If I am getting together with someone I met on OKCupid, we have likely had a discussion via email or chat about my not being monogamous already. I generally take my time in meeting anyone in real life that I found via the internet, so there is usually lots of information exchanged before we actually meet in person. My profile is offline now, but when I'm ready to reinstate it again, that's how I roll.
If it's someone I meet in the real world (who hasn't already stated that he himself is poly), I do it sort of the way AT does it, although I don't have a spouse to tell them about. I will get together with someone for a friendly coffee or a cocktail and see if there's an attraction. No assumptions. I feel like stating my relationship status before we've had a chance to see if there is any interest seems a bit arrogant, as if I'm saying, "I know you want me, so here's the deal."
Sometimes a coffee date is very breezy and casual, and "relationship talk" might not come up until the second meeting. Sometimes the subject is broached right away and sometimes it doesn't happen til after I've been sexual with someone a few times. You never know - it depends on the person, chemistry, how we met, etc. - but I don't force that kind of conversation. And I tend to get jiggy with someone early on, and then develop a relationship from there. I'm not the "friendship first, sex later" type. When the subject does come up, or it seems like there are definite sparks flying that we want to continue, I tell the guy I am definitely interested but he should know that: "I am seeing someone else, we are both free to date other people, and I am not interested in exclusivity, so if you want to continue seeing me you have to be comfortable with the fact that I will also be seeing other people, even if we get "serious."
Of course, I'm paraphrasing here. These conversations can be short and to the point or long and complex, but that's the gist of how I approach telling someone. I also discuss my divorce, which has not been finalized yet. I am separated two years now, but not legally separated, and some people get weirded out about that for some reason.
I rarely use the word polyamory unless the other person brings it up first. I prefer to talk about it using the word/concept of exclusivity or non-exclusivity. It's less confusing that way, I have found.
Last edited by nycindie; 06-24-2012 at 03:52 PM.