as I am prone to saying "life is about choices."
if you're trying to make good choices, it's your fault if you make stupid, uniformed ones.
it's equally your fault if you spend so much time gathering information that you don't actually do anything.
it's a risk to put in a lot of effort on something that might not pay off. i was thinking about this earlier, but more on the subject of work/money than relationships. but the concept is similar. what it really all points toward is that I really have to be a whole lot more directed, industrious, and more willing to take (social) risks.
and when I do consider the long term, i do think about the traits I might desire in a wife(!!!)*, and I craft myself appropriately. but there will still be chance, can't get around that.
*to some extent, this weirds me out, but the concept of good long term relationships does have it's appeal. at any rate, the traits I build in myself generally have positive externalities and are generally practical.