Why bisexual daters are struggling to go on queer dates – despite urge to explore their sexuality

Man sitting on bed looking at phone with bisexual Pride flag colours behind him

New research from Hinge shows that the dating app’s bisexual users are less likely to have been on a queer date than other members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Findings included in Hinge’s new LGBTQIA+ DATE report show that the app’s bisexual users were three times more likely to have never had a queer dating experience.

This was despite 87 per cent of bisexual Hinge daters expressing a desire to explore their sexuality in 2023.

The LGBTQIA+ DATE report, which includes results from more than 14,000 survey respondents, indicates that bisexual people may be more likely to struggle to find romantic queer connection, with Hinge venturing that ‘fear of expression’ or ‘FOE’ may be the cause.

The report showed that nearly half of Hinge’s bisexual users who’ve never had a queer experience feel afraid to navigate open discussions about their dating history.

Two men on a date looking at each other
Hinge found that bisexual users are three times more likely to have never had a queer dating experience (Hinge)Meanwh

Meanwhile, 21 per cent of bisexual Hinge daters reported that they’d never had a queer dating experience because they hadn’t come out to family or friends.

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Singer Grant Knoche, who came out publicly as bisexual in 2022 after appearing on US TV series American Song Contest, told Hinge that he didn’t want to let “shame and guilt” around this topic of sexuality affect his future dating life.

“Having my sexuality ‘visible’ on my profile helps me and my dates avoid confusion,” Knoche explained. “And while that kind of openness is hard at times, putting everything on the table means I’m connecting with someone who truly understands, and wants to be with all of me.

Singer Grant Noche on a red carpet for American Song Contest
US singer Grant Knoche shared his experience of dating as a bisexual man with the Hinge DATE report. (David Livingston/Getty Images)

The 20-year-old added: “It also builds trust at the beginning of your relationship, which is super important.”

Despite recent census data showing that almost as many people in England and Wales identify as bisexual as identify as gay or lesbian, biphobia from both outside and within the LGBTQ+ community remains an obstacle for many bisexual people when it comes to dating.

However, offering hope for bisexuals looking for their first queer love story is the DATE report’s finding that 80 per cent of the app’s LGBTQ+ users are are open to being someone’s first queer dating experience.

Clear and open communication appears to be another key need for LGBTQ+ people on dating apps, with 57 per cent of LGBTQ Hinge daters say that lack of communication was the biggest obstacle in their dating life in 2022, and just 36 per cent saying that they would go on a second date with someone with unclear intentions.

Two men smiling with their faces pressed togther
Hinge’s DATE report includes survey responses from more than 14,000 LGBTQ+ people. (Hinge)

Notably, the survey found that trans people were the LGBTQ+ community’s most clear communicators, with 71 per cent of trans Hinge daters planning to lay out expectations about the type of relationship they want.

For anyone who’s ever struggled to end a relationship in its early days, the research also answers the long-debated question of whether it’s better to let down a date you’re no longer into over the phone, or by text.

According to Hinge, daters are 13 times more likely to prefer being told someone is no longer interested in them by a text message rather than a phone call.

Hinge, which was founded in 2012 with a mission to foster greater personal connection between dating app users, offers daters the chance to build a rapport by answering questions about themselves and sharing this information with potential matches.

Two people playing and smiling together
Hinge launched its LGBTQ+ education guide NFAQs ((Not-So-Frequently-Asked-Questions) in August 2022. (Hinge)

It’s a mechanic that allows for more up-front communication among those who may take a more reserved approach to dating, or more vulnerable groups like LGBTQ+ people.

The company has supported LGBTQ+ people navigate the queer-specific pitfalls of dating by launching queer identity and education guide NFAQs (Not-So-Frequently-Asked-Questions) in August 2022 to help users tackle topics that they may find difficult to discuss with potential partners.

Moe Ari Brown, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Hinge’s resident Love and Connection Expert, comments: “Hinge’s 2023 LGBTQIA+ DATE report, “Beyond the Talking Stage,” was intentionally designed to look at the specific needs of the queer community and fill in the gaps of information available on how we love.

“We hope LGBTQIA+ daters worldwide will feel supported in becoming better communicators and are inspired to love in the way that feels most authentic to them.”