This is gonna sound nuts but I think of dating as kind of like window shopping for someone who'll inspire you to make a real investment.
Brindabear, I love that summation of dating - I believe that is exactly what most people are doing.
There are some out there that just like to go on dates for fun and are not looking for a long term relationship, but I think those are not quite as common.
But that is one of the major points of Kristina's article - that you need to get it out up front what you are looking for from the relationship. Maybe not necesarily say "I'm trying to decide if I want you to be my husband" , but more along the lines of- "I'm not interested in one-night stands".