As I pondered this, I sought some thoughts from the Internet. Here is one person's thought from www.bibletopics.com/biblestudy/92.ht which seems pretty accurate:
Fact: Our dating system does not biblically prepare young men and women for marriage. The modern dating system does not train young people to form a relationship. It trains them to form a series of relationships, and further trains them to harden themselves to the break-up of all but the current one. At the very least, this system is as much a preparation for divorce as it is for marriage. Whenever the other person starts to wear a little thin, you just slip out the back, Jack.
Consider how our system works. A young man notices a young girl who attracts him. He asks her out on a date, and she agrees. If neither one likes the other, then they both have had a bad experience. If they initially "hit it off" and continue the relationship, then the eventual temptation to engage in sex is strong, especially if they happen to be teenagers, still under the roof of their parents. And of course, if during the dating period one of the "sweethearts" is interested in staying together but the other has a change of heart and wants out of the relationship, the possibilities for emotional snarls and interesting complications are almost endless.... Dating arose out of the eighteenth century philosophical movement we now call "Romanticism" which emphasized, among other things, passion rather than logic. Writers such as Rousseau lamented that Western civilization had fallen into the "error" of exalting reason over feelings. He proposed making decisions based on emotions rather than intellect.
I have often encouraged my sons to develop friendships with girls at school, at work, at church, or wherever. Along with that, do group activities. Seek to know the girl's character in the midst of these activities. Build one's friendship and healthy respect for them during these events. The goal is to know who a person and what they are like through how they interact with others. It is always much easier to pretend in a one-on-one relationship. Yes, one of those friendships might grow into marriage, but if so, you will already be a friend who knows each other. In other words, I prefer courting to dating. There is so much more one can say, but I just wanted you to begin thinking outside of the box
I observed some excellent resources on courting versus dating just by googling on websites such as chastity.com; iblp.org; and so much more (the list was endless). Here is a list of books: Dating: Is It Worth the Risk?" by Reb Bradley; "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" by Joshua Harris; "Dating, Betrothal and Courtship" by Dr S. M. Davis, "Dating vs. Courtship" by Paul Jehle. By the way, one book I personally read and handed out about relationships is, "How To Avoid Falling In Love With A Jerk" by John Van Epp.