So No S--- Dating is Miserable
So I have a sort of atypical trajectory. I reached the age of 16 bewildered and repressed. Then I discovered the label "asexual" and adopted it happily. This persisted until university, where, after a brief phase of courtship that I was oblivious to or in denial of, an amazing woman planted one on me (never before kissed). We fell head over heels in love and are now pushing a decade together. So I'm speaking from a unique balance of disinterest and lack of experience.
I don't wish I had had to deal with tinder.
I don't want to overgeneralize from my social circle, but to a person everyone who dates appears to hate dating, and every happy relationship came from falling head over heels in love.
I don't think that you're approaching dating incorrectly. I don't think you drew a short straw in the world of dating. I think dating just sucks and is dumb. No one I know has ever said "you know, dating is awesome and I really enjoy it".
What is wrong with dating? Well, it became a hobby, and the internet did to it what it does to every hobby. Getting into anything and, for that matter, being into anything is just incredibly demoralizing in the internet era. We had an aesthetically similar situation when /u/AgainstModernity (you sticking with it AM?) accidentally asked for fitness advice and learned the hard way that there was an infinite supply of gurus, all of them were smarter and buffer than he was, most of them contradicted each other, and if he picked the wrong one then he had no hope of doing anything but destroying his health. Trying to be good at anything in 2021 is a soul crushing endeavor with no light at the end of the tunnel.
Dating sucks for the same reason getting a bright flashlight sucks. Used to be that you bought a bright flashlight and showed your friends and they were like "wow that's so bright my eyes hurt", and now you show the internet and they're like "wow did you really use the battery that came in the box? The CRI is fucking pathetic you casual, why not just use your phone". I believe dating once used to be a situation. You met someone, had some chemistry, and then ended up dating. Now it's something like a skill or a pursuit, where you try to do it optimally.
I once saw Day, a likeable MTG streamer, suggest to his audience that they should just try to go on one date every week, with whoever. It sounded exactly like cautioning someone to not skip leg day. I can't imagine anything more miserable than taking a social experience like courtship and making it more like going to the gym. So no shit dating is miserable.