It's a long and exciting road towards the next romance in my life. The woman who I find has to be ready and energetic enough to keep up with me and my delusions of grandeur. And she will probably have delusions of her own.
When sex enters a relationship everything changes and your thinking is going to be challenged for 6 months to a year. Don't trust your thoughts during this period. Don't make any big decisions together. If you get to two red flags, again, BOLT.
You've got to keep going. Your partner is out there. You've got to stay true to your path, true to your goals and boundaries, and give each person the flexibility to show up in your life and be a YES.
If the chemistry is on and flowing both ways, you will both be asking "What's next." If it's not mutual, move on. You will not be able to build a fire without initial sparks. (But don't overlook the slow-burn. If you're "sort of" interested, perhaps a second date is in order.)
Don't give up. Just because all of your previous relationships have failed, does not mean that the next date might be The One.
The goal is never to blame the other person for the breakup, even if they were the reason you are breaking up. Always take your responsibility for the miss. And make it about the chemistry, the mix, the overall relationship and not about them or their poor behavior. Remember, you are leaving the relationship, not trying to teach them a lesson or educate them.
I am not willing to spend all of my free weeknights going for coffee with women that are marginally compatible. But back in the summer of escape velocity, I tried and tried and tried. It was exhausting.