Dumb Bi-Phobia in Dating for Dummies
So back when I worked at a bookstore I was in the habit of picking up a lot of random books and taking a look or two at what they had to say. One day I picked up Dating for Dummies since I was curious about how one would simplify something like that. Glancing through it seemed alright, aside from assuming that the reader was straight. I skipped to the back to a section where the author addressed other sexualities and was, well, completely stunned.
One of the assumptions of the book is that you are straight, that is, heterosexual. I made this assumption for two reasons: First, statistically most people are heterosexual, and my aim was to reach the widest possible audience. Second, gays and straights face the same issues with respect to dating.
In my years as a psychologist both on and off the air, I have dealt with lots of folks who were in or out of the closet, gay or straight, and what I am struck by is the similarities in their dating problems, not the differences. If you are a gay person reading this book and feel that something I have said as a universal statement doesn’t apply to you because you’re gay, please write and let me know. I may include it in a future edition or write a new book or explain to you why I disagree.
My only real warning here is know thyself. If you’re gay, don’t date straight people, and if you’re straight, don’t date someone who’s gay. You’re both just asking for heartache, and there are enough disappointments in life without a need to go out of your way to ask for that kind of trouble.
If you’re muttering, “What about bi’s?” I would say, get a therapist or a piece of paper or a mirror and get your act together and decide who you are and what you want. Wanting it all is okay; trying to have it all is often both greedy and futile. Sometimes you have to decide the real you, chocolate or vanilla, Christian or Jew, New York or California (all of which you can change), male or female (which can be changed with great difficulty), or straight or gay, a preordained biological orientation like curly hair or left-handedness that you can’t change.
Alright, it’s one thing if random people on the street think that bisexuals are just indecisive, but I start to get really worried when a doctor and supposed relationship expert thinks that all bisexuals need to go into therapy to figure out who they “really are”. Between this and the therapist who thought that being bi meant I was either in an open relationship or I was cheating on my boyfriend, I really have to wonder: do a lot of therapists/psychologists just have no idea what bisexuals really are? Because, wow, that would be kinda scary…
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