From an email I wrote recently to a friend, who subsequently asked me to post these passages on my blog so she could share them with others.
I think a lot of the things and behaviours that make an open source community work are also applicable to dating, if that makes any sense at all.
Aspiring to radical realtime transparency but knowing you'll fall short, having a rhythm, working to become a better hacker and help others become better hackers themselves, even if you're different types of contributors or working through different processes or on different projects for a while. Clarification, getting things out on the table. The willingness to waste time experimenting because you know it's not actually wasted time at all, just a process with long-term and unpredictable results.
My boyfriend uses the phrase "beautiful awkwardness" to describe the feeling you get sometimes when you're sitting in the uncomfortable spot in the relationship domain specifically -- but if you're lucky, there's someone you're sitting with, together. And maybe that's how you can tell. I dunno, I've never done this before. But if you're comfortable enough with someone else that you can be uncomfortable together, then... that means something, I think.