I had created a similar list like this one about 2 years ago; however, I am unable to find where that is, so here is a new one. It's not as funny I'm told, but it still gets the message across.
1. You want to be poly? So do we! Let's get married! There is a very unbecoming trend seen time and time again with couple after couple: ignorance. I just met you, all I know is that you like Fruit Loops for breakfast and live on a farm, and shortly after meeting me you want to marry me? I can't tell you how many couples I talked to that were so incredibly desperate to have a plural wife that they were willing to marry the first one that came along, or the first one that would be willing to take the leap with them. The most heard of issue when potentials get together is this one. And honestly, it's past sad. It's just offensive. Do you not care enough about me to get to know me as an individual? Do you not care that I am happy? How will you know I will be happy in your lives if you know very little about me? I'm not saying wait a year or even 9 months, but good grief, don't tell us how in love you are after a few conversations. It's unflattering and kind of creepy.
2. Can you tell her.... let me get this straight: you want me to join your family and your wife or husband can't speak to me directly when you have a problem with something? If it is like this now, how will it be when you are actually there? News flash: how you handle something you are concerned about while your relationship is still existing just over the internet or phone is under scrutiny. Potentials are always the ones having to give up their entire support system, lives, family, friends and jobs just so families don't have to be inconvenienced in moving, so don't think we aren't watching how you handle yourselves before we take the leap and give it all up. This isn't grade school. If you have a problem or concern, talk to the potential yourself. Don't have your spouse do it for you.
3. Hard Limits You might hear this term on here a lot. It is basically a list of things that are absolute requirements from a potential partner/s. Be realistic though. Don't expect me to work so you can quit your job and stay at home, like one husband expected of me. And don't tell me I have to give you sex and babies whenever you want, even at the detriment of my health, like another husband expected of me. Or my personal favorite: expect me to sign over all rights to any future children I have with you the minute it is born to your legal wife and you. If you have expectations like this that you are not willing to compromise on, be prepared to search for a while, because it's gonna be hard to find a potential willing to work to the bone so you can kick it back at home, and put her body through danger so you can get your rocks off, and sign over rights to a child with no security of not being kicked out of your lives.
4. How to say things and when to say it. It is understandable that you have expectations; however, time yourself. I turned down a family when the husband told me the 5th or 6th time I talked to him that his wife is going to spank my child if she disobeys her. Excuse me? All my child has known for the past 5 years is me and now you expect me to let your wife take over? Oh hell no. It put me off so much. I know a girl who went to visit a family for the first time and she walked in on the wife refusing to give her daughter a drink, yelling at her, because it was "punishment" for taking a toy from her son. They were 3 years old. As the wife was explaining that she was refusing to give her a drink for the next 10 minutes and begging her understanding, the potential was already headed to her room to pack her bags. Bottom line: watch how you say things. Be tactful. Don't dump a load of things on a potential the first few times you are talking to her. Use common sense.
5. I expected to have it but you shouldn't and even if you do, I'll make sure you aren't going to get it. Okay, we potentials have gotten the message loud and clear, geeze. Dating a married man or a couple already established with a family isn't the same as dating in the monogamous world; however, don't expect us to give up every experience. I can't tell you how many wives have said to other potentials and I that they expect to control everything and give us a list of no-no's that we can't have. Mind you, this is after they gleefully explain their courting experience with the husband and how they wouldn't have accepted anything less. I understand that existing wives may have some poly issues, but if you give your husband permission to date a potential, then that is it. There was one wife who planned a potentials time with her husband down to the plates they "had to use".
Here is the deal: don't put us down for wanting a moonlit walk on the beach or dinner at a fancy restaurant or even a weekend trip somewhere. Remember, we are having to make a life-altering decision. We need to create a bond and memories with all partners just like you had the opportunity to.
6. Fully disclose everything. We will find out eventually. There was a potential who took time off of work to go visit a family 1,000 miles away, only to find out when she got there that the husband wasn't really into the idea of poly and was just humoring his wife, thinking it was a phase. There was another potential who committed to her family and moved, only to find out they were in massive debt and had no budgeting skills at all. Or the saddest one: when a potential went for a visit and they thought she would enjoy being there so much they has allocated no funds for her to return home. She was stuck there for weeks after her visit was supposed to be over. If you expect US to lay out everything on the table for you and your family to make a logical and educated decision about adding us permanently, then you need to realize we have the same expectations and you need to do the same. Again, WE ARE USUALLY/TYPICALLY THE ONES GIVING UP OUR ENTIRE LIVES TO MOVE TO WHERE FAMILIES ARE. Don't be jerks and cover something up or lie. We will find out.