You’re sitting across from your handsome Valentine’s date and the oversized stuffed animal bear he got you, and you’ve got all the warm & fuzzies, but deep down inside you’re asking yourself -
“For real though - long term - is this guy right for me?”
The playful dating stuff is still fun, mind you, but you’re ready to settle down. You’re looking for a responsible, grown-ass partner to compliment you. You’re an adult.
Do you trust this person? Do you respect this person?
Chocolates and gifts and fancy dinners can sustain this relationship for only so long. It’s time to ask the hard questions.
“What are your thoughts on children?”
“Are you good at budgeting?”
“How do you feel about my mother?”
He starts squirming.
Maybe you shouldn’t have started off that hard?
This is, after all, a romantic relationship that (hopefully) started with much fondness. So that hard line of questioning may not be the best way to gather information.
But that info is important - and those things will tell you a lot about whether or not he’s a good match for you.
Great news, if you’re looking for a vendor partner - your decisions are way less romantic! But no less hard.
You’re also looking for a perfect match, or at least one who can satisfy your requirements.
And you also want to know if you can trust these people to do good work. Lots of promises getting made out there.
Let me share some research:
Starting in the 70s, Dr. John Gottman studied interactions between couples long enough to notice patterns that could reliably predict success or divorce. His research identified four signs that a relationship is headed south: Criticism, Defensiveness, Contempt, and Stonewalling. These four sound alarm bells.
While we don’t have decades of research analyzing interactions between vendors and the buyers comparing them, we have noticed some interesting indicators of whether that contract is getting signed or not (no prenup required)…
The vendor provides good information, describes their services well, and adds resources and visuals (AKA filling out that “dating profile,” complete with pics)
The vendor responds to requests for info (AKA engaging in conversation, coming thruuuuuu)
The vendor responds on time! (AKA being on time for the first date - first impressions are important)
The buyer evaluates those responses and compares the vendors (AKA making sure what bae is bringing is satisfying your needs)
The buyer invites the other people who will have to live with this vendor to evaluate and compare responses, too (AKA bringing bae around parents and friends for their approval)
It really can be that easy. All you need is simple alignment. The right partner for you will bubble up through the crowd as you get serious talking about your needs while advancing through the stages of your relationship. When you have someone you trust to show up and do good work, everyone on both sides of the equation can rest easy knowing their needs are met. Bring on the wine and chocolate!
Have you noticed any other indicators that a relationship (partnership with a vendor) will last? Share with us below!