The problem with the dating game is one of maintaining identity.
Sure from a high enough vantage point there is no such thing as an identity that needs to be maintained. The problem with such a view though is that from such a height dating isn’t something that one would engage in. Or at least seek out.
So in the normal, run-of-the-mill, place where dating happens we have an identity. This identity is made up of our likes and dislikes, the kinds of words that we use, what we find funny and what we find taboo. Idealistically speaking the aim of the dating game is to find someone who’s identity you like and who likes your identity. In this game our rational mind is quite useless.
The trap the game presents is one of false-identities. It is incredibly difficult to maintain your identity in the face of an attractive member of the opposite sex who seems to not like that identity. A battle of wills occurs within one. There is the side – which often has the mind on it (at least in my case it does) – that says “This person is obviously not right for you.” But the other side – which is as powerful if not more so – says “But you like her!” Of course the like here is lust… You may conflate it with something else but it you’re honest with yourself what you want is to have sex with that person lots of times and in order to fulfill this desire you’re tempted to forsake your own identity.
The other side of this is that there are many people who are ashamed of themselves and so they habitually wear a false identity. In both these cases that identity cannot be maintained. Not even for short spans of time can it last without fractures. This is probably why Love has often been associated with torment. In a sense love has been conflated with a falseness in modern-society. Just look at the coquette ideal – that is someone who pretends not to like someone in order to get them to pursue.