Vetting Potential Partners Gauging Your Compatibility
Dating can be a struggle, especially when it comes to nontraditional relationships. The reason for this is that when we step outside “the norm”, our dating pool becomes more limited. The more checkboxes you add to your required list of attributes for your potential partners the fewer people you have to choose from. We create our own scarcity when we have a laundry list of requirements for others.
That being said, we are ALL entitled to find partners who complement and fulfill us. Having a list of desired characteristics for those who may want to date us prevents us from getting into incompatible or, worse, abusive relationships.
Dating and building relationships according to your values may be frustrating, but the ultimate payoff is immense.
How Do You Figure Out What Your Values Are?
This takes a bit of self-reflection and analysis. Ask yourself questions such as:
- If money were no object, what would I want to be doing with my life?
- What area of my life am I focused on right now?
- What area(s) of my life would I like to improve?
- What is important to me?
Do Better Wellness offers up this suggestion when attempting to initially understand your values: Limit your options!
We like to refer to four different value areas: Love & Belonging, Power, Fun, and Freedom.
Love & Belonging not only refers to romantic and sexual relationships but those with peers, coworkers, family, etc. Those who value Love & Belonging often make family or time with a partner a priority. They want to feel secure in their relationships above all else.
Power refers to our desire for success. This is usually tied to our professional endeavors, though it can also be seen in BDSM relationships.
Fun is exactly that! Those who value fun are often looking for interesting and/or exciting things to do. They talk more frequently about what fun thing they did recently instead of talking about work, relationships, etc.
Freedom can take numerous forms, but people who have this as their top value don’t want to feel restrained by anything in their lives. They crave autonomy and independence and won’t tolerate a partner who attempts to control them.
What is vetting?
Vetting is a process that has a longstanding history in the BDSM community. The purpose of the vetting process is to ensure that play partners are understanding what they are willing to accept in their play and who they chose to play with.
Most people already have some semblance of a vetting process for potential partners, even if we don’t realize it. We may refer to our “dealbreakers” or “red flags”.
We at Do Better Wellness have compiled lists of vetting questions that align with the four values listed above: Love & Belonging, Power, Fun, and Freedom. Feel free to download, share, and use these lists to help guide your conversations with people you are considering beginning a relationship with.
These questions are also great to ask in established relationships to make sure you are aligning in the ways that are most important to the two (or more) of you.
Enjoy and happy dating!