If you looking for another partner (be it you are single or if you are poly) you might start from the perspective of if you are looking to add a new person to your life, or if you are looking for a role that you want to be filled. Is either scenario approach better? Or, for that matter, right (or wrong)?
We’ve looked for people to fulfill a role. For example, we looked for a submissive to collar and were specifically looking for somebody with submissive qualities that would be in a service relationship. Even more specifically, when dawn had her surgery, we were looking specifically for a temporary service based submissive or slave that we would have a specific exchange with. It was education and information and play in exchange for additional help around the house with domestic service type stuff. This person drove dawn to her doctor appointments, did laundry and such, and I taught her about the Leather community, some of the basic language and custom of “the scene”, and introduced her around. We all benefited in that scenario.
But the other approach is that instead of a role, you might seek out a more organic ‘people’ search. Recently we hosted (and were involved in) a poly speed dating night. We were not asking people what their favorite color is and things like that, but instead, who are you? And trying to get a feel for who the person is.
We often see people who include in their search items like “between 30 and 58 and so and so political views” and such. And although that makes sense, you do risk trying to shove someone into a box and lose sight of who they are beyond data points.
Maybe it is best to just be open to people in general. There may well be pieces of your life that you want to experience and may not even know what those are yet. You might be amazed to find out you like something that you always thought otherwise.
We’ve done both with success – filled a role as well as just found a person interesting and see what developed. Neither is the right or wrong way to do things. But when filling a role, making sure there is a clear communication and expectations is essential. And accept the risk that someone might be spectacular for you but since they don’t fit a role, you don’t let them in.