Our Best Tips For Coming Out To Your Partner As Bisexual

Although bisexuality is still misunderstood by some people both in and out of the LGBTQIA+ community, the amount of people who identify as bisexual has skyrocketed. According to a 2022 Gallup poll, 57% of LGBTQ+ Americans identify as bisexual, which accounts for 4% of the entire U.S. population. The same poll also found that 7.1% of adults identify as LGBTQ+, up from 5.6% in 2020 and double what it was in 2012.

However, while our understanding of sexual orientation and sexual identity has become much more expansive and acceptance is very much on the rise, there are still times when being queer isn't easy. One of those instances is when you're in a relationship and you've realized that your sexual identity isn't what it once was. But to live fully sometimes requires revealing parts of ourselves to those closest to us — but only when we're ready, of course.

"Recognizing that not everyone is out (and doesn't want to be out when first getting to know someone), it's important to make sure you're in a safe situation and that [coming out at bisexual] is a choice you are making," Hali Holtzman, the bisexual leader of an affinity space for Boston-based LGBTQ+ individuals, tells Elite Daily. "There is nothing worse than being pressured to come out." If you know you're bisexual and you want to tell your partner, here are tips to help you do it and the things to consider along the way.

Make sure you know for sure

Although sexual orientation is fluid and how you identify today may not be how you identify months or years from now, per WebMD, when you tell your partner that you're bisexual, you want to know for a fact that you are in that moment when you tell them. While a fun way to do that would be to physically explore that side of you to confirm it, if you're in a committed, monogamous relationship, then that's not an option. But you know what is? Therapy.

"My biggest piece of advice is to figure out beforehand how you feel," licensed marriage and family therapist, Ph.D. tells Men's Health. "Go to therapy... Men like to use their female partners as sounding boards for their emotions. This isn't something that you bring to your wife and have her help you figure it out. You need to know what you are, what you want, and how this might impact your partner. Try not to be self-absorbed — especially if you are telling your wife. This hugely impacts her."

Of course, this also goes for people who are in same-sex relationships. This is something you need to know before sharing it, though this may depend on your relationship. While it's generally advised to know for sure beforehand, some couples may be able to handle the questioning and proceed from there.

Be honest and to the point

When you finally tell your partner, don't tiptoe around the topic and add a bunch of colorful wording that's steeped in hesitation. Simply say, "I'm bisexual." If you say, "I think I'm bisexual," then you haven't done the work to confirm that you are, and it puts both you and your partner in an uncomfortable situation.

Although there are many psychological benefits to coming out, according to Talkspace, and no one should tell you how to come out, because you're telling your partner and it may affect your relationship in ways you don't know yet, you want to know that, yes, you are bisexual — at least as of now. You could realize you're pansexual in time, for example, but just focus on the now.

"For queer folks, it just isn't so cut and dry," therapist Tamala Poljak tells Vice. "The hope to 'figure it out' and/or find 'an answer' is a pretty rigid idea steeped in heteronormative expectations. It also puts a lot of pressure on a person to have to declare one thing and stick to it. If you know you are attracted to one or more genders, then it's really that simple."

Give your partner space to ask questions

Once you say the words, you can expect a whole slew of questions ranging from "how long have you known?" to "you want to sleep with other people now?" If it's a new relationship, then it's likely to be easier than if you've been with someone for years when you realize you're bisexual. "You should know that your partner is probably going to be upset by the news, and [they] very well may take it personally, thinking there's something lacking in [them] or that they're not desirable enough for you to want to be with... exclusively," marriage and family therapist Dr. Jane Greer tells Men's Health.

As much as this type of thinking and these feelings on the part of your partner may be difficult for both of you, you should still give them space to ask questions and discuss their emotions. They may immediately assume that by telling them this, you're looking to open up the relationship so you can explore this side of you, but if that's not the case and the decision to tell them was to come out and be your true, authentic self, then make sure they know that.

Misconceptions surrounding bisexuality are nothing new. So, although you should definitely let your partner have the floor after you tell them the news, you also want to get ahead of any rumors, like how bisexuality is not "just a layover on the way to gay town," as Carrie Bradshaw said when we she dated a bisexual man in "Sex and the City." And to think she was a sex writer of all things. Oy vey.

Talk about what this means for your relationship

So, it's out there, you're out, and there's nothing to hide. But now what? What does this mean for your relationship? Will something change, or will it remain the same? These are questions you and your partner need to navigate together. If your partner is supportive of your bisexuality and suggests opening up the relationship then, if you haven't explored other genders, this is your chance.

"If you and your partner mutually decide to open up the relationship, it'll be important to move at a pace of exploration that is comfortable for you both," sexuality educator Luna Matatas tells Well + Good. "That means establishing clear boundaries around emotional and physical safety, determining how and how often you're going to check in, and coming up with a game plan to manage uncomfortable moments and feelings that are going to come up."

If there is no discussion about opening the relationship and the reason for telling your partner was just a matter of being honest and not hiding a part of you, then you still have to figure out what this means for your relationship. Your relationship won't be the same now that your bisexuality has been brought to the table — and that's a good thing. It's important to be 100% who you are, and it takes a lot of courage to do that.

Embrace your bisexuality

No matter how your partner responds or how much time they need to process the news, the fact is that you honored your true self by telling your partner that you're bisexual. That's what really matters. 

"The most important thing to remember when it comes to defining bisexuality is that there is more than one accurate definition of bisexuality and more than one valid way of experiencing attraction as a bisexual person," LGBTQ+ educator and advocate Angélique "Angel" Gravely, M.Ed. tells MindBodyGreen. "Bisexual is a label that has room for multiplicity, and that multiplicity is what makes the bisexual+ community beautiful and diverse."

Now, you just earned, by default, a spot on a very hot list of out bisexuals (via BuzzFeed). Who doesn't want to be on a list with the likes of Lady Gaga, Halsey, and Drew Barrymore? Talk about fantastic company to be in, you bisexual darling.