I’m a 28-year-old woman in a committed, long-term relationship, which is also an open relationship. I cohabit with my partner, and we’re very happy. We opened things up about a year ago, and it’s been working really well. Recently, I worked with a man on a project, and I was very attracted to him, and I believe it might have been mutual. Now that the project is finished, I’d like to ask him out. The thing is that he knows I live with my partner but doesn’t know it’s an open relationship. Ideally, I would like to tell him this to be very clear about what I’m offering, and I would totally respect if he wasn’t into that—I’d love to keep him as a friend even if nothing further ever happened between us.
I don’t really know how to phrase this information or when to tell him. It’s the first time since my partner and I opened the relationship that I’ve wanted to pursue someone in this particular way. I also think, but can’t be sure, that the man I’m attracted to only recently found out I had a partner, and I’m now also worried that he’ll think I deceived him in some way or will interpret our flirtations to mean that I’m in the habit of cheating. I was on the lookout for an organic moment to slip into the conversation that I’m in an open relationship, but one never arose, as it’s not something I’m in the habit of blurting out, and I don’t let it become common knowledge, as it’s tiring to explain over and over. I think I just need a script for this and probably to tell him before or at the same time as asking him out. It’s scary, though. I have literally no idea how he’ll react.
—Would-Be Ethical Slut