Are you familiar with the concept of Schrödinger's cat? I wasn't until a week or so ago, when a friend brought it up in relation to dating.
She's a whole lot smarter than I am in this respect, and here's how she put it:
"Re: asking early on about a relationship, or whether someone is looking for something serious -- the Schrodinger's Cat thought experiment is the perfect metaphor here.
There's this thought experiment based in part on the fact that in Quantum Physics, whenever you try to measure a phenomenon, you affect its outcome. So Schrodinger set up this idea that there's a cat in a box simultaneously alive and dead (in multiple quantum states, with multiple possibilities)...until you open the box, and then he's only one or the other. So the act of opening the box is what provokes the outcome".
More info here if you feel so inclined.
In my simplistic way, after thinking about this, and thinking about what I've learned with Smiley, my new motto for the year is going to be, simply: just chill, and enjoy the ride.
This has reminded me of a boyfriend I had when I was 26 -- let's call him Mr X. He seemed like a pretty amazing guy from the start: cultured, sophisticated, successful, charming. Except -- he was just getting out of a serious relationship, and was open about the fact that he didn't want anything serious. No problem, I said -- let's keep this casual.
"Casual" eventually turned into a pretty solid two-year relationship (with dalliances for years afterwards). He's still one of my dearest friends to this day. And that relationship developed only because I was patient, and didn't put any pressure on him.
Saying that -- I was 26 at the time, and now I'm... not. These days, I don't have the patience to wait nine months for a guy to acknowledge that I'm his girlfriend. I think I need a happy medium: maybe don't bring up "the talk" in the first month, but also know when a relationship might not be going anywhere.
(Quick aside: I have no regrets about ending things with Smiley so soon. I still miss him a little, but I *do* think he should focus on himself and his career at this time. Ha -- I'm sure he'll have a serious relationship in no time. I seem to have that affect on guys!)
Updates to come: I've already been out with three new guys this year (yes, in 2010 -- as in, since last Friday). And I'm quite excited about one of them. Biggest shocker of all: I met all in "real life" -- none were internet dates.
Details next time!
PS. Quick update on Quentin -- after our third date (where I sensed that we didn't have kissing chemistry), I never heard from him again. Just as well. I should mention that when I left his place at 1 am to walk the four blocks home, he didn't walk me home. At the very least, he should have offered.