As for whether dating is appropriate, or whether exclusive dating is appropriate, certain things to consider:
It’s a bad idea to focus exclusively on someone for the sake of having that someone, with the exclusion of others, i.e. closing oneself to finding out about others, with the result that one invests himself or herself in a relationship which is so very likely to fail. You lose much that way.
It’s a bad idea, and I believe it’s wrong, to start a relationship which you know will end. It’s futile and it lacks the purpose which makes “dating” “allowable” - i.e. looking for a husband or wife.
The two points above seem to be in contradiction. In fact, they’re not. The point is to be mindful of things and to avoid delusions.
As for the so called “non-exclusive dating”, I believe there’s more to say about it than it may seem. Firstly, it’s true that exclusivity adds a certain touch to it which may not be very proper - after all, it closes one to others. Secondly, however, I believe romantic relationships with several people at the same time are wrong (I believe they go against nature). How to deal with it?
The answer, in my opinion, is that spending time with a member of the opposite gender, even on a 1 on 1 basis, doesn’t have to be a romantic relationship. And even if it has a romantic touch, it doesn’t have to be a romantic relationship either. People don’t have to kiss just because they have a dinner or coffee together. Kissing, hugging, stroking etc, are not a free game for fun, nor are they a fair reward for being good company. Nor are they definitely anything “friendly”. Friends don’t normally do that, period.
Personally, I prefer to keep it friendly and if it seems there is some interest and attraction, I seek a common ground. If there is any possibility of something more in my mind, then I try to spend more time with the person. If the reaction to trying to spend more time together is positive (it rarely is), then one can think about something which brings people together and allows them to know more about each other. This includes evening walks, protracted strolling through long stretches of land, engaging in something meaningful, having conversations about life. If it somehow goes forward, it’s good. If it doesn’t go forward on its own, maybe it wasn’t meant to be. At some later point, when one has acquired conviction, one can try something more decidedly romantic. Or, depending on the situation, some light romantic hint, albeit unmistakable. If that goes well, perhaps a romantic relationship will grow on its own. If it does, perhaps it will last.
With this in mind, I would suggest not making haste with things, not pretending that there are any more feelings than there really are, not rushing, not attempting to change onself for the sake of being pleasant to the other (unless the change is for the better, but then it should have a better motivation too). If you follow my advice, you will notice that you have less urge to enter into formally defined relationships, while also less to jump into things such as kissing or hugging.