We spoke to Hinge’s NFAQ expert Nina Haines about how to combat fears about dating as a bi-person
BY ELLA GAUCI, IMAGE BY NICOLAS MENIJES
New statistics from the dating app Hinge reveal that 65% of bisexual Hinge daters experience the phenomenon known as queer imposter syndrome. Often fuelled by biphobia and harmful stereotypes about the bisexual community, this imposter syndrome can leave bisexual users feeling separated from the LGBTQIA community.
Over half of the bisexual Hinge users said that they have personally experienced people thinking they’re just “experimenting” because of their sexual identity, and 54% of users are worried about sharing their sexuality with partners in case they’re judged. A worrying 52% of bisexual daters don’t even feel accepted in the LGBTQIA community.
So how can we change it? Well, Hinge’s new Not-So Frequently Asked Questions is hoping to dispel some stereotypes and help support bisexual users. Nina Haines is one of the experts behind the advice shared on this new initiative. She founded the book community Geneza in 2021 on TikTok which acts as a safe space where sapphic women and non-binary people can read sapphic books, chat about life, ask for and offer support, and celebrate their identities.
Nina understands the struggles of being bisexual and tackling the challenges which come from dating. “When I started dating non-men for the first time, the heterosexual romance script that was shoved down my throat for years was suddenly irrelevant,” she explains. “That’s part of the beauty of dating as a queer person: you get to write your own script, make up your own rules, and not feel pressured to follow the heteronormative relationship escalator that’s been laid out for us our whole lives.”
“That being said, it can be SO scary to go on your first queer date!” she continues. “How do I know if he/she/they like me? How can I tell if they’re flirting with me? How do I flirt back?”
Here are Nina’s top tips for going on a first date as a bi person!
“Most first dates were after-work drinks and started between 6-8 pm, (a.k.a. smack dab in the middle of prime dinner time – for me at least). Sometimes I would get so nervous before first dates that I wouldn’t be able to stomach a full meal, so I had my Go-To Filling Snack: baby carrots. Find your snack and eat up beforehand! Nourish your body and you’ll be more present on your date.”
“While getting ready, I would put on a playlist full of songs that connected me to my most authentic self. For me, that’s a lot of classic rock, ABBA, Taylor Swift and One Direction. I would turn the speaker volume all the way up and dance away all my nerves. Move your body, sing along, and shake it out!”
Wear an outfit that makes you feel hot and gay!
“You’ll look hot no matter what, but finding an outfit recipe that makes you feel your best is key so you’re not panicking at the last minute about what to wear. For me, I wore big pants, a tiny top, and some sort of chunky boots or sneakers. Comfy, cosy but still sexy. Find your perfect outfit recipe and do not feel bad about repeating your outfit for multiple first dates – I promise I won’t tell.”
Get your friends to hype you up!
“I would sometimes FaceTime my besties while doing my makeup to brief them on the date ahead and get them to compliment me excessively. See yourself through the eyes of your friends and accept their love and affection!”
Remember that if the date sucks you can just go home early and eat some chips!
“The person sitting across from you is so lucky to be hanging out with a hot, funny, wonderful bisexual human. They are basking in your light! If you end up not vibing with the other person on a queer date, it doesn’t make you any less queer, it doesn’t make you not attracted to genders like your own; it just means that person wasn’t for you. Get back on the horse and try again. “
Remember that just because you’re going on a date with this person and you’re bisexual does not mean you have to do anything you do not want to do!
“Bisexuality often gets labelled as slutty, greedy, and promiscuous. I myself, have been put in situations where that behaviour is expected of me. That behaviour is not inherently negative or shameful, and you should feel empowered to do whatever feels right, but remember that you’re just there to meet a new person and see if you want to meet them again. Have fun and be safe!”
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