Wow, Spaw and Amos -- what lovely stories!
I've almost always jumped in with both feet -- assuming exclusivity from the start -- but I've learned that this is not necessarily the way to go -- and it's not necessarily the assumption that everyone else makes (GASP!!!)
I've learned that taking things slowly works better for me because I have a tendency to be impulsive and to overlook things that are important in the "heat of the moment". I've been married and divorced twice (my sister bought me a pin a few years back that I absolutely LOVE -- it says, "The first two husbands are just for practice") and I am not the least bit soured on the institution of marriage.
The way I figure it, my next relationship will be someone who is taken with me for who I am and my sunny personality and my hearty laugh and HE'll pursue ME. I've done enough chasing people who aren't well suited to me and I've finally come to a place where I know, understand and believe that I'm WORTH being pursued.
Hmmmm, that doesn't exactly answer your questions, kind of looks like I went off on my own tangent...OH WELL! :-) Good luck in your own ponderings on the matter.