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5. Vetting by Friends and/or Family

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"In my opinion, if you were dating someone you were clearly embarrassed to introduce to your family, you were probably dating the wrong person."
   - Sookie Stackhouse in Charlaine Harris's book,
Dead in the Family

Do not participate in sexual activity until your partner has been 'vetted' by your friends and/or family. Similarly, do not become sexual with someone who has not included you in his/her friendships and/or family:

Before I participate in any sexual relationship, I will have my potential partner vetted by my friends (and/or family).

They are the people who know me best, who love me best. With my permission, upon meeting this potential partner, I will listen to their opinions and advice about whether or not that partner is healthy and is good for me. They may see 'red flags' that I do not see (or choose not to see), simply because they are not as involved or attached as I am.

I would not have to choose between my partner and my loved ones. If this relationship is going to last, I would have them all be on good terms with one another.

If my partner does not care for my loved ones, that should be a message to my partner that he/she does not see me clearly, because I have already chosen to have these people in my life. It's not quite the same as "love me, love my dog" but my freinds are a reflection of who I am. If he/she does not like them or does not wish to spend time with them, then he/she is asking me to sacrifice an important part of who I am. This is a red flag.

If I have to choose between my partner and my loved ones, then that bespeaks an unhealthy relationship of isolation, which can lead to abuse.

Remember, it is better and less painful to walk away from any relationship before it has brought the complexity and attachment of sexuality into it.

"I didn't like my choices in women," he said unexpectedly. "I'd been picking women who were on the far side of acceptable. That didn't even occur to me until I knew I didn't want to take Jannalynn home to meet my mother. I didn't want her to meet my sister and my borther... And that made me ask myself: why was I dating here?"
   - Sam in Charlaine Harris's book, Dead Ever After

If this potential partner is good for me, I should be able to celebrate my pride in him/her to my friends. If this relationship must be kept in the dark, if this relationship feels shameful, run like the wind!

It could be worse: if my partner is trying to separate me from my friends and family, they might ask why he/she is isolating me from them. The red flag here is the potential that physical or emotional abuse could occur.

If my partner does not wish to include me in his/her social life with friends and family, the red flag is also the possibility that he/she may be married and trying to keep this fact hidden from me (remember the chick flick, Valentine's Day?).

Sexuality Contract
Darbie Marlin

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Make a Contract with Your Self!

Get the Approval of your Friends and/or Family