The bisexual community has an inside joke that describes what it’s like to date as a bi person: People think it means double the options or double the fun, but it really just means double the rejection.
Self-deprecating jokes like this one are at the core of the Single People Club regardless of sexuality, but bisexual people do face extra roadblocks in the dating world.
True: Online dating sucks for everyone. Horny jerks disguise themselves as relationship seekers, your DMs are constantly filled with bad pickup lines and overly-persistent creeps, and many times, the site’s algorithm ignores the filters that you’ve set. But the fact that there are no dating sites that cater specifically to bi people means that they’re frequently swiping on people who don’t take bisexuality seriously.
The unique dating challenges that bi people face boil down to one rigid concept: being too gay for some and too straight for others.
The , but it’s one of the least-acknowledged letters in the acronym. What makes the bi dating landscape — especially the online one — so tricky to maneuver?
What is unicorn hunting?
One of the most antiquated stereotypes about bisexual people is that they’re always down to fuck and down for polyamory. “Unicorn” is a term used to describe a bisexual person (usually a woman) who sleeps with heterosexual couples. In online dating, unicorn hunting is when a straight, taken female user toggles that she’s “looking for women” — not genuinely looking for a girl to get to know romantically, but rather for a girl interested in a threesome with her and her boyfriend or husband or whoever. Of course, they don’t mention this until later.
No one is saying that threesomes are bad. Reddit users who have experienced this mention that they don’t have a problem with “ethical non-monogamy.” They have a problem with being tricked into it. (There aren’t any great apps for polyamory either, but this is why Feeld exists.)
Bisexuality is hyper-sexualized on heteronormative apps
Another frequent bisexual experience is one that all women face online, now heightened by the mere mention of “bi” in a dating app bio: men being creepy. Too many straight men have yet to grasp the concept that bisexuality is not a green light to ask a stranger how many girls they’ve been with or if she likes men or women better.
23-year-old Megan from Virginia, who is a friend of a friend, told us via Facebook that she couldn’t even count the number of gross (slash ignorant) messages she’d received from men in reference to writing “bi” in her Tinder bio. “There were times when they would be like ‘Oh, you never seemed gay in high school’ or whatever, because gay is obviously a personality trait 🙃,” she said. “Like my sexuality wasn’t a real thing or it was just a fetish to these people.”
Catfishing is also an issue. Some men have such a rabid obsession with queer women that they’ll sign up for a dating site as a woman just to see an all-women swiping field. Grindr also has a history of catfishes. It’s a total privacy breach at the least, and certainly doesn’t boost your willingness to meet up with someone in real life. Some dating sites are working to increase transparency about first name and age by requiring Facebook verification during sign-up.
Queer dating apps aren’t always inviting, either
Does “gold star lesbian” ring a bell? The delineation is given to lesbians who has never slept with a man. Countless bisexual women have reported being ghosted after disclosing that they have been with a guy before, and profiles with “gold stars only” in the bio have popped up, too.
This crowd of Reddit users explain the ways they’ve experienced biphobia on gay or lesbian dating sites. They’ve been told that they’re not “actually bisexual” if they haven’t been with anyone of the same gender before or that they’re “basically straight” if their most recent relationship was a heterosexual one. Summed up: if you’re not monosexually gay, it’s a cop out. Invalidating someone’s sexual experiences is the opposite of the supportive sex positivity that you’d expect from inside the queer community, and it contributes to many bisexual folks’ struggles of not feeling queer enough.
Why people think you should still put “bi” in your dating app bio
Adding those two simple letters to your bio will draw some unwanted attention, and it’s going to be a pain in the ass. But in the long run, it’ll also act like an asshole filter to weed out people who try to put sexual orientation into a box.
The idea that being bisexual is just a pit stop to being “fully-blown gay” — or that it means that you’re attracted to everyone you see — probably aren’t thoughts you’d prefer a partner to have. They’re especially not opinions you’d like to hear about months down the road from someone you thought you knew well. The easiest way to ensure that you won’t be left heartbroken over someone not accepting your sexuality? Let them know from the jump.
One writer for Tinder’s blog mentions that, despite his number of matches dropping once he put “bi” in his profile, he found more meaningful connections with open-minded men and women and had a more positive experience in general:
“For the first time in my life, women wanted to date me for something that others ostracized. I felt empowered and optimistic about my romantic future.
I also found myself meeting more bi men. Men who didn’t explicitly write “bi” on their profile, but would happily say something the moment they saw I proudly displayed my sexuality. Except for my current boyfriend, who identifies as gay, every person I’ve dated seriously has identified as bisexual or queer. I don’t think that’s coincidental. When you have shared experiences with discrimination, it’s easier to date.”
“Coming out” over and over again is unfair. But doing so right off the bat also acts as an early screening for people who identify as bi but say they wouldn’t date another bi person — something that a lot of bi men experience from bi women.
Can you actually find a relationship online?
Do bisexual people get dealt a shitty hand on dating apps? Yes. Does that mean meeting someone special online is impossible? Hell no. A 2017 study cited in the MIT Technology Review found that people who meet online are more likely to be compatible and have a higher chance of a healthy marriage if they decide to get hitched. Further, a 2019 study done at Stanford found that nearly two-thirds of modern same-sex couples meet online.
It sucks that there’s no legit dating app specifically devoted to bi individuals and other singles who respect what it means to be bi — yet. However, this also means that a good portion of other single bi folks are probably on those popular dating apps that you’ve considered. At least you know the user base is there. Many of these apps have taken steps toward inclusive features that can narrow your dating pool: OkCupid pulls out the left-leaning people with compatibility based on questions about social issues and politics, and Tinder’s addition of 37 custom sexual orientations lets you opt to be shown matches that identify the same way you do.
Knowing all that, here are the best dating apps for bisexual people:
22 gender, 13 sexuality, and they/them pronoun options • Compatibility rankings include views on politics and women’s issues • Modern redesign is fun to navigate • Very sex and kink positive
Reports of data breaches • Still some cases of straight men being gross
OKC has been perfecting compatibility since 2004, now with a framework that values inclusivity and political awareness.
Millennials will dig OkCupid’s focus on social justice issues and its lack of creeps who over-sexualize bi people.
Yes, and it’s great
For young, liberal voters, politics aren’t just a “well if we agree, it’s great” thing when looking for a partner — it’s the make or break for a solid foundation. OkCupid’s 2017 redesign is more than just millennial aesthetics: It’s geared toward ensuring that you don’t end up on a date with someone who doesn’t pay attention. The addition of 12 gender identities and 20 sexual orientations also makes it a safer space for non-binary and queer individuals to find love while using the pronouns they love.
Don’t let OkCupid’s cheeky ads about being “left-leaning” (like politics, but also…you know) make you put it in the “hookup” category. The focus on such weighted political issues
and profiles that require thought are a pretty big deterrent for people who aren’t taking dating seriously, and it’s a great tool for weeding out people you wouldn’t agree with. Liberal ladies found that this worked to their advantage
, as OkCupid’s own statistics found that liberal-leaning answers made users 80% more likely to find love on the site.
The way that OkCupid targets more open-minded, sex-positive users seems to be translating to the experience that bi people have on the site. Megan from VA noticed that, compared to Tinder and Hinge, she received the least amount of gross messages from guys about her sexual experiences. Though she found her current partner on Tinder, she liked OkCupid the most:
“I like that the profiles were longer and I could see how they answered some questions that could be important to me before I even messaged them. That meant that if I didn’t agree with someone on a make or break issue to me, I could just not message them before putting the time into talking to them and learning that later.”
Politics aren’t the only compatibility factor here. OKCupid has in-depth user bios, but profile building isn’t long or tedious at all. You’ll even get to see the percentage of how much you have in common with other daters based on the questions you both answer. It’s an algorithm that OKC has been perfecting since their launch and we love them for that.
Facebook verification confirms girls are actually girls • Involvement in local queer events • Special place in bio for sexuality and pronouns • Four million users and growing quickly
Same profiles pop up in small towns • Occasional biphobia and “gold star lesbian” seekers • No algorithm past age and location
HER is a rapidly-growing space for queer women to make real connections while avoiding unicorn hunters.
Free yourself from creepy men and threesome seekers on Her, a queer-only app full of girls who are actually girls.
Between creepy men pretending to be women and straight girls looking for another girl to have a threesome with her and her boyfriend, most heteronormative dating sites don’t give bi women a great shot at finding a relationship. HER, an award-winning app made for queer women by queer women, is the perfect place to go if you’re tired of the only lesbian you know being your ex girlfriend.
The app that wants to “introduce you to every lesbian you’ve ever wanted to meet” is growing rapidly: HER has grown to 4.5 million users since its rebrand in 2015, and
, that’s pretty damn closet to what Bumble is working with — and they’re ALL. WOMEN. If you tried HER a few years ago and were discouraged by swiping through the same people, your experience will be much different this time around.
In summer 2019, HER revamped its minimalistic profiles to let users get more creative in categories like gender, sexuality pronouns, diet preferences, and star signs, as well as a “What does this mean?” field in the sex, gender, and pronoun categories to create more well-rounded understanding of identity. There’s also a space for a text bio where you can showcase your sense of humor and describe what type of relationship you’re looking for.
The lack of any real science behind the matches past age and location is a bummer, but unlike Tinder, this doesn’t mean you’ll be suffocated with a hookup vibe. Searching #wemetonHER on Instagram should be all the beautiful, adorable success story proof that you need.
Diverse user base with near-infinite growth • High chance for second date • One of the first swiping apps to actually use an algorithm • Crazy high ratings on the App Store
Not great in small towns • Best filters are no longer free • Only two gender identity and orientation options
Hinge needs more identity options, but the focus on personality and modern icebreakers do deter ignorant horny people.
Hinge’s millennial LGBTQ+ user base continues to flourish and the personality-heavy profiles are refreshing.
One month of Hinge Preferred:
Three months of Hinge Preferred:
Six months of Hinge Preferred:
Young people looking to at least
go on a few dates with the same person instead of everything turning into a friends with benefits situation was a major blind spot for dating sites — until Hinge blew up. The premise and user base might be in the Tinder and Bumble realm, but Hinge’s unique profile criteria and
set the scene for matches with real-life potential
. Some 90% said the first date was great and 72% said they’d be down for a second date.
Despite the fact that we’re actively seeking out new dating apps and feel a rush every time a cute contender swipes right back, no one looking for something serious wants
to be on these. That’s the whole idea behind Hinge’s 2019 rebrand to “the dating app designed to be deleted.” Instead of extensive cheesy questionnaires and spam emails about the 50 winks you were sent, Hinge uses ice breakers, religion, education, and more to find you up to 15 matches per day. Prompts range from “Two truths and a lie” to “Does hiking on a Sunday morning seem viable to you too?” Paying for Hinge Preferred also lets you filter by political views.
The focus on personality and interests is a nice change of pace from Tinder, where most of the focus is on selfies and whether you’re DTF on the first date. Thoughtful responses are probably too much effort for most people who could simply use Tinder to scout threesome contenders or send nasty messages. Olivia from Texas told us why she prefers Hinge over other apps:
“I feel like because they place such a heavy emphasis on your personality with all the question prompts it helps it feel more romantic, which is more palatable to people who were raised to believe that the only way to meet people is some kind of meet-cute or something.”
She also mentioned that she finds way more real bi girls than unicorn hunters on Hinge. The number of Hinge downloads (including a surge in the number of gay profiles) tripled over the summer after Pete Buttigeg revealed that he met his husband on Hinge.
20+ sexual and gender identities • Users understand fluidity and respect boundaries • Lower chance of intentions getting blurred • Crazy high app store rating
Singles and couples make up Feeld’s ethically non-monogamous community, where 45% of users identify as non-hetero.
Skip the wine and dine and get right to the 69 on this inclusive hookup app for singles *and* couples.
One month of Feeld Majestic:
Three months of Feeld Majestic:
Bisexual people certainly aren’t against using a dating app to get laid — they’d just prefer that it’s not through the assumptions of a straight person. Created by a couple that experienced non-hetero non-monogamy firsthand, Feeld is a dating app for couples and singles to find threesomes, foursomes, or however many people you want. (This isn’t the first dating site to focus on non-monogamous sex, but it is the first to do it in a way that doesn’t look like a scammy billboard ad.) Because more-than-two sex is the entire point of the app, most people are honest about what they’re looking for — AKA no need to lie about unicorn hunting.
Sex positivity is the name of the game here, and not like the vulgar, dicks-everywhere kind that you’d see on AdultFriendFinder. Here, you can get specific about boundaries, find people with the same kinks, and say “cis het men” in your bio without people questioning you
. And while “sit on my face” is the sexiest opening line that horny Tinder can think of, people on Feeld are generally chill, respectful, and can talk about sex without frothing at the mouth.
LGBTQ+ folks appreciate Feeld because it appreciates them. The app offers over 20 sexual and gender identities and there’s a comforting understanding between users about what those identities mean. According to the company’s own stats, 35 percent of users are on the app with a partner and 45 percent identify as something other than heterosexual. The New York Times
describes it as “a dating app with options that put the Kinsey scale to shame.”
Nine sexual orientation options and 37 gender identities • Low-pressure atmosphere for bi people with little experience • Safety features for LGBTQ+ travelers in homophobic countries
A lot of unicorn hunting by straight girls • Gross messages from men who fetishize bisexuality • Men pretending to be women
The OG swiping app has a huge queer population and is a great low-pressure option (if you can get past the straights).
It’s still a lawless land, but the huge LGBTQ+ user base and steps toward inclusivity make it a viable option.
One month of Tinder Gold:
Six months of Tinder Gold:
One year of Tinder Gold:
A shit show, a hot mess, a nightmare — all things our interviewees used to describe being bisexual on Tinder. Every bi woman we talked to immediately brought up being scouted by other female users (who were, of course, straight and in a relationship) just looking to find a third for a threesome, the real kicker being that most of them conveniently don’t mention their motive right away. Because Tinder doesn’t require a Facebook account to sign up, there’s essentially no stopping men from pretending to be a girl.
But you can’t deny Tinder’s role in connecting queer people who may not have signed up for a dating app otherwise. Despite an onslaught of gross opening lines from men who were simply blown away by the “bi” in her bio, Megan from VA found her current partner on Tinder.
Tinder is also helping people come out as bisexual or learn to navigate same-sex flirting for the first time. The now-ubiquitous swiping function gets shit for being shallow, but The Cut spoke to two people
who said that the low-stakes vibe (less pressure than hitting up your first gay bar) made it easy to explore what they’d been thinking about after years of one gender exclusively: set preferences to both men and women.
A partnership with GLAAD
is making finding the right people much easier. In June 2019, Tinder expanded its orientation options
to include bisexual, asexual, pansexual, and six more. Users can decide whether or not that’s made public and can also opt to be shown people of the same orientation first. (37 gender identity options were also added a few years ago.) Problematic daters can still work around this if they’re that devoted, but it’s an appreciated step toward making Tinder a safer space for LGBTQ+ users. Users who pay for Tinder Gold can also undo a left swipe or see which users have liked their profile.
Users cut to the chase • Can find a date within the hour • Tons of men online 24/7, even in rural areas • Grindr for Equality campaign focuses on LGBTQ+ advocacy
Bots and performance issues • Maybe too NSFW • Occasional biphobia and hate toward queer women on the app • Reports of orientation and location data breaches
Men having trouble connecting with other men on Tinder are basically guaranteed sex in this atmosphere.
Putting “bi” in your profile might get you some hate here, but it’s also a place to meet experienced men.
One month of Grindr XTRA:
Six months of Grindr XTRA:
One year of Grindr XTRA:
With Chappy shutting down
in Feb. 2019, there aren’t many apps specifically for gay or bisexual men that aren’t some iteration of Grindr’s ab pic and dick pic-filled feed. But even after a decade of the same horny agenda
, Grindr remains a go-to for instantaneous location-based hookups for gay and bi men.
Going into it, bisexual men probably have an idea of what’s coming on Grindr: nudity, pushy messages asking for nudity, and though it says it’s an app for all
queer people, probably not many women. But finding and meeting up with men on Tinder or OkCupid isn’t always quick, especially if you’re in a small town with a meager queer community. Whether it’s your first time with a guy and you want someone experienced or you’re the experienced once simply looking for a quick hookup with a man, it’s nice to have Grindr in your back pocket.
That’s not to say it’s not for relationships — one of my good friends met his current boyfriend on
— but on a surface level, it’s ideal for quick, casual encounters. However, the Grindr for Equality
campaign takes the app past being a simple hookup facilitator by advocating for sexual health and the safety of LGBTQ+ people in unsafe countries.
The main complaint from bisexual people about Grindr isn’t that it’s aggressively horny or 99% men. It’s the biphobia. This entire thread of Reddit users
have experienced it in some way, describing the disappointment they feel from not being supported by their LGBTQ+ community and getting messages like “vaginas are gross” at the first mention of being bisexual or anything that’s not strictly gay. Grindr is technically advertised toward LGBTQ+ women as well, but because of the atmosphere on the app, they’re few and far between
These sites aren’t so good for bi people, but they do exist
Other dating sites let men search for men or women search for women, but won’t let you check both boxes at once. Some of the bisexual community holds a grudge against these sites just for that. By now, offering bare-bones same sex options just isn’t enough.
Your first thought would be to skip these all together, but some have such massive user bases that it might be worth it to at least cast your net. Changing your preferences back and forth from men and women on a daily or weekly basis can yields decent results.
Lets you choose dealbreakers • Clean, user-friendly layout • Apple Watch compatible • New safety and 911 features for making first dates safer
You get notifications for everything • Prices change constantly • Used to charge double for searching men and women
This OG site continuously modernizes its compatibility analyses and UX design, but has yet to become bi-friendly.
It’s not anyone’s top pick for a bisexual dating app, but its huge user base and trusted matching algorithm could uncover a hidden gem.
Match has someone for everyone. Launched in 1995, its decades in the business help Match bring a comforting level of experience to the table for singles wary about online dating
. The OG site is so confident in the blueprint it’s been perfecting over the years that it guarantees that you’ll find someone in six months. If you don’t, you get six months for free.
It’s true that Match isn’t an obvious choice for bi daters. In its earlier years, it used to charge bisexual users for two accounts
— a policy the primarily-hetero company has since changed, but some LGBTQ+ singles still (understandably) hold a grudge against the site. But people on Reddit have mentioned that their parents use Match to seek same-sex connections after a divorce — signifying that Match is the go-to for an older crowd that isn’t sure where to start. Considering the site has more online daters
than the population of NYC, it’s worth putting your name out there in case of a hidden gem. If you’re getting shitty suggestions at first, Match learns your swiping behaviors in order to suggest people you’ll like more.
Aside from OkCupid, most dating apps with bi-inclusive terminology don’t use much of an algorithm. That means you’re on your own to find out a potential match’s interests, values, and goals. Here, you’re at least
tediously scrolling through people Match thinks you’ll like based on shared interests like volunteering or clubbing, pet preferences, whether you want (or have) kids. If something like smoking is a deal breaker, you can indicate that, too.
High success rate speaks for itself • Questionnaire makes you think about what you need to work on • Super user-friendly
No inclusive sexual or gender identities • Historically not friendly to gay or lesbian singles • Vibe might be too rigid and traditional for some bi people
We don’t think that eharmony has a great atmosphere for bi people, but there are a few conservative LGBTQ+ members.
Beneath the blatant focus on straight people lie a handful of mature singles who are also LGBTQ+ and religious.
Ever see a commercial for eharmony and wonder if a dating site that corny actually works? Weirdly enough, it does. A spokesperson for the site says, it’s been used by 54 million people, and is apparently responsible for 4 percent of U.S. marriages. That doesn’t mean you’re going to walk down the aisle within the first year, but it at least narrows your options to singles who are open to being exclusive, meeting the family, or moving in together.
As you might expect from a site that’s all about settling down and getting married, the sign-up process is a doozy. eharmony
uses a comprehensive questionnaire with 29 dimensions to match you with people based on your long-term compatibility. You’ll rate yourself on prompts like “I’m an honest partner,” with sliding scale responses. There’s also a lot about church. (Pro tip: If finding someone who loves church as much as you do is really important, then eharmony is a good option. The bisexual Christian community is bigger than you might expect, and a same-sex search on eharmony could cast a line to someone who understands your sexuality and your beliefs.)
Profiles also look really nice, like a fancy résumé designed by a graphic designer. You even have the option to put your favorite TV shows, music, sports, and more on your profile.
It should be noted that eharmony hasn’t always felt like a welcoming place to members of the LGBTQ+ community. Following a 2010 lawsuit
, their gay and lesbian spin-off site Compatibility Partners has been folded into eharmony’s overall site, but users on Reddit as recently as 2019 say that it still seems geared more toward straight people.