At 30, or 40, or more, if there's been a major relationship failure, some some false starts, or possibly not even any starts at all, it is easy to replace that optimism, once held so dear, for other isms less than positive.
And often the result of this is that we look for all the 'signs''- the dreaded list is taken out and analysed, we search for instant confirmation and validation, we find a thousand and one excuses not to progress any possible friendships.
What if, though, instead of choosing reluctance we chose to embrace the unknown? Yes, it would be scary and could mean risking pain, but the possibilities of potential, in my view, far outweigh that.
I once dated a man who beleived in the concept of assuming success. Even though that particular relationship didn't end up in success for me, for it's duration there was an overwhelming sense of anticipation and positivity. Instead of telling each other we might do something...if in six months we were still together...we made plans as if that were a given. In this case I should certainly have progressed this with more caution (perhaps planned for forever but looked more carefully at each day!)...but it was a truly liberating way to get to know someone.