Q1. Is (American style) Dating Allowed in Islam?

As Muslims we should try to answer questions that come up in our lives Islamically. The two main sources of Islam are: The Quran and the (authentic) Sunnah of our prophet (saw).

Quran 004.059
O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you. If ye differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if ye do believe in Allah and the Last Day: That is best, and most suitable for final determination.

In other words "refer it to Allah(swt) and His messenger" mean check with the Quran (the word of God) and authentic hadith.

In answer to your question:

Quran 24:30

Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: And Allah is well acquainted with all that they do.

Sahih Bukhari 001.010.504
Narrated Ibn Mas'ud: A man kissed a woman (unlawfully) and then went to the Prophet and informed him. Allah revealed: And offer prayers perfectly At the two ends of the day And in some hours of the night (i.e. the five compulsory prayers). Verily! good deeds remove (annul) the evil deeds (small sins) (11.114). The man asked Allah's Apostle, "Is it for me?" He said, "It is for all my followers."

(Kissing a non-Mahram here is clearly discouraged.)