Thanks for the reply and the comments Marcus & Dagferi, I appreciate your input!
You're right, dating is completely different for men and women and it's silly to imagine it otherwise. I suppose I had simply forgotten, or not been as privy to the other side's experience, what things were/are like.
Yes, I suppose I was conflating terms. We ultimately decided to be poly for that reason, we didn't want to tell each other what to do with our bodies. I suppose the compounded difficulty was more unexpected than I'd first thought.
What gets me down the most isn't the challenge, though it sucks, but the repeated turn downs. Getting all the right signals and even conversations until the married card gets played and then: silence.