Match.com, a subscription dating service that targets people looking for more serious relationships, is getting a bit more bi-friendly. But only a little bit.
The online dating company is reversing its policy of making bi users pay for two separate profiles (one to look for men and one for women, because seeking out both genders at once is apparently undoable). However, that doesn't mean that Match.com is necessarily recognizing bisexuality as an actual sexual orientation, one that millions of humans identify with — as of now, bi customers still have to maintain two separate profiles, but the second one is free. Huh.
This announcement of policy change comes in the wake of a Pink News article entitled "Match.com asks bisexuals to pay DOUBLE to search for both men and women," in which the news service republished a customer service response from 2013. It read, in part:
We understand that you are bisexual and would like to be able to search for men and women. We are sorry you have [sic] been able to register as such and will do our best to offer some assistance.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to switch back and forth between gender preferences. Bisexual members would be required to have 2 separate profiles. Unfortunately, this would mean purchasing 2 separate subscriptions... Please accept out [sic] apologies as we realise this is not an ideal solution.
The following day, Match.com sent a statement to Pink News declaring that it's currently "not possible to set up a profile to review both male and female profiles at the same time." However, the dating service affirms it is focused on making things easier for bisexual members: "All they need to do is contact our customer services team directly to be set up with two profiles as part of the existing subscription." That's not really a suitable fix, though. There's nothing particularly easy about dealing with the customer service team of a mammoth international company — not to mention, it's completely minimizing to frame someone's sexual orientation as an exception or an afterthought.
This strict demarcation between straight and gay reflects and reinforces the flawed societal belief that bisexuality doesn't really exist (SCIENCE HASN'T PROVED IT YET, sorry, bisexual people, we still don't know if you're around or not) or that it's some kind of "bridging mechanism" meant to "ease the transition into [one's] real sexual identity." Bi people shouldn't have to jump through Match.com-profile-related bureaucratic hoops because some people can't wrap their heads around the idea that someone could be attracted to various humans who identify with varied gender categories.
Image via Match.com.