I don't really date... but those rare chances where it happens... I do it to try to get to know that woman better. The long term goal is girlfriend and eventaully perhaps wife... but the first date, I'm just trying to see if we have a lot in common, and if were attracted to each other. I'm not planning vows or anything even after 3 months or anything like that... but I'm dating to find someone for the long haul. It's starting out casual; not just to date for bragging rights or desperation... but it's not where I'm expecting to be boyfriend after the first or second date. But after 6 dates, if we're not becoming an item, then I don't see the point in continuing to date them if she's not interested in committing to at least giving the relationship a try. Not dating just to date... there's some planning and looking at a likely future and if it would possibly work. I don't just look at the "now" but I try to think about what that future with her might look like.
I don't really do it much but when I do it's because I'm bored and feel like doing something... not usually expecting it to lead to a relationship. I don't think dating is a very effective way of finding a potential partner for me, I've only ever found that through being friends with someone first.
but I am always looking for new friends. Most do not come up to the standard. Those that do become interesting sexually, which is another standard they have to meet, as do I for them. Eventually, there may be something lasting there BUT, as that is so hard to find, I go on dates hoping that my date will have a suck on my manhood if it is obvious that a lasting friendship is not likely.