1. She’s not going to jump into bed with you. I mean, she might, but it’s not a given. Open is the status of her relationship, not her legs.
2. She’s going to jump into bed with you. I know what I just wrote. But you should prepare your heart/vagina/penis/other body parts for the fact that she may be interested in a hookup — and only a hookup.
3. You have to follow her rules if you want to play. You have the option not to date her, but if you decide to go for it, be aware that there may be certain agreements she’s made with her primary partner, i.e. how often she can see you, or how intense things can be sexually. It’s pretty unlikely those will be adjustable. People in open relationships usually apply a lot of forethought to the architecture of those things.
4. She’s not a “cheater.” She didn’t decide to enter an open relationship because she is fundamentally immoral, a moustache-twirling cartoon villain, or anyone else who is generally careless with the feelings of others. There are reasons monogamy doesn’t work for her. Respect that.
5. If you have any questions about how this is going to work, just ask her. She’s very, um, open. She knows exactly what she needs and she’ll be more than happy to let you know.
6. She’s opinionated, and don’t mistake her for confused. She’s not in an open relationship because she can’t decide on one. She’s in an open relationship because she’s self-assured in her wants and needs, and knows how to execute them.
7. She likes sex. It might not be the sole reason she is conducting additional relationships outside of her primary one — but, yeah, she enjoys it. She enjoys it a lot.
8. You’re going to have to work well with others. Depending on the degree to which things heat up, you may have to make decisions about your relationship with her that factor in other people — namely her partner, or others you’re dating. If you’re the kind of person who would rather write an essay than do the group project, this might not be for you.
9. She’s emotionally mature. Don’t play games. She’s had to assess her perspective, wants, needs, and values, and negotiate those with the perspective, needs, wants, and values of at least one other person and likely even more. She’s not going to sweat the small stuff — unless it’s your brain.
10. You will never, ever be bored with her. Whether it’s for a few minutes, a few hours or a few decades, this will be an experience you won’t forget. So let go of your preconceptions and hold onto your hat, your heart, and the headboard.
By Laura Jayne Martin