The solder should not come in contact with the iron's tip
Hmm. That's not what I was taught. "solder, tip, wire, and pad should all intersect" (more or less.
The point is the two materials in the joint need to be heated to soldering temperature before the final correct amount of solder is applied. This may not work well with a clean soldering iron tip and the two parts to be soldered because there is mostly small-point contact.
Adding a very small amount of solder/flux right at the junction of the iron tip and the two parts right at the beginning often really improves the heat transfer between the 3 surfaces. When the solder suddenly flows it's your visual indicator that the temperature is correct.
THEN apply the correct final amount of solder and it flows fast and you're done.
I realized years ago that I had evolved to doing that and I teach people to solder that way, usually with good results.