of bisexuality being a phase of confusion before the individual assumes an overtly homosexual identity. This myth is anchored in a deterministic, static, and univocal vision of the relationship between sex and gender. Furthermore, it minimizes the self-determination of people who proudly recognize themselves as bisexual.
These myths and prejudices towards bisexuality and the people who embody this sexual orientation materialize in practices known as biphobia.
Biphobia is understood as the rejection faced by bisexual people for the mere fact of affirming and recognizing themselves as such. Biphobia, in addition to manifesting itself among the heterosexual population, can also be traced within the LGBTIQ + community.
Within these biphobic behaviors, is the denial of bisexuality. In other words, the idea that bisexuality simply doesn’t exist. Or, the labeling of bisexual people as cowards or for being confused for not openly assuming their homosexuality.
In addition, there are also other types of discrimination and violence that sexual dissidents have historically faced. These include exclusion from work and school spaces, harassment, physical attacks, and even murder.
Bisexuality and relationships
Having defined bisexuality and the prejudices associated with it, it’s time to talk about some options for you if your partner speaks openly about being bisexual.
It’ll be normal for you to feel insecure concerning the topics of love and sexual desire, monogamy, and the difficulty of trusting your partner again. However, before succumbing to these doubts, you should pause and reflect on the different implications that your partner’s revelation has for you, for them, and for the relationship you’ve built together.
First, identify how you feel. Indeed, it’s important that you clarify your own feelings, questions, and concerns. In this way, you’ll later be able to convey them to your partner in a calm and respectful way.
Many of your concerns might be based on biphobic biases. Therefore, it’d be useful for you to turn to some clear and reliable information about sexuality to clarify any misconceptions you may have on the subject of sexual diversity.
Talk to your partner, let them know your feelings about their bisexuality. Naturally, you must do this in a respectful way and be careful that you don’t make any derogatory remarks. Remember, it’s a new situation for your partner too. Furthermore, they might well have been afraid to even share their sexual orientation with you.
Taking stock of your feelings after talking to your partner will allow you to decide what to do. Furthermore, your partner may require support in recognition of their newfound bisexuality and you’ll need to decide whether you’re ready and willing to give it. Indeed, you must remember that you’re the one who’s ultimately responsible for your own emotional well-being.
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