Most Helpful Girl
For a lot of people, they are drawn in by the warm, comforting, cozy allure of companionship. A relationship is basically companionship heightened on an entirely different wavelength. Plus there are privileges and advantages that can only be completely experienced in a relationship. Add onto that the fact that romance and relationships are glorified and marketed very well all over the place: movies, music, commercials, print advertisements and billboards, music videos, even in the class room when you learn about Romeo & Juliet.
I wouldn't say that dating is a giant waste of time or that people are pathetic for trying to gain that type of experience. You seem like you're looking down on them?