Dating is really a different adventure than it was before I got married.
It's a combination of me changing, dating when you have more life experience, and society changing. There wasn't texting before, and therefore no texting rules for dating. There wasn't Facebook with worrying about how little to share, whether or not to tag someone, and of course being Facebook official. Strangers didn't message me with cheesy pickup lines (the Winter Olympics come around every 4 years, but the chance to talk to someone as amazing as you only comes once in a lifetime). There wasn't the consideration of whether I was okay marrying someone with kids, or being occasionally stigmatized because I'm divorced. There was no dating someone who traveled for business (I was sooo easily impressed the first time that happened, until I realized it was just due to being in my 30s.).
I don't recall crowds of people hanging out on a regular basis and the pros/cons of being interested in someone who ran in the same circles. Maybe that's because it was harder to gather a group, living in the boonies? Another weird thing is having someone get engaged who I went on dates with maybe 4-6 months before. It's not like we were close, just held hands a couple times, but I never had that happen in my previous dating life and now it's happened with two men. Things move fast, just not with me, haha!
There wasn't the stress of trying to quickly evaluate a situation so I wouldn't waste too much time on a fling. There didn't seem to be as many weirdos. Some people are single in their mid-30s for creepy/socially awkward reasons and it's hard to look past it. At a singles event, you should not ask me only two get-to-know-you questions: "Have you ever been married?" "Do you have kids?"...before cutting off the conversation. There wasn't the issue of being surrounded by cute, single men who are far too young for me.
Some components of dating stay exactly the same...