Dating
   HOME

TheInfoList



OR:

Dating is a stage of romantic relationships in which two individuals engage in an activity together, most often with the intention of evaluating each other's suitability as a partner in a future
intimate relationship An intimate relationship is an interpersonal relationship that involves physical or emotional intimacy. Although an intimate relationship is commonly a sexual relationship, it may also be a non-sexual relationship involving family, friends, ...
. It falls into the category of
courtship Courtship is the period wherein some couples get to know each other prior to a possible marriage. Courtship traditionally may begin after a betrothal and may conclude with the celebration of marriage. A courtship may be an informal and private m ...
, consisting of
social events Social organisms, including human(s), live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and whether the exchange is voluntary or not. Etymology The word "social" derives from ...
carried out by the couple either alone or with others. The protocols and practices of dating and the terms used to describe it vary vastly between cultures, societies, and time periods. Although dating is most often colloquially used to refer to the action of individuals engaging in dates with one other, dating can also encompass a wide range of activities which fall outside participation in social events. The meaning of dating also shifted during the 20th century to include a more informal use referring to a romantic,
sexual Sex is the biological distinction of an organism between male and female. Sex or SEX may also refer to: Biology and behaviour *Animal sexual behaviour Animal sexual behaviour takes many different forms, including within the same species ...
relationship itself beyond an introductory or trial stage. Although informal, this meaning is very common and is used in formal speech as well as writing. Although taboo across most of the world for much of history,
premarital sex Premarital sex is Human sexual activity, sexual activity which is practiced by people before they are Marriage, married. Premarital sex is considered a sin by a number of religions and also considered a Sexual mores, moral issue which is taboo i ...
has become increasingly common within the last century, beginning with the onset of the
sexual revolution The sexual revolution, also known as the sexual liberation, was a social movement that challenged traditional codes of behavior related to sexuality and interpersonal relationships throughout the United States and the developed world from the 1 ...
. Across a greater number of portrayals in film, television, and music, sex within dating has become increasingly accepted as a natural progression of the relationship.


History

Dating as a social practice is a relatively recent phenomenon, emerging only within the last few centuries. From the standpoint of
anthropology Anthropology is the scientific study of humanity, concerned with human behavior, human biology, cultures, societies, and linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. It is called a scientific study because i ...
and
sociology Sociology is a social science that focuses on society, human social behavior, patterns of Interpersonal ties, social relationships, social interaction, and aspects of culture associated with everyday life. It uses various methods of Empirical ...
, dating is linked with other institutions such as marriage and the
family Family (from la, familia) is a Social group, group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth) or Affinity (law), affinity (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of the family is to maintain the well-being of its ...
which have changed rapidly, having been subject to the effects of advances in technology and medicine. As humans societies have evolved from
hunter-gatherer A traditional hunter-gatherer or forager is a human living an ancestrally derived lifestyle (sociology), lifestyle in which most or all food is obtained by foraging, that is, by gathering food from local sources, especially edible wild plants bu ...
s into civilized societies, there have been substantial adjustments in relations between people, with perhaps the only remaining
biological Biology is the scientific study of life. It is a natural science with a broad scope but has several unifying themes that tie it together as a single, coherent field. For instance, all organisms are made up of cells that process hereditary i ...
constant being that a
woman A woman is an adult female human. Prior to adulthood, a female human is referred to as a girl (a female child or Adolescence, adolescent). The plural ''women'' is sometimes used in certain phrases such as "women's rights" to denote female hum ...
and man must have
sexual intercourse Sexual intercourse (or coitus or copulation) is a sexual activity typically involving the insertion and Pelvic thrust, thrusting of the penis into the vagina for Sexual stimulation, sexual pleasure or sexual reproduction, reproduction.Sexual i ...
for human procreation to happen. Historically, marriages in most societies were arranged by parents and older relatives with the goal not being
love Love encompasses a range of strong and positive emotional and mental states, from the most sublime virtue or good habit, the deepest Interpersonal relationship, interpersonal affection, to the simplest pleasure. An example of this range of ...
but legacy and "economic stability and political alliances", according to
anthropologists An anthropologist is a person engaged in the practice of anthropology. Anthropology is the study of aspects of humans within past and present societies. Social anthropology, cultural anthropology and philosophical anthropology study the norms ...
. Accordingly, there was little need for a temporary trial period such as dating before a permanent community-recognized union was formed between a man and a woman. While pair-bonds of varying forms were recognized by most societies as acceptable social arrangements, marriage was reserved for heterosexual pairings and had a transactional nature, where wives were in many cases a form of property being exchanged between father and husband, and who would have to serve the function of reproduction. Communities exerted pressure on people to form pair-bonds in places such as
Europe Europe is a large peninsula conventionally considered a continent in its own right because of its great physical size and the weight of its history and traditions. Europe is also considered a Continent#Subcontinents, subcontinent of Eurasia ...
; in
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, most populous country, with a Population of China, population exceeding 1.4 billion, slig ...
, society "demanded people get married before having a sexual relationship" and many societies found that some formally recognized bond between a man and a woman was the best way of rearing and educating
child A child (: children) is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species of primate, characterized by bipedality, bipedalism and exceptional cognitive skills due to a large and complex Human brain, brain ...
ren as well as helping to avoid conflicts and misunderstandings regarding competition for mates. Generally, during much of recorded history of humans in civilization, and into the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the late 5th to the late 15th centuries, similar to the Post-classical, post-classical period of World history (field), global history. It began with t ...
in
Europe Europe is a large peninsula conventionally considered a continent in its own right because of its great physical size and the weight of its history and traditions. Europe is also considered a Continent#Subcontinents, subcontinent of Eurasia ...
, weddings were seen as
business Business is the practice of making one's living or making money by producing or Trade, buying and selling Product (business), products (such as goods and Service (economics), services). It is also "any activity or enterprise entered into for pr ...
arrangements between families, while romance was something that happened outside of marriage discreetly, such as covert meetings. The 12th-century book '' The Art of Courtly Love'' advised that "True love can have no place between husband and wife." According to one view, clandestine meetings between men and women, generally outside of marriage or before marriage, were the precursors to today's dating. From about 1700 a worldwide movement perhaps described as the "empowerment of the individual" took hold, leading towards greater emancipation of women and equality of individuals. Men and women became more equal politically, financially, and socially in many nations. Women eventually won the right to vote in many countries and own property and receive equal treatment by the law, and these changes had profound impacts on the relationships between men and women. Parental influence declined. In many societies, individuals could decide—on their own—whether they should marry, whom they should marry, and when they should marry. A few centuries ago, dating was sometimes described as a "courtship ritual where young women entertained gentleman callers, usually in the home, under the watchful eye of a chaperone," but increasingly, in many Western countries, it became a self-initiated activity with two young people going out as a couple in public together. Still, dating varies considerably by nation, custom, religious upbringing, technology, and social class, and important exceptions with regards to individual freedoms remain as many countries today still practice arranged marriages, request dowries, and forbid same-sex pairings. Although in many countries, movies, meals, and meeting in coffeehouses and other places is now popular, as are advice books suggesting various strategies for men and women, in other parts of the world, such as in South Asia and many parts of the Middle East, being alone in public as a couple is not only frowned upon but can even lead to either person being socially ostracized. The 1849 book ''The Whole Art of Polite Courtship; Or the Ladies & Gentlemen's Love Letter Writer'' exemplifies the importance of
love letters A love letter is an expression of love Love encompasses a range of strong and positive emotional and mental states, from the most sublime virtue or good habit, the deepest Interpersonal relationship, interpersonal affection, to the ...
in 19th century dating (then known as
courtship Courtship is the period wherein some couples get to know each other prior to a possible marriage. Courtship traditionally may begin after a betrothal and may conclude with the celebration of marriage. A courtship may be an informal and private m ...
, due to its goal of marriage). The book contains 31 love letter samples for men and women in different careers, presumably for readers to draw inspiration when writing their own romantic correspondences.
Etiquette Etiquette () is the set of norms of personal behaviour in politeness, polite society, usually occurring in the form of an ethical code of the expected and accepted social behavior, social behaviours that accord with the convention (norm), conve ...
books, such as the 1852 ''Etiquette of Courtship and Matrimony,'' detail socially appropriate ways to meet lovers, date, arrange a wedding, honeymoon, and avoid arguments. In the twentieth century, dating was sometimes seen as a precursor to marriage (i.e.
courtship Courtship is the period wherein some couples get to know each other prior to a possible marriage. Courtship traditionally may begin after a betrothal and may conclude with the celebration of marriage. A courtship may be an informal and private m ...
) but it could also be considered as an end-in-itself, that is, an informal social activity akin to
friendship Friendship is a Interpersonal relationship, relationship of mutual affection between people. It is a stronger form of interpersonal bond than an "acquaintance" or an "association", such as a classmate, neighbor, coworker, or colleague. In so ...
. It generally happened in that portion of a person's life before the age of marriage, but as marriage became less permanent with the advent of
divorce Divorce (also known as dissolution of marriage) is the process of terminating a marriage or marital union. Divorce usually entails the canceling or reorganizing of the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage, thus dissolving the ...
, dating could happen at other times in peoples lives as well. People became more mobile. Rapidly developing
technology Technology is the application of knowledge to reach practical goals in a specifiable and Reproducibility, reproducible way. The word ''technology'' may also mean the product of such an endeavor. The use of technology is widely prevalent in me ...
played a huge role: new
communication technology Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over wire, radio, Optical system, optical, or other Electromagnetism, electromagnetic systems. It has its origin in the desire of humans for communication ov ...
such as the
telephone A telephone is a telecommunications device that permits two or more users to conduct a conversation when they are too far apart to be easily heard directly. A telephone converts sound, typically and most efficiently the human voice, into ele ...
,
Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a '' network of networks'' that consists of private, p ...
and
text messaging Text messaging, or texting, is the act of composing and sending electronic messages, typically consisting of alphabetic and numeric characters, between two or more users of mobile devices, desktop computer, desktops/laptops, or another type of ...
enabled dates to be arranged without face-to-face contact.
Cars A car or automobile is a motor vehicle with wheels. Most definitions of ''cars'' say that they run primarily on roads, seat one to eight people, have four wheels, and mainly transport people A person (plural, : people) is a being tha ...
extended the range of dating as well as enabled back-seat sexual exploration. In the mid-twentieth century, the advent of
birth control Birth control, also known as contraception, anticonception, and fertility control, is the use of methods or devices to prevent unwanted pregnancy Pregnancy is the time during which one or more offspring develops (gestation, gestates) i ...
as well as safer procedures for
abortion Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy by removal or expulsion of an embryo or fetus. An abortion that occurs without intervention is known as a miscarriage or "spontaneous abortion"; these occur in approximately 30% to 40% of pregnan ...
changed the equation considerably, and there was less pressure to marry as a means for satisfying sexual urges. New types of relationships formed; it was possible for people to live together without marrying and without
children A child (plural, : children) is a human being between the stages of childbirth, birth and puberty, or between the Development of the human body, developmental period of infancy and puberty. The legal definition of ''child'' generally refers ...
. Information about
human sexuality Human sexuality is the way people experience and express themselves Human sexual activity, sexually. This involves biological, psychological, Physical intimacy, physical, erotic, Emotional intimacy, emotional, social, or Spirituality, spiritua ...
grew, and with it an acceptance of all types of consensual sexual orientations is becoming more common. Today, the institution of dating continues to evolve at a rapid rate with new possibilities and choices opening up particularly through
online dating Online dating, also known as Internet dating, Virtual dating, or Mobile app dating, is a relatively recent method used by people with a goal of searching for and interacting with potential romantic or sexual partners, via the internet ...
. Humans have been compared to other species in terms of sexual behavior.
Neurobiologist A neuroscientist (or neurobiologist) is a scientist who has specialised knowledge in neuroscience, a branch of biology that deals with the physiology, biochemistry, psychology, anatomy and molecular biology of neurons, Biological neural network, n ...
Robert Sapolsky Robert Morris Sapolsky (born April 6, 1957) is an American neuroendocrinology Neuroendocrinology is the branch of biology (specifically of physiology) which studies the interaction between the nervous system and the endocrine system; i.e. how ...
constructed a reproductive spectrum with opposite poles being tournament species, in which males compete fiercely for reproductive privileges with females, and
pair bond In biology, a pair bond is the strong affinity that develops in some species between a mating pair, often leading to the production and rearing of offspring and potentially a lifelong bond. Pair-bonding is a term coined in the 1940s that is freque ...
arrangements, in which a male and female will bond for life. According to Sapolsky, humans are somewhat in the middle of this spectrum, in the sense that humans form pair bonds, but there is the possibility of cheating or changing partners. These species-particular behavior patterns provide a context for aspects of
human reproduction Human reproduction is sexual reproduction that results in human fertilization to produce a human offspring. It typically involves sexual intercourse between a sexual maturity, sexually mature human male and female. During sexual intercourse, the i ...
, including dating. However, one particularity of the human species is that pair bonds are often formed without necessarily having the intention of reproduction. In modern times, emphasis on the institution of marriage, traditionally described as a male-female bond, has obscured pair bonds formed by same-sex and transgender couples, and that many heterosexual couples also bond for life without offspring, or that often pairs that do have offspring separate. Thus, the concept of marriage is changing widely in many countries.


Etymology

The earliest usage of the noun "date" is in 1896 by George Ade, a columnist for the Chicago Record. Date referred to "public" courtship, when a woman would meet a man publicly rather than privately at a residence or at court. In Ade's 1899 "Fabels in Slang", he used the term "Date Book" to describe a type of ledger system a cashier used to track dates with suitors until she married.


As a social relationship


Wide variation in behavior patterns

Social rules regarding dating vary considerably according to variables such as country, social class, race, religion, age, sexual orientation and gender. Behavior patterns are generally unwritten and constantly changing. There are considerable differences between social and personal
values In ethics and social sciences, value denotes the degree of importance of something or action, with the aim of determining which actions are best to do or what way is best to live (normative ethics in ethics), or to describe the significance of dif ...
. Each culture has particular patterns which determine such choices as whether the man asks the woman out, where people might meet, whether kissing is acceptable on a first date, the substance of conversation, who should pay for meals or entertainment, or whether splitting expenses is allowed. Among the
Karen people The Karen, kjp, ပ်ုဖၠုံဆိုဒ်, my, ကရင်လူမျိုး, , th, กะเหรี่ยง ( ), also known as the Kayin, Kariang or Kawthoolese, are an ethnolinguistic group of Sino-Tibetan language ...
in
Burma Myanmar, ; UK pronunciations: US pronunciations incl. . Note: Wikipedia's IPA conventions require indicating /r/ even in British English although only some British English speakers pronounce r at the end of syllables. As John Wells explai ...
and
Thailand Thailand ( ), historically known as Siam () and officially the Kingdom of Thailand, is a country in Southeast Asia, located at the centre of the Mainland Southeast Asia, Indochinese Peninsula, spanning , with a population of almost 70 mi ...
, women are expected to write love poetry and give gifts to win over the man.Phan, Zoya (2009). Little Daughter: A Memoir of Survival in Burma and the West.
Simon & Schuster Simon & Schuster () is an American publishing company and a subsidiary of Paramount Global. It was founded in New York City on January 2, 1924 by Richard L. Simon and M. Lincoln Schuster. As of 2016, Simon & Schuster was the third largest publi ...
.
Since dating can be stressful, there is the possibility of humor to try to reduce tensions. For example, director
Blake Edwards Blake Edwards (born William Blake Crump; July 26, 1922 – December 15, 2010) was an American film director, producer, screenwriter and actor. Edwards began his career in the 1940s as an actor, but he soon began writing screenplays and radio s ...
wanted to date singing star
Julie Andrews Dame Julie Andrews (born Julia Elizabeth Wells; 1 October 1935) is an English actress, singer, and author. She has garnered List of awards and nominations received by Julie Andrews, numerous accolades throughout her career spanning over seven ...
, and he joked in parties about her persona by saying that her "endlessly cheerful governess" image from movies such as '' Mary Poppins'' and ''
The Sound of Music ''The Sound of Music'' is a musical theatre, musical with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, and a book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. It is based on the 1949 memoir of Maria von Trapp, ''The Story of the Trapp Fami ...
'' gave her the image of possibly having "lilacs for pubic hair"; Andrews appreciated his humor, sent him lilacs, dated him and later married him, and the couple stayed together for 41 years until his death in 2010.


Different meanings of the term

While the term ''dating'' has many meanings, the most common refers to a trial period in which two people explore whether to take the relationship further towards a more permanent relationship; in this sense, dating refers to the time when people are physically together in public as opposed to the earlier time period in which people are arranging the date, perhaps by corresponding by email or text or phone. Another meaning of the term ''dating'' is to describe a stage in a person's life when he or she is actively pursuing romantic relationships with different people. If two unmarried celebrities are seen in public together, they are often described as "dating" which means they were seen in public together, and it is not clear whether they are merely friends, exploring a more intimate relationship, or are romantically involved. A related sense of the term is when two people have been out in public only a few times but have not yet committed to a relationship; in this sense, ''dating'' describes an initial trial period and can be contrasted with "being in a committed relationship".


Evaluation

One of the main purposes of dating is for two or more people to evaluate one another's suitability as a long term companion or spouse. Often physical characteristics, personality, financial status, and other aspects of the involved persons are judged and, as a result, feelings can be hurt and confidence shaken. Because of the uncertainty of the whole situation, the desire to be acceptable to the other person, and the possibility of rejection, dating can be very stressful for all parties involved. Some studies have shown that dating tends to be extremely difficult for people with
social anxiety disorder Social anxiety disorder (SAD), also known as social phobia, is an anxiety disorder characterized by sentiments of fear and anxiety in social situations, causing considerable distress and impaired ability to function in at least some aspect ...
. While some of what happens on a date is guided by an understanding of basic, unspoken rules, there is considerable room to experiment, and there are numerous sources of advice available. Sources of advice include magazine articles, self-help books, dating coaches, friends, and many other sources. And the advice given can pertain to all facets of dating, including such aspects as where to go, what to say, what not to say, what to wear, how to end a date, how to flirt, and differing approaches regarding first dates versus subsequent dates. In addition, advice can apply to periods before a date, such as how to meet prospective partners, as well as after a date, such as how to break off a relationship. There are now more than 500 businesses worldwide that offer dating coach services—with almost 350 of those operating in the U.S. And the number of these businesses has surged since 2005 Frequency of dating varies by person and situation; among singles actively seeking partners, 36% had been on no dates in the past three months, 13% had one date, 22% had two to four dates and 25% had five or more dates, according to a 2005 U.S. survey.


Meeting places

There are numerous ways to meet potential dates, including blind dates, classified ads, dating websites, hobbies, holidays, office romance, social networking, speed dating, or simply talking in public places, vehicles or houses. A Pew study in 2005 which examined Internet users in long-term relationships including marriage, found that many met by contacts at work or at school. The survey found that 55% of relationship-seeking singles agreed that it was "difficult to meet people where they live." Work is a common place to meet potential spouses, although there are some indications that the Internet is overtaking the workplace as an introduction venue. In Britain, one in five marry a co-worker, but half of all workplace romances end within three months. One drawback of office dating is that a bad date can lead to "workplace awkwardness."


Gender differences

There is a general perception that men and women approach dating differently, hence the reason why advice for each gender varies greatly, particularly when dispensed by popular magazines. For example, it is a common belief that heterosexual men often seek women based on
beauty Beauty is commonly described as a feature of objects that makes these objects pleasurable to perceive. Such objects include landscapes, sunsets, humans and works of art. Beauty, together with art and taste, is the main subject of aesthetics, o ...
and
youth Youth is the time of life when one is young. The word, youth, can also mean the time between childhood and adulthood (Maturity (psychological), maturity), but it can also refer to one's peak, in terms of health or the period of life known as b ...
.
Psychology Psychology is the science, scientific study of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciousness, conscious and Unconscious mind, unconscious phenomena, including feelings and thoughts. It is an academic discipline of immens ...
researchers at the
University of Michigan The University of Michigan (U-M, UMich, or Michigan) is a public university, public research university in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Founded in 1817 by an act of the old Michigan Territory as the History of the University of Michigan#The Catholepistemi ...
suggested that men prefer women who seem to be "malleable and awed", and prefer younger women with subordinate jobs such as secretaries and assistants and fact-checkers rather than executive-type women. Online dating patterns suggest that men are more likely to initiate online exchanges (over 75%) and extrapolate that men are less "choosy", seek younger women, and "cast a wide net". In a similar vein, the stereotype for heterosexual women is that they seek well-educated men who are their age or older with high-paying jobs. Evolutionary psychology suggests that "women are the choosier of the genders" since "reproduction is a much larger investment for women" who have "more to lose by making bad choices." For example, some have noted that educated women in many countries including
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Republic of Italy, is a country in Southern Europe. It is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, and its territory largely coincides with the Italy (geographical region) ...
and
Russia Russia (, , ), or the Russian Federation, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Eastern Europe and North Asia, Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, largest country in the ...
, and the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
find it difficult to have a
career The career is an individual's metaphorical "journey" through learning, work (human activity), work and other aspects of personal life, life. There are a number of ways to define career and the term is used in a variety of ways. Definitions T ...
as well as raise a family, prompting a number of writers to suggest how women should approach dating and how to time their careers and personal life. The advice comes with the assumption that the work-life balance is inherently a "woman's problem." In many societies, there is a view that women should fulfill the role of primary caregivers, with little to no spousal support and with few services by employers or government such as parental leave or child care. Accordingly, an issue regarding dating is the subject of career timing which generates controversy. Some views reflect a traditional notion of gender roles. For example, Danielle Crittenden in ''What Our Mothers Didn't Tell Us'' argued that having both a career and family at the same time was taxing and stressful for a woman; as a result, she suggested that women should date in their early twenties with a seriousness of purpose, marry when their relative beauty permitted them to find a reliable partner, have children, then return to work in their early thirties with kids in school; Crittenden acknowledged that splitting a career path with a ten-year baby-raising hiatus posed difficulties. There are contrasting views which suggest that women should focus on careers in their twenties and thirties. In studies comparing children with heterosexual families and children with homosexual families, there have been no major differences noted; though some claims suggest that kids with homosexual parents end up more well adjusted than their peers with heterosexual parents, purportedly due to the lack of marginalizing gender roles in same-sex families. It is increasingly common today, however, with new generations and in a growing number of countries, to frame the work-life balance issue as a social problem rather than a gender problem. With the advent of a changing workplace, the increased participation of women in the
labor force The workforce or labour force is a concept referring to the Pooling (resource management), pool of human beings either in employment or in unemployment. It is generally used to describe those working for a single types of companies, company or ...
, an increasing number of men who are picking up their share of parenting and housework, and more governments and industries committing themselves to achieving gender equality, the question of whether or not, or when to start a family is slowly being recognized as an issue that touches (or should touch) both genders.


Love

The prospect of love often entails anxiety, sometimes with a fear of commitment and a fear of intimacy for persons of both sexes. One woman said "being really intimate with someone in a committed sense is kind of threatening" and described love as "the most terrifying thing." In her Psychology Today column, research scientist, columnist, and author Debby Herbenick compared it to a roller coaster: One dating adviser agreed that love is risky, and wrote that "There is truly only one real danger that we must concern ourselves with and that is closing our hearts to the possibility that love exists."


Controversy

What happens in the dating world can reflect larger currents within popular culture. For example, when the 1995 book ''
The Rules ''The Rules: Time-tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right'' is a self-help book by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider, originally published in 1995. The book suggests rules that a woman should follow in order to attract and marry the ma ...
'' appeared, it touched off media controversy about how men and women should relate to each other, with different positions taken by columnist
Maureen Dowd Maureen Brigid Dowd (; born January 14, 1952) is an American columnist for ''The New York Times'' and an author. During the 1970s and early 1980s, Dowd worked for ''The Washington Star'' and ''Time Magazine, Time'', writing news, sports and fe ...
of ''
The New York Times ''The New York Times'' (''the Times'', ''NYT'', or the Gray Lady) is a daily newspaper based in New York City with a worldwide readership reported in 2020 to comprise a declining 840,000 paid print subscribers, and a growing 6 million paid d ...
'' and British writer Kira Cochrane of ''
The Guardian ''The Guardian'' is a British daily newspaper. It was founded in 1821 as ''The Manchester Guardian'', and changed its name in 1959. Along with its sister papers ''The Observer'' and ''The Guardian Weekly'', ''The Guardian'' is part of the Gu ...
'' and others. It has even caused
anthropologists An anthropologist is a person engaged in the practice of anthropology. Anthropology is the study of aspects of humans within past and present societies. Social anthropology, cultural anthropology and philosophical anthropology study the norms ...
such as Helen Fisher to suggest that dating is a game designed to "impress and capture" which is not about "honesty" but "novelty", "excitement" and even "danger", which can boost
dopamine Dopamine (DA, a contraction of 3,4-dihydroxyphenethylamine) is a neuromodulatory molecule that plays several important roles in cells. It is an organic compound, organic chemical of the catecholamine and phenethylamine families. Dopamine const ...
levels in the brain. The subject of dating has spun off popular culture terms such as the ''
friend zone In popular culture, the friend zone (or friendzone) is a relational concept, describing a situation in which one person in a mutual friendship wishes to enter into a Intimate relationship, romantic or sexual relationship with the other perso ...
'' which refers to a situation in which a dating relation evolves into a platonic non-sexual union.


Risks of violence

Since people dating often do not know each other well, there is the risk of
violence Violence is the use of physical force so as to injure, abuse, damage, or destroy. Other definitions are also used, such as the World Health Organization's definition of violence as "the intentional use of physical force or Power (social and p ...
, including date rape. According to one report, there was a 10% chance of violence between students happening between a
boyfriend A boyfriend is a male Friendship, friend or Interpersonal relationship, acquaintance, often specifying a regular male companion with whom a person is Romance (love), romantically or Sexual relationship, sexually involved. A boyfriend can als ...
and
girlfriend A girlfriend is a female Friendship, friend, Interpersonal relationship, acquaintance or Domestic partnership, partner, usually a female companion with whom one is Platonic love, platonically, Romance (love), romantically, or Sexual relations ...
, sometimes described as "intimate partner violence", over a 12–month period. A 2004 estimate was that 20% of U.S. high school girls aged 14–18 were "hit, slapped, shoved or forced into sexual activity". Violence while dating isn't limited to any one culture or group or religion, but remains an issue in different countries. (It is usually the female who is the victim, but there have been cases where males have been hurt as well.) Sara McCorquodale suggests that women meeting strangers on dates meet initially in busy public places, share details of upcoming dates with friends or family so they know where they'll be and who they'll be with, avoid revealing one's surname or address, and conduct searches on them on the Internet prior to the date. One advisor suggested: Don't leave drinks unattended; have an exit plan if things go badly; and ask a friend to call you on your cell phone an hour into the date to ask how it's going.


Technology

The Internet is shaping the way new generations date.
Facebook Facebook is an online social media and social networking service owned by American company Meta Platforms. Founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg with fellow Harvard College students and roommates Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dusti ...
,
Skype Skype () is a proprietary telecommunications application operated by Skype Technologies, a division of Microsoft Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational corporation, multinational technology company, technology corporation ...
,
WhatsApp WhatsApp (also called WhatsApp Messenger) is an internationally available freeware, cross-platform, Centralized computing, centralized instant messaging (IM) and Voice over IP, voice-over-IP (VoIP) service owned by American company Meta Platfor ...
, and other applications have made remote connections possible. Particularly for the LGBTQ+ community, where the dating pool can be more difficult to navigate due to discrimination and having a 'minority' status in society. Online dating tools are an alternate way to meet potential dates. Many people use
smartphone A smartphone is a Mobile device, portable computer device that combines Mobile phone, mobile telephone and Mobile computing, computing functions into one unit. They are distinguished from feature phones by their stronger hardware capabilities ...
apps such as
Tinder Tinder is easily combustible material used to start a fire. Tinder is a finely divided, open material which will begin to glow under a shower of sparks. Air is gently wafted over the glowing tinder until it bursts into flame. The flaming tinder i ...
,
Grindr Grindr () is a location-based social networking A social network is a social structure made up of a set of social actors (such as individuals or organizations), sets of Dyad (sociology), dyadic ties, and other Social relation, social inter ...
, or
Bumble Bumble is an online dating application. Profiles of potential matches are displayed to users, who can "swipe left" to reject a candidate or "swipe right" to indicate interest. In heterosexual Heterosexuality is Romance (love), romantic a ...
which allow a user to accept or reject another user with a single swipe of a finger.CQ Press, CQ Researcher, Barbara Mantel
Online dating: Can apps and algorithms lead to true love?
Retrieved June 12, 2016, "...Yet some researchers say dating companies' matchmaking algorithms are no better than Chance for providing suitable partners. At the same time, critics worry that the abundance of prospective dates available online is undermining relationships..."
Some critics have suggested that matchmaking algorithms are imperfect and are "no better than chance" for the task of identifying acceptable partners. Others have suggested that the speed and availability of emerging technologies may be undermining the possibility for couples to have long-term meaningful relationships when finding a replacement partner has potentially become too easy.


Worldwide

Dating customs and habits vary considerably throughout the world. The average duration of courtship before proceeding to
engagement An engagement or betrothal is the period of time between the declaration of acceptance of a marriage proposal and the marriage itself (which is typically but not always commenced with a wedding). During this period, a couple is said to be ''fi ...
or
marriage Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock, is a culturally and often legally recognized union between people called spouses. It establishes rights and obligations between them, as well as between them and their children, and between t ...
varies considerably throughout the world.


Africa


Ethiopia

According to one source, there are four ways that marriage can happen among the
Nyangatom people The Nyangatom also known as Donyiro and pejoratively as Bumé are Nilotic agro-pastoralists inhabiting the border of southwestern Ethiopia, southeastern South Sudan, and the Ilemi Triangle. They speak the Nyangatom language. Overview The Nyangat ...
: (1) arranged marriage, when well-respected elders are sent to the girl's family on behalf of the boy's family; (2) courtship or dating after a friendly meeting between boy and girl such as at a market place or holiday where there's dancing; (3) abduction, such as during a blood feud between families; (4) inheritance.


North Africa

In
North Africa North Africa, or Northern Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, and it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Mauritania in t ...
like in many parts of the Middle East, sex without marriage is considered unacceptable. Dating in
North Africa North Africa, or Northern Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, and it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Mauritania in t ...
is predominantly done under family supervision, usually in a public place.


Asia

Asia is a mix of traditional approaches with involvement by parents and extended families such as arranged marriages as well as modern dating. In many cultural traditions, including some in
South Asia South Asia is the southern subregion of Asia Asia (, ) is one of the world's most notable geographical regions, which is either considered a continent in its own right or a subcontinent of Eurasia, which shares the continental land ...
, and the
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233: ) is a geopolitical region commonly encompassing Arabian Peninsula, Arabia (including the Arabian Peninsula and Bahrain), Anatolia, Asia Minor (Asian part of Turkey except Hatay Pro ...
and to some extent
East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia, which is defined in both Geography, geographical and culture, ethno-cultural terms. The modern State (polity), states of East Asia include China, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, and Taiwan. ...
, as in the case of Omiai in
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally , ''Nihonkoku'') is an island country in East Asia. It is situated in the northwest Pacific Ocean, and is bordered on the west by the Sea of Japan, while extending from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north ...
and the similar "Xiangqin" (相親) practiced in the Greater China Area, a date may be arranged by a third party, who may be a family member, acquaintance, or professional matchmaker.


China

Patterns of dating are changing in China, with increased modernization bumping into traditional ways. A 2003 report in ''China Daily'' suggested that dating for most Chinese university women was "difficult", required work, stole time away from academic advancement, and placed women in a precarious position of having to balance personal success against traditional Chinese relationships. Many women were reported to have high standards for men they sought, but also worried that their academic credentials could "scare away more traditional Chinese men." It was reportedly difficult finding places to have privacy, since many dormitory rooms had eight or more pupils in one suite, while dating in restaurants tended to be expensive. One student remarked: "American couples drink and dance together. But in China, we study together."
Romantic love Romance or romantic love is a feeling of love for, or a Interpersonal attraction, strong attraction towards another person, and the Courtship, courtship behaviors undertaken by an individual to express those overall feelings and resultant emot ...
is more difficult during times of financial stress, and economic forces can encourage singles, particularly women, to select a partner primarily on financial considerations. Some men postpone marriage until their financial position is more secure and use wealth to help attract women. One trend is towards exclusive matchmaking events for the 'rich and powerful'; for example, an annual June event in
Wuhan Wuhan (, ; ; ) is the capital of Hubei, Hubei Province in the China, People's Republic of China. It is the largest city in Hubei and the most populous city in Central China, with a population of over eleven million, the List of cities in China ...
with expensive entry-ticket prices for men (99,999 RMB) lets financially secure men choose so-called ''bikini brides'' based on their
beauty Beauty is commonly described as a feature of objects that makes these objects pleasurable to perceive. Such objects include landscapes, sunsets, humans and works of art. Beauty, together with art and taste, is the main subject of aesthetics, o ...
and
education Education is a purposeful activity directed at achieving certain aims, such as transmitting knowledge or fostering skills and character traits. These aims may include the development of understanding, rationality, kindness, and honesty ...
, and the financial exclusivity of the event was criticized by the official news outlet ''
China Daily ''China Daily'' () is an English-language daily newspaper owned by the Central Propaganda Department of the Chinese Communist Party The Chinese Communist Party (CCP), officially the Communist Party of China (CPC), is the founding and O ...
''. Surveys though from 2015 to 2018 suggest that the majority of Chinese respondents (especially college students) would place the character and personality of their partners above material assets, with also increasing acceptance towards evenly splitting bills or
going Dutch "Going Dutch" (sometimes written with lower-case dutch) is a term that indicates that each person participating in a paid activity covers their own expenses, rather than any one person in the group defraying the cost for the entire group. The term ...
. There have been conflicting reports on expatriate dating in China's capital city. One account in 2006 suggested the dating scene in
Beijing } Beijing ( ; ; ), alternatively romanized as Peking ( ), is the capital of the People's Republic of China. It is the center of power and development of the country. Beijing is the world's most populous national capital city, with over 21 ...
to be "sad" with particular difficulties for foreign women hoping to find romance. It was reportedly due to the cold, uninterested, or unappealing attitudes of the male expats and the shyness and cultural differences of the Chinese men, and another account in 2010 documented similar, if slightly improved results. A different report in 2010, though, suggested that some Chinese men preferred Western women, viewing them as less girlish and materialistic, and also more independent and straightforward than Chinese women. A 2016 survey of Chinese students abroad, however, imply there have been significant barriers to foreign dating, and the intermarriage rate of Chinese women in Shanghai has been decreasing. A new format of Internet "QQ" chat rooms is gaining ground against so-called "traditional dating agencies" in Changsha (Hunan Province); the QQ rooms have 20,000 members, and service is much less expensive than dating agencies which can charge 100 to 200 yuan ($13 to US$26) per introduction. Internet dating, with computer-assisted matchmaking, is becoming more prevalent; one site supposedly has 23 million registered users.
Speed dating Speed dating is a formalized matchmaking Matchmaking is the process of matching two or more people together, usually for the purpose of marriage, in which case the matchmaker is also known as a marriage broker. The word is also used in the ...
has come to Shanghai and other cities. Worldwide online matchmakers have explored entering the Chinese market via partnerships or acquisitions. Each year, November 11 has become an unofficial holiday known as China's Singles' Day when singles are encouraged to make an extra effort to find a partner. Worried parents of unmarried children often arrange dates for their offspring on this day as well as others. Before the day approaches, thousands of college students and young workers post messages describing their plans for this day. In Arabic numerals, the day looks like "1111", that is, "like four single people standing together", and there was speculation that it originated in the late 1990s when college students celebrated being single with "a little self-mockery" but a differing explanation dates it back to events in the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Romanum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Roman Republic, Republican period of ancient Rome. As a polity, it included large territorial holdings aro ...
. For many, Singles' Day offers people a way to "demonstrate their stance on
love Love encompasses a range of strong and positive emotional and mental states, from the most sublime virtue or good habit, the deepest Interpersonal relationship, interpersonal affection, to the simplest pleasure. An example of this range of ...
and
marriage Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock, is a culturally and often legally recognized union between people called spouses. It establishes rights and obligations between them, as well as between them and their children, and between t ...
". In 2005, a government-sponsored agency called Shanghai Women's Activities Centre (Chinese: Jinguoyuan) organized periodic matchmaking events often attended by parents. There has been concern that young people's views of marriage have changed because of economic opportunities, with many choosing deliberately not to get married, as well as young marrieds who have decided not to have children, or to postpone having them. Cohabiting relationships are tolerated more often. Communities where people live but do not know each other well are becoming more common in China like elsewhere, leading to fewer opportunities to meet somebody locally without assistance.
Divorce Divorce (also known as dissolution of marriage) is the process of terminating a marriage or marital union. Divorce usually entails the canceling or reorganizing of the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage, thus dissolving the ...
rates are rising in cities such as
Shanghai Shanghai (; , , Standard Mandarin pronunciation: ) is one of the four direct-administered municipalities of the People's Republic of China (PRC). The city is located on the southern estuary of the Yangtze River, with the Huangpu River flow ...
, which recorded 27,376 divorces in 2004, an increase of 30% from 2003. Relationships between students preparing for college are frowned upon by many parents in China. There was a report that sexual relations among middle schoolers in
Guangzhou Guangzhou (, ; ; or ; ), also known as Canton () and alternatively romanized as Kwongchow or Kwangchow, is the capital and largest city of Guangdong province in southern China. Located on the Pearl River about north-northwest of Hong K ...
sometimes resulted in abortions. There have been reports of scams involving get-rich-quick schemes; a forty-year-old migrant worker was one of a thousand seduced by an advertisement which read "Rich woman willing to pay 3 million yuan for sperm donor" but the worker was cheated out of his savings of 190,000 yuan (US$27,500). The dating game show '' If You Are the One'', titled after Chinese personal ads, featured some provocative contestants making sexual allusions and the show reportedly ran afoul of authorities and had to change its approach. The two-host format involves a panel of 24 single women questioning a man to decide if he'll remain on the show; if he survives, he can choose a girl to date; the show gained notoriety for controversial remarks and opinions such as model Ma Nuo saying she'd prefer to " weep in a BMW than laugh on a bike", who was later banned from making appearances.


India

Indian dating is heavily influenced by the custom of arranged marriages which require little dating, although there are strong indications that the institution is undergoing change, and that ''love marriages'' are becoming more accepted as India becomes more intertwined with the rest of the world. In the cities at least, it is becoming more accepted for two people to meet and try to find if there is compatibility. The majority of Indian marriages are arranged by parents and relatives, and one estimate is that 7 of every 10 marriages are arranged. Sometimes the bride and groom don't meet until the wedding, and there is no courtship or wooing before the joining. In the past, it meant that couples were chosen from the same
caste Caste is a form of social stratification characterised by endogamy, hereditary transmission of a style of life which often includes an occupation, ritual status in a hierarchy, and customary social interaction and exclusion based on cultural ...
and
religion Religion is usually defined as a social- cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, morals, beliefs, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or religious organization, organizations, that generally relates hu ...
and economic status. There is widespread support for arranged marriages generally. Writer Lavina Melwani described a happy marriage which had been arranged by the bride's father, and noted that during the engagement, the woman was allowed to go out with him before they were married on only one occasion; the couple married and found happiness. Supporters of arranged marriage suggest that there is a risk of having the marriage fall apart whether it was arranged by relatives or by the couple themselves, and that what's important is not how the marriage came to be but what the couple does after being married. Parents and relatives exert considerable influence, sometimes posting matrimonial ads in newspapers and online. Customs encourage families to put people together, and discourage sexual experimentation as well as so-called ''serial courtship'' in which a prospective bride or groom dates but continually rejects possible partners, since the interests of the family are seen as more important than the romantic needs of the people marrying. Indian writers, such as Mistry in his book ''Family Matters'', sometimes depict arranged marriages as unhappy. Writer Sarita Sarvate of ''India Currents'' thinks people calculate their "value" on the "Indian marriage market" according to measures such as family status, and that arranged marriages typically united spouses who often didn't love each other. She suggested ''love'' was out of place in this world because it risked passion and "sordid" sexual liaisons. Love, as she sees it, is "Waking up in the morning and thinking about someone." Writer Jennifer Marshall described the wife in an arranged marriage as living in a world of solitude without much happiness, and feeling pressured by relatives to conceive a son so she wouldn't be considered as "barren" by her husband's family; in this sense, the arranged marriage didn't bring "love, happiness, and companionship." Writer Vijaysree Venkatraman believes arranged marriages are unlikely to disappear soon, commenting in his book review of Shoba Narayan's ''Monsoon Diary'', which has a detailed description of the steps involved in a present-day arranged marriage. There are indications that even the institution of arranged marriages is changing, with marriages increasingly being arranged by "unknown, unfamiliar sources" and less based on local families who know each other. Writer Lavina Melwani in ''Little India'' compared Indian marriages to business deals: Relationships in which dating is undertaken by two people, who choose their dates without parental involvement and sometimes carry on clandestine get-togethers, has become increasingly common. When this leads to a wedding, the resulting unions are sometimes called ''love marriages''. There are increasing instances when couples initiate contact on their own, particularly if they live in a foreign country; in one case, a couple met surreptitiously over a game of cards. Indians who move abroad to Britain or America often follow the cultural patterns of their new country: for example, one Indian woman met a white American man while skiing, and married him, and the formerly "all-important relatives" were reduced to bystanders trying to influence things ineffectively. Factors operating worldwide, such as increased affluence, the need for longer education, and greater mobility have lessened the appeal for arranged marriages, and these trends have affected criteria about which possible partners are acceptable, making it more likely that pairings will cross previously impenetrable barriers such as caste or ethnic background.
Indian Americans Indian Americans or Indo-Americans are citizens of the United States with ancestry from India. The United States Census Bureau uses the term Asian Indian to avoid confusion with Native Americans in the United States, Native Americans, who ha ...
in the U.S. sometimes participate in ''Singles Meets'' organized by websites which happen about once a month, with 100 participants at each event; an organizer did not have firm statistics about the success rate leading to a long-term relationship but estimated about one in every ten members finds a partner through the site. Dating websites are gaining ground in India. Writer Rupa Dev preferred websites which emphasized authenticity and screened people before entering their names into their databases, making it a safer environment overall, so that site users can have greater trust that it is safe to date others on the site. Dev suggested that dating websites were much better than the anonymous chatrooms of the 1990s. During the interval before marriage, whether it is an arranged or a love marriage,
private detective A private investigator (often abbreviated to PI and informally called a private eye), a private detective, or inquiry agent is a person who can be hired by individuals or groups to undertake investigatory law services. Private investigators of ...
s have been hired to check up on a prospective bride or groom, or to verify claims about a potential spouse made in newspaper advertising, and there are reports that such snooping is increasing. Detectives investigate former amorous relationships and can include fellow college students, former police officers skilled in investigations, and medical workers "with access to health records." Transsexuals and eunuchs have begun using Internet dating in some states in India. The practice of dating runs against some religious traditions, and one particular Hindu group Sri Ram Sena threatened to "force unwed couples" to marry, if they were discovered dating on
Valentine's Day Valentine's Day, also called Saint Valentine's Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is celebrated annually on February 14. It originated as a Christian feast day honoring one or two early Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine and, throu ...
; a fundamentalist leader said "drinking and dancing in bars and celebrating this day has nothing to do with Hindu traditions." The threat sparked a protest via the Internet which resulted in cartloads of pink panties being sent to the fundamentalist leader's office. as part of the Pink Chaddi Campaign (Pink Underwear/Panties Campaign). Another group,
Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha The Hindu Mahasabha (officially Akhil Bhārat Hindū Mahāsabhā, ) is a Hindu nationalist political party in India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and depende ...
, threatened to do the same, for which it was severely mocked online and on the day after
Valentine's Day Valentine's Day, also called Saint Valentine's Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is celebrated annually on February 14. It originated as a Christian feast day honoring one or two early Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine and, throu ...
, had protesters outside its Delhi headquarters, with people (mockingly) complaining that it did not fulfill its "promise", with some having come with materials for the wedding rituals.


Japan

There is a type of courtship called ''Omiai'' in which parents hire a matchmaker to give resumes and pictures to potential mates for their approval, leading to a formal meeting with parents and matchmaker attending. If the couple has a few dates, they're often pressured by the matchmaker and parents to decide whether or not to marry.


Korea

The reasons for dating in Korea are various. Research conducted by ''Saegye Daily'' showed that teenagers choose to date for reasons such as "to become more mature," "to gain consultation on worries, or troubles," or "to learn the difference between boys and girls," etc. Similarly, a news report in ''MK Daily'' showed that the primary reasons for dating for workers of around ages 20–30 are "emotional stability," "marriage," "someone to spend time with," etc. An interesting feature in the reasons for dating in Korea is that many Koreans are somewhat motivated to find a date due to the societal pressure that often views single persons as incompetent. Present Korean dating shows a changing attitude due to the influence of tradition and modernization. There are a lot of Confucian ideas and practices that still saturate South Korean culture and daily life as traditional values. Patriarchy in Korea has been grounded on Confucian culture that postulated hierarchical social orders according to age and sex. Patriarchy is "a system of social structure and practices in which men dominate, oppress and exploit women” which is well reflected in the ways of dating in Korea. Adding to it, there is an old saying that says a boy and a girl should not sit together after they have reached the age of seven. It is one of the old teachings of Confucianism and reveals its inclination toward conservatism. Most Koreans tend to regard dating as a precursor to marriage. According to a survey conducted by Gyeonggi-do Family Women's Researcher on people of age 26–44, 85.7% of respondents replied as ‘willing to get married’. There is no dating agency but the market for marriage agencies are growing continuously. DUO and Gayeon are one of the major marriage agencies in Korea. Also, "Mat-sun", the blind date which is usually based on the premise of marriage, is held often among ages of late 20s to 30s. But the late trend is leaning towards the separation between dating and marriage unlike the conservative ways of the past. In the survey conducted by a marriage agency, of 300 single males and females who were asked of their opinions on marrying their lovers, about only 42% of the males and 39% of the females said yes. There are also cases of dating without the premise of marriage. However, the majority still takes getting into a relationship seriously. Dating in Korea is also considered a necessary activity supported by society. Korean adults are constantly questioned whether or not they are dating by the people around them. During family gatherings on holidays one of the questions that people hate getting asked the most is related to marriage. According to a survey it was the highest ranked at 47.3 percent. College students in their sophomore to junior year who have not been in a relationship feel anxious that they are falling behind amongst their peers. Most of them try "sogaeting", going out on a blind date, for the first time to get into a relationship. Dating is a duty that most people feel they must take on to not seem incompetent. In recent trends, even dramas such as “”Shining Romance” (“빛나는 로맨스”), and “Jang Bo-ri is Here!” (“왔다 장보리”), and in a variety show called, “Dad! Where Are We Going?” (“아빠 어디가?”) there are elementary children confessing their love. Dating has also been depicted to be an activity of fun and happiness. There are Korean TV programs that film celebrities together as married couples supporting this depiction of dating such as “We Got Married” (“우리 결혼했어요”), “With You” (“님과 함께”) and “The Man Who Gets Married Daily” (“매일 결혼 하는 남자.”) According to a survey by wedding consulting agency, men consider a physical relation as a catalyst of love, otherwise, women regard it as a confirmation of affection. Adding to it, both 79.2% of men and 71.0% of women stated that how deep their physical relation in dating is concerned in the decision of whether to marry.


Pakistan

Marriages and courtship in
Pakistan Pakistan ( ur, ), officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan ( ur, , label=none), is a country in South Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, fifth-most populous country, with a population of almost 24 ...
are influenced by traditional cultural practices similar to those elsewhere in the
Indian subcontinent The Indian subcontinent is a list of the physiographic regions of the world, physiographical region in United Nations geoscheme for Asia#Southern Asia, Southern Asia. It is situated on the Indian Plate, projecting southwards into the Indian O ...
as well as
Muslim Muslims ( ar, المسلمون, , ) are people who adhere to Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text considered by Muslims to be the ...
norms and manners. Illegitimate relationships before marriage are considered a social taboo and social interaction between unmarried men and women is encouraged at a modest and healthy level. Couples are usually wedded through either an
arranged marriage Arranged marriage is a type of marital union where the bride and groom are primarily selected by individuals other than the couple themselves, particularly by family members such as the parents. In some cultures a professional matchmaker may be us ...
or
love marriage A love marriage is one which is driven solely by the couple, with or without consent of their parents, as opposed to arranged marriage Arranged marriage is a type of marital union where the bride and groom are primarily selected by individuals o ...
. Love marriages are those in which the individuals have chosen a partner whom they like by their own choice prior to marriage, and usually occur with the consent of parents and family. Arranged marriages on the other hand are marriages which are set and agreed by the families or guardians of the two individuals where the couple may not have met before. In either cases and in consistency with traditional marital practices, individuals who marry are persuaded to meet and talk to each other for some time before considering marrying so that they can check their compatibility.


Singapore

Singapore Singapore (), officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign island country, island country and city-state in maritime Southeast Asia. It lies about one degree of latitude () north of the equator, off the southern tip of the Malay Pen ...
's largest dating service, SDU,
Social Development Unit The Social Development Network (SDN), formerly of Social Development Unit (SDU) and Social Development Service (SDS), is a governmental body under the Ministry of Social and Family Development of Singapore. It works closely with the community and ...
, is a government-run dating system. The original SDU, which controversially promoted marriages among university graduate singles, no longer exists today. On 28 January 2009, it was merged with SDS ocial Development Services which just as controversially promoted marriages among non-graduate singles. The merged unit, SD
Social Development Network
seeks to promote meaningful relationships, with marriage touted as a top life goal, among all resident ingaporesingles within a conducive network environment of singles, relevant commercial and public entities.


Taiwan

One report suggested that in southern
Taiwan Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a Country, country in East Asia, at the junction of the East China Sea, East and South China Seas in the northwestern Pacific Ocean, with the China, People's Republic of China (PRC) to the n ...
, "traditional rules of courtship" still apply despite the influence of
popular culture Popular culture (also called mass culture or pop culture) is generally recognized by members of a society as a set of cultural practice, practices, beliefs, artistic output (also known as, popular art or mass art) and cultural objects, objects ...
; for example, men continue to take the initiative in forming relationships. A poll in 2009 of students at high schools and vocational schools found that over 90% admitted that they had "no clear idea of how to approach someone of the opposite sex who interested them". What caused relationships to break up? 60% said "changes of heart" or "cheating". Dating more than one person at a time was not permissible, agreed 70%.


Iran

People of different sexes are not allowed to "mix freely" in public. Since 1979, the state has become a religious autocracy, and imposes Islamic edicts on matters such as dating. Clerics run officially sanctioned internet dating agencies with strict rules. Prospective couples can have three meetings: two with strict supervision inside the center, and the third being a "brief encounter on their own"; afterwards, they can either (1) choose to marry or (2) agree to never see each other again. This has become the subject of a film by Iranian filmmaker Leila Lak. Iran has a large population of young people with 70 percent of the 83-million population being under the age of thirty. However, economic hardship discourages marriage, and divorce rates have increased in
Tehran Tehran (; fa, تهران ) is the largest city in Tehran Province and the Capital city, capital of Iran. With a population of around 9 million in the city and around 16 million in the larger metropolitan area of Greater Tehran, Tehran is th ...
to around a quarter of marriages, even though divorce is taboo. While the Iranian government "condemns dating and relationships", it promotes marriage with (1) online courses (2) "courtship classes" where students can "earn a diploma" after sitting through weekly tests and "hundreds of hours of education" (3) "marriage diplomas" (4) matchmaking and arranged marriages. Authorities push a conservative approach and shun unmarried romantic relationships and encourage "traditional match-making". But young people have disobeyed the restrictions; one said "It is wiser to have different relationships" and believed in defying religious rules which suggest "short-term illegitimate relationships harm dignity." Adultery can be punished by death. While youths can flout selected restrictions, there are almost no instances in which unmarried people move in together. There have been efforts to promote '' Sigheh'' (temporary marriage).


Israel

In Israel, in the secular community, dating is very common amongst both heterosexual and homosexual couples. However, because of the religious community, there are some religious exceptions to the dating process. In the
Haredi Haredi Judaism ( he, ', ; also spelled ''Charedi'' in English; plural ''Haredim'' or ''Charedim'') consists of groups within Orthodox Judaism that are characterized by their strict adherence to ''halakha'' (Jewish law) and traditions, in oppos ...
and Chasidic communities (Ultra-Orthodox Judaism) most couples are paired through a matchmaker.


Lebanon

One report suggests the ''Lebanese dating game'' is hampered by "the weight of family demands upon individual choice" and that there were difficulties, particularly for people seeking to marry across religious lines, such as a Christian seeking to marry a Muslim.


Saudi Arabia

The ''Saudi Gazette'' quoted a
Wikipedia Wikipedia is a multilingual Multilingualism is the use of more than one language, either by an individual speaker or by a group of speakers. It is believed that multilingual speakers outnumber monolingual speakers in the world's ...
article on
domestic violence Domestic violence (also known as domestic abuse or family violence) is violence or other abuse that occurs in a domestic setting, such as in a marriage or cohabitation. ''Domestic violence'' is often used as a synonym for ''intimate partner v ...
, suggesting it was an issue for Saudis, including abusive behavior while dating by one or both partners.


North America


United States

One report suggested the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
as well as other western-oriented countries were different from the rest of the world because "love is the reason for mating," as opposed to marriages being arranged to cement economic and class ties between families and promote political stability. Dating, by mutual consent of two single people, is the norm. British writer Kira Cochrane, after moving to the U.S., found herself grappling with the American approach to dating. She wondered why it was acceptable to juggle "10 potential partners" while weighing different attributes; she found American-style dating to be "exhausting and strange." She found dating in America to be "organized in a fairly formal fashion" with men approaching women and asking point blank for a date; she found this to be "awkward." She described the "third date rule" which was that women weren't supposed to have sex until the third date even if they desired it, although men were supposed to try for sex. She wrote: "Dating rules almost always cast the man as aggressor, and the woman as prey, which frankly makes me feel nauseous."
Canadian Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, many (or all) of these connections exist and are collectively the source of ...
writer Danielle Crittenden, however, chronicling female angst, criticized a tendency not to take dating seriously and suggested that postponing
marriage Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock, is a culturally and often legally recognized union between people called spouses. It establishes rights and obligations between them, as well as between them and their children, and between t ...
into one's thirties was problematic: Journalist Emily Witt in 2016 wrote that while "social mores had changed to accept a wider range of sexual practices", there was still much "loneliness and anxiety". She traveled to
San Francisco San Francisco (; Spanish language, Spanish for "Francis of Assisi, Saint Francis"), officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the commercial, financial, and cultural center of Northern California. The city proper is the List of Ca ...
and began dating a lot, using Internet dating services and apps, and sometimes going to singles' bars alone, only to find that the "romantic-comedy concept of love" with a "perfect, permanent, tea-for-two ending" was not going to happen to her. There is evidence that
couples Couple or couples may refer to : Basic meaning * Couple (app), a mobile app which provides a mobile messaging service for two people *Couple (mechanics) In mechanics, a couple is a system of forces with a resultant force, resultant (a.k.a. net ...
differ in the pace and timing with which they initiate
sex Sex is the trait that determines whether a sexually reproducing animal or plant produces male Male (Mars symbol, symbol: ♂) is the sex of an organism that produces the gamete (sex cell) known as sperm, which fuses with the larger femal ...
in their relationships. Studies show that approximately 50% of premarital young adult couples become sexually involved within the first month of dating, while 25% initiate sex one to three months after beginning to date and a small proportion of couples wait until
marriage Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock, is a culturally and often legally recognized union between people called spouses. It establishes rights and obligations between them, as well as between them and their children, and between t ...
before initiating sexual relations. Teenagers and college-aged students tend to avoid the more formal activity of dating, and prefer casual no-strings-attached experiments sometimes described as ' hookups'. It permits young women to "go out and fit into the social scene, get attention from young men, and learn about sexuality", according to one report by
sociologists This is a list of sociologists. It is intended to cover those who have made substantive contributions to social theory and social research, research, including any sociological subfield. Scientists in other fields and philosophers are not included ...
. The term '' hookup'' can describe a wide variety of behavior ranging from kissing to non-genital touching; according to one report, only about one third of people had
sexual intercourse Sexual intercourse (or coitus or copulation) is a sexual activity typically involving the insertion and Pelvic thrust, thrusting of the penis into the vagina for Sexual stimulation, sexual pleasure or sexual reproduction, reproduction.Sexual i ...
. A contrary report, however, suggested there has been no "sea change" in sexual behavior regarding college students from 1988 onwards, and that the term ''hookup'' itself continued to be used to describe a variety of relationships, including merely socializing or passionate kissing as well as sexual intercourse. Muslims living in the United States can choose whether to use traditional Islamic methods, or date American-style; Muslims choosing to stick to Islamic tradition can "only marry another Muslim", according to one Malaysian account. Mosques have been known to try to bring people together––one in California has a dating service for Muslims.


Europe


United Kingdom

In Britain, the term ''dating'' bears similarity to the American sense of the tentative exploratory part of a relationship. If two people are ''going out together'', it may mean they're dating but that their relationship has advanced to a relatively long-standing and sexual boyfriend-girlfriend relationship although they're not cohabiting. Although Britons are familiar with the term ''dating,'' the rituals surrounding courtship are somewhat different from those commonly found in
North America North America is a continent in the Northern Hemisphere and almost entirely within the Western Hemisphere. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the southeast by South America and the Car ...
. Writer
Kira Cochrane Kira Cochrane (; born 1977) is a British journalist and novelist. She is the Head of Features at ''The Guardian ''The Guardian'' is a British daily newspaper. It was founded in 1821 as ''The Manchester Guardian'', and changed its name in ...
advises daters to "get out there and meet people" while noting a trend of temporary suspension of marriage until an individual reaches his or her thirties. She sees a trend for developing new ways of meeting people. In contrast, writer Bibi van der Zee found dating etiquette rules to be helpful, and found that supposedly liberated advice such as "just be yourself" to be the "most useless advice in history." She expresses frustration following fruitless sexual relationships, and that her mid twenties saw dating relationships with partners who were less willing to return phone calls or display interest in long-term commitment. She felt "clueless and unwanted", she wrote, and found advice books such as ''The Rules'' helpful. British writer Henry Castiglione signed up for a "weekend flirting course" and found the experience helpful; he was advised to talk to and smile at everyone he met. Emailing back-and-forth, after meeting on a dating website, is one way to get to know people in Britain, and elsewhere. In the UK, one estimate from 2009 is that 15 million people are single, and half of these are seeking a long-term relationship; three-quarters of them have not been in a relationship for more than 18 months. In a twelve-month period, the average number of dates that a single person will have is four. When dating, 43% of people google their dates ahead of time. Almost five million Britons visited a dating website in the past twelve months. A third admitting to lying on their profile. A fifth of married individuals between 19 and 25 met their spouse online. One poll in 2009 of 3,000 couples suggested that the average duration of their courtship period, between first meeting to the acceptance of a marriage proposal, was three years. In 2017 Britain online dating fraud victim numbers at record high. According to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, there were 3,889 victims of so-called romance fraud last year who handed over a record £39m. Online dating safety in the UK is a concern for authorities and individuals.


German-speaking countries

While analysts such as Harald Martenstein and others suggest that it is easier for persons to initiate contact in America, many Germans view the American dating habits as "unspontaneous", "ridiculous" and "rigid". Until the 1960s, countries such as
Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe. It is the second most populous country in Europe after Russia, and the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is situated between ...
,
Switzerland ). Swiss law does not designate a ''capital'' as such, but the federal parliament and government are in Bern, while other federal institutions, such as the federal courts, are in other cities (Bellinzona, Lausanne, Luzern, Neuchâtel, St. Gall ...
and
Austria The Republic of Austria, commonly just Austria, , bar, Östareich is a country in the southern part of Central Europe, lying in the Eastern Alps. It is a federation of nine States of Austria, states, one of which is the capital, Vienna, ...
had a more formal approach for first contacts that was eased during seasonal festivals like
carnival Carnival is a Catholic Christian festive season that occurs before the liturgical season of Lent. The main events typically occur during February or early March, during the period historically known as Shrovetide (or Pre-Lent). Carnival t ...
and festivals and funfairs like the
Oktoberfest The Oktoberfest (; bar, Wiesn, Oktobafest) is the world's largest Volksfest, featuring a beer festival and a travelling carnival. It is held annually in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. It is a 16- to 18-day folk festival running from mid- or lat ...
, which allowed for more casual flirts. Membership in
voluntary association A voluntary group or union (also sometimes called a voluntary organization, common-interest association, association, or society) is a group of individuals who enter into an agreement, usually as volunteering, volunteers, to form a body (or organ ...
s is relatively high in German-speaking countries and these provided further chances for possible partners to meet. Strolling on
Esplanade An esplanade or promenade is a long, open, level area, usually next to a river or large body of water, where people may walk. The historical definition of ''esplanade'' was a large, open, level area outside fortification, fortress or city walls ...
s and Promenade walkways such as the one in Hamburg called the
Jungfernstieg The Jungfernstieg () is an urban esplanade, promenade in Hamburg, Germany. It is the city's foremost boulevard. Location Jungfernstieg mostly lies within the quarter of Hamburg-Neustadt, Neustadt; however at its easternmost it stretches as far ...
(maidens way), have been another venue for introductions as early as the 19th century. Analyst
Geoffrey Gorer Geoffrey Edgar Solomon Gorer (26 March 1905 – 24 May 1985) was an English anthropologist and writer, noted for his application of psychoanalytic techniques to anthropology. Born into a non-practicing Jews, Jewish family, he was educated at Char ...
described dating as an American
idiosyncrasy An idiosyncrasy is an unusual feature of a person (though there are also other uses, see below). It can also mean an odd habit. The term is often used to express Eccentricity (behavior), eccentricity or peculiarity. A synonym may be "wikt:quirk, qu ...
focusing on youth of college age and expressed in activities such as American
prom A promenade dance, commonly called a prom, is a dance party for Secondary school, high school students. It may be offered in semi-formal wear, semi-formal black tie or informal wear, informal suit for boys, and evening gowns for girls. This even ...
s. In contrast German speaking countries and the longstanding musical tradition there provided ample opportunity of persons of varying ages enjoying social dances, such as the
Vienna Opera Ball The Vienna Opera Ball (German language, German: ''Wiener Opernball'') is an annual Austrian upper class, society event which takes place in the building of the Vienna State Opera in Vienna, Austria on the Thursday preceding Ash Wednesday (a rel ...
and other occasions. Romantic encounters were often described with French terms like rendezvous or tête-à-tête. The German term of ''Stelldichein'' (as translated by
Joachim Heinrich Campe Joachim Heinrich Campe (29 June 1746 – 22 October 1818) was a German writer, linguistics, linguist, educator and publisher. He was a major representative of philanthropinism and the German Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment. Life Born to the me ...
s) is used to signify dating when the age of consent to marriage was relatively high. German traditions to signify lovers who met in hiding were described with terms like ''Fensterln'' (windowing) or ''Kiltgang'' (dawn stroll) used in
Bavaria Bavaria ( ; ), officially the Free State of Bavaria (german: Freistaat Bayern, link=no ), is a state in the south-east of Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe. It is the sec ...
and
Switzerland ). Swiss law does not designate a ''capital'' as such, but the federal parliament and government are in Bern, while other federal institutions, such as the federal courts, are in other cities (Bellinzona, Lausanne, Luzern, Neuchâtel, St. Gall ...
."No talk, no deal" Unser Kolumnist versteht endlich die amerikanischen Regeln der Partnerwahl
(Our Commentator finally understands the American Rucles of choosing a partner) Harald Martenstein,
Die Zeit ''Die Zeit'' (, "The Time") is a German national weekly newspaper published in Hamburg in Germany. The newspaper is generally considered to be among the German newspapers of record and is known for its long and extensive articles. History The ...
29 June 2009
Analyst Sebastian Heinzel sees a major cultural divide between American dating habits and European informality, and leads to instances in which European expatriates in cities such as New York keep to themselves. Today, most German couples in long-term relationships get to know each other through mutual friends, at work or while going out at night; the first few months of dating often involve sexual intercourse, but are still rather casual and do not imply a serious wish to get married.


Latin-speaking countries

Italians maintain a conservative approach to dating. Also, inviting friends or relatives during a date is not uncommon. More modern approaches such as blind dates, speed dating and dating websites are not as popular as abroad, and are not considered very effective by the majority of the population. One report suggested Spanish women were the "greatest flirts", based on an unofficial study by a dating website which ranked countries based on initiations of contact.


Oceania


Australia

A recent study revealed that 50% of Australians agreed it was permissible to request a date via a text message but not acceptable to break up with them this way. Flirting while texting, dubbed ''flirtext'', was more likely to be done by girls after a relationship was started. A survey of newspaper readers suggested it was time to abandon the "old fashioned rule" of men paying for the first date, based on women's greater earning capacity. A dating show on TV features three couples who live under one roof, but who can only have contact in a "specially created dark room", and the show is scheduled to be hosted by
Miss Australia Miss Australia was the title for the winner of the Miss Australia Quest or the Miss Australia Awards, which ran from 1954 until 2000, when the last Miss Australia was named. From 2002, the Miss World Australia contest has been held, and the Miss ...
model Laura Dundovic.


South America


Brazil

In Brazil there is a longer time interval before children move out of the house, which affects dating. As a result, parents offer advice about dating although it may not be heeded.


LGBT+

Dating behavior of
non-heterosexual Non-heterosexual is a word for a sexual orientation or sexual identity that is not heterosexual. The term helps define the "concept of what is the norm (sociology), norm and how a particular group is different from that norm". ''Non-heterosexual ...
individuals doesn't always reflect their self-ascribed 
sexual orientation Sexual orientation is an enduring pattern of romantic or sexual attraction (or a combination of these) to persons of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or to both sexes or more than one gender. These attractions are generall ...
. Some of them recognized from early age that they're attracted to the same sex or both/ all sexes, but may initially adhere to
heterosexual Heterosexuality is Romance (love), romantic attraction, sexual attraction or Human sexual activity, sexual behavior between people of the opposite sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, heterosexuality is "an enduring pattern of emotional, r ...
norms in their dating behaviors. Some individuals who identify as
LGBT+ ' is an Acronym, initialism that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. In use since the 1990s, the initialism, as well as some of its common variants, functions as an Hyponymy and hypernymy, umbrella term for Sexuality and gende ...
in one way or another but are questioning or haven't come out to their peers and family may wait years before they start dating their preferred sex. According to a ''
Psychology Today ''Psychology Today'' is an American media organization with a focus on psychology and human behavior. It began as a bimonthly magazine, which first appeared in 1967. The ''Psychology Today'' website features Therapist, therapy and health professio ...
'' report, men who identify as
homosexual Homosexuality is Romance (love), romantic attraction, sexual attraction, or Human sexual activity, sexual behavior between members of the same sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, homosexuality is "an enduring pattern of emotional, romant ...
recognize their same-sex attraction in their late teens or early twenties, and they tend to care more about
physical attractiveness Physical attractiveness is the degree to which a person's physical features are considered aesthetics, aesthetically pleasing or beauty, beautiful. The term often implies sexual attraction, sexual attractiveness or desirability, but can also be ...
than the status of a prospective partner. Men who identify as homosexual, on average, tend to have more sexual partners, while women who identify as
lesbian A lesbian is a Homosexuality, homosexual woman.Zimmerman, p. 453. The word is also used for women in relation to their sexual identity or sexual behavior, regardless of sexual orientation, or as an adjective to characterize or associate n ...
tend to form steadier one-on-one relationships, and tend to be less promiscuous than heterosexual women. In
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...
,
transgender A transgender (often abbreviated as trans) person is someone whose gender identity or gender expression does not correspond with their sex assignment, sex assigned at birth. Many transgender people experience gender dysphoria, dysphoria, which ...
individuals and
eunuchs A eunuch ( ) is a male who has been castration, castrated. Throughout history, castration often served a specific social function. The earliest records for intentional castration to produce eunuchs are from the Sumerian city of Lagash in the 2n ...
have used internet dating to help them find partners, but there continue to be strong societal pressures which marginalize them.


Matchmakers

People can meet other people on their own or the get-together can be arranged by someone else. Matchmaking is an art based entirely on hunches, since it is impossible to predict with certainty whether two people will like each other or not. "All you should ever try and do is make two people be in the same room at the same time," advised matchmaker Sarah Beeny in 2009, and the only rule is to make sure the people involved want to be set up. One matchmaker advised it was good to match "brains as well as beauty" and try to find people with similar
religious Religion is usually defined as a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, behaviors and practices, morality, morals, beliefs, worldviews, religious text, texts, sacred site, sanctified places, prophecy, prophecie ...
and
political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations among individuals, such as the distribution of resources or status. The branch of social science that stu ...
viewpoints and thinks that like-minded people result in more matches, although acknowledging that opposites sometimes attract. It is easier to put several people together at the same time, so there are other candidates possible if one doesn't work out. And, after introducing people, don't meddle.


Friends as matchmakers

Friends remain a common way for people to meet. However, the Internet promises to overtake friends in the future, if present trends continue. A friend can introduce two people who do not know each other, and the friend may play matchmaker and send them on a
blind date A blind date is a social engagement between two people who have not met, usually arranged by a mutual acquaintance. Structure A blind date is arranged for by a mutual acquaintance of both participants. The two people who take part in the blind ...
. In ''
The Guardian ''The Guardian'' is a British daily newspaper. It was founded in 1821 as ''The Manchester Guardian'', and changed its name in 1959. Along with its sister papers ''The Observer'' and ''The Guardian Weekly'', ''The Guardian'' is part of the Gu ...
'', British writer Hannah Pool was cynical about being set up on a blind date; she was told "basically he's you but in a male form" by the mutual friend. She googled her blind date's name along with the words "wife" and "girlfriend" and "partner" and "boyfriend" to see whether her prospective date was in any kind of relationship or gay; he wasn't any of these things. She met him for coffee in
London London is the capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the United Kingdom, with a population of just under 9 million. It stands on the River Thames in south-east England at the head of a estuary dow ...
and she now lives with him, sharing a home and business. When friends introduce two people who do not know each other, it is often called a blind date.


Family as matchmakers

Parents, via their contacts with associates or neighbors or friends, can introduce their children to each other. In
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...
, parents often place matrimonial ads in newspapers or online, and may post the resumes of the prospective bride or groom.


Matchmaking systems and services

Dating systems can be systematic and organized ways to improve
matchmaking Matchmaking is the process of matching two or more people together, usually for the purpose of marriage, in which case the matchmaker is also known as a marriage broker. The word is also used in the context of sporting events such as boxing, in ...
by using rules or technology. The meeting can be in-person or ''live'' as well as separated by time or space such as by
telephone A telephone is a telecommunications device that permits two or more users to conduct a conversation when they are too far apart to be easily heard directly. A telephone converts sound, typically and most efficiently the human voice, into ele ...
or
email Electronic mail (email or e-mail) is a method of exchanging messages ("mail") between people using electronic devices. Email was thus conceived as the electronics, electronic (digital media, digital) version of, or counterpart to, mail, ...
or chat-based. The purpose of the meeting is for the two persons to decide whether to go on a date in the future. * Speed dating consists of organized matchmaking events that have multiple single persons meet one-on-one in brief timed sessions so that singles can assess further whether to have subsequent dates. An example is meeting perhaps twenty potential partners in a bar with brief interviews between each possible couple, perhaps lasting three minutes in length, and shuffling partners. In
Shanghai Shanghai (; , , Standard Mandarin pronunciation: ) is one of the four direct-administered municipalities of the People's Republic of China (PRC). The city is located on the southern estuary of the Yangtze River, with the Huangpu River flow ...
, one event featured eight-minute one-on-one meetings in which participants were pre-screened by age and education and career, and which costs 50 yuan (US$6) per participant; participants are asked not to reveal contact information during the brief meeting with the other person, but rather place names in cards for organizers to arrange subsequent dates. Advantages of speed dating: efficiency; "avoids an embarrassing disaster date"; cost-effective; way to make friends. Disadvantages: it can turn into a beauty contest with only a few good-looking participants getting most offers, while less attractive peers received few or no offers; critics suggest that the format prevents factors such as personality and
intelligence Intelligence has been defined in many ways: the capacity for abstraction, logic, understanding, self-awareness, learning Learning is the process of acquiring new understanding, knowledge, behaviors, skills, value (personal and cultura ...
from emerging, particularly in large groups with extra-brief meeting times. * systems of the 1980s and 1990s especially, where customers gave a performance on (typically VHS) video, which was viewable by other customers, usually in private, in the same facility. Some services would record and play back videos for men and women on alternate days to minimize the chance that customers would meet each other on the street. * Phone dating systems of about the same vintage, where customers call a common voice mail or phone-chat server at a common local phone number, and are connected with other (reputed) singles, and typically charged by the minute as if it were a long-distance call (often a very expensive one). A key problem of such systems was that they were hard to differentiate from a phone porn service or "
phone sex Phone sex is a conversation between two or more people by means of the telephone A telephone is a telecommunications device that permits two or more users to conduct a conversation when they are too far apart to be easily heard directly. ...
" where female operators are paid to arouse male customers and have no intention of ever dating them. * Online dating systems use websites or mobile phone apps to connect possible romantic or sexual partners.


Computers as matchmakers

Computer dating systems of the later 20th century, especially popular in the 1960s and 1970s, before the rise of sophisticated phone and computer systems, gave customers forms that they filled out with important tolerances and preferences, which were "matched by computer" to determine "compatibility" of the two customers. The history of dating systems is closely tied to the history of technologies that support them, although a statistics-based dating service that used data from forms filled out by customers opened in
Newark, New Jersey Newark ( , ) is the List of municipalities in New Jersey, most populous City (New Jersey), city in the U.S. state of New Jersey and the county seat, seat of Essex County, New Jersey, Essex County and the second largest city within the New Yo ...
in 1941. The first large-scale computer dating system, The Scientific Marriage Foundation, was established in 1957 by Dr. George W. Crane. In this system, forms that applicants filled out were processed by an IBM card sorting machine. The earliest commercially successfully computerized dating service in either the US or UK was Com-Pat, started by Joan Ball in 1964. Operation Match, started by
Harvard University Harvard University is a Private university, private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in 1636 as Harvard College and named for its first benefactor, the History of the Puritans in North America, Puritan cler ...
students a year later is often erroneously claimed to be the "first computerized dating service."New dating apps cut to the chase, set up dates quickly
Tracey Lein, Los Angeles Times, January 29, 2015
In actuality, both Com-Pat and Operation Match were preceded by other computerized dating services in Europe—the founders of Operation Match and Joan Ball of Com-Pat both stated they had heard about these European computer dating services and that those served as the inspiration for their respective ideas to create computer dating businesses. The longest running and most successful early computer dating business, both in terms of numbers of users and in terms of profits, was
Dateline A dateline is a brief piece of text included in news articles that describes where and when the story was written or filed, though the date is often omitted. In the case of articles reprinted from wire services, the distributing organization is ...
, which was started in the UK in 1965 by John Patterson. Patterson's business model was not fully legal, however. He was charged with fraud on several occasions for selling lists of the women who signed up for his service to men who were looking for prostitutes. Dateline existed until Patterson's death from alcoholism in 1997, and during the early 1990s it was reported to be the most profitable computer dating company in the world. In the early 1980s in
New York City New York, often called New York City or NYC, is the List of United States cities by population, most populous city in the United States. With a 2020 population of 8,804,190 distributed over , New York City is also the L ...
, software developers wrote
algorithm In mathematics and computer science, an algorithm () is a finite sequence of rigorous instructions, typically used to solve a class of specific Computational problem, problems or to perform a computation. Algorithms are used as specificat ...
s to match singles romantically, sometimes using
collaborative filtering Collaborative filtering (CF) is a technique used by recommender systems.Francesco Ricci and Lior Rokach and Bracha ShapiraIntroduction to Recommender Systems Handbook Recommender Systems Handbook, Springer, 2011, pp. 1-35 Collaborative filtering ...
technologies. Compatibility algorithms and matching software are becoming increasingly sophisticated.


Using the Internet

Online dating service Online dating, also known as Internet dating, Virtual dating, or Mobile app dating, is a relatively recent method used by people with a goal of searching for and interacting with potential romantic or sexual partners, via the internet ...
s charge a fee to user to post a profile of himself or herself, perhaps using video or still images as well as descriptive data and personal preferences for dating, such as age range, hobbies, and so forth. Online dating was a $2 billion per year industry, , with an annual growth rate of 5%. The industry is dominated by a few large companies, such as
EHarmony Eharmony (styled eHarmony) is an online dating service, online dating website launched in 2000. eHarmony is based in Los Angeles, California, and owned by Nucom ecommerce, a joint venture of Germany, German mass media company ProSiebenSat.1 Me ...
, Zoosk and
InterActiveCorp IAC Inc. is an American holding company that owns brands across 100 countries, mostly in mass media, media and Internet. The company is incorporated under Delaware General Corporation Law and headquartered in New York City. Joey Levin, who previ ...
, or IAC, which owns several brands including Match.com and
OkCupid OkCupid (often abbreviated as OKC, but officially OkC) is a U.S.-based, internationally operating online dating service, online dating, friendship, and formerly also a social network service, social networking website and application. It featur ...
, and new entrants continue to emerge. In 2019, Taimi, previously targeted to gay men, was re-introduced as a dating service for all LGBTQI+ people. Online dating businesses are thriving financially, with growth in members, service offerings, and membership fees and with many users renewing their accounts, although the overall share of Internet traffic using online dating services in the U.S. has declined from 2003 (21% of all Internet users) to 2006 (10%). While online dating has become more accepted, it retains a slight stigma. After controversies such as the 2015 hacking of Ashley Madison user data, dating sites must work to convince users that they are safe places with quality members. There is widespread evidence that online dating has increased rapidly and is becoming "mainstream" with new websites appearing regularly. One study suggested that 18% of single persons had used the Internet for dating purposes. Reports vary about the effectiveness of dating web sites to result in marriages or long–term relationships.
Pew Research The Pew Research Center is a nonpartisanism in the United States, nonpartisan American think tank (referring to itself as a "fact tank") based in Washington, D.C. It provides information on social issues, public opinion, and demographic trends ...
, based on a 2005 survey of 3,215 adults, estimated that three million Americans had entered into long-term relationships or marriage as a result of meeting on a dating web site. While sites have touted marriage rates from 10% to 25%, sociologists and marriage researchers are highly skeptical that valid statistics underlie any such claims. The Pew study (see table) suggested the Internet was becoming increasingly prominent and accepted as a way to meet people for dates, although there were cautions about deception, the risk of violence, and some concerns about stigmas. The report suggested most people had positive experiences with online dating websites and felt they were excellent ways to meet more people. The report also said that online daters tend to have more liberal social attitudes compared to the general population. In India, parents sometimes participate in websites designed to match couples. Some online dating sites can organize double dates or group dates. Research from Berkeley University in California suggests there is a dropoff in interest after online daters meet face-to-face. It is a ''lean medium'' not offering standard cues such as tone of voice, gestures, and facial expressions. There is substantial data about online dating habits; for example, researchers believe that "the likelihood of a reply to a message sent by one online dater to another drops roughly 0.7 percent with every day that goes by".
Psychologist A psychologist is a professional who practices psychology and studies mental states, perceptual, cognitive, emotional, and social processes and behavior. Their work often involves the experimentation, observation, and interpretation of how indi ...
Lindsay Shaw Taylor found that even though people said they'd be willing to date someone of a different race, that people tend to choose dates similar to themselves. Internet "QQ" chat rooms, cheaper than traditional websites and agencies, are gaining popularity in China. There are dating applications or ''apps'' on mobile phones. Virtual dating incorporates elements of video-game play and dating. Users create
avatars Avatar (, ; ), is a concept within Hinduism that in Sanskrit literally means "descent". It signifies the material appearance or incarnation of a powerful deity, goddess or Spirit (vital essence), spirit on Earth. The relative verb to "alight, ...
and spend time in virtual worlds in an attempt to meet other avatars with the purpose of meeting for potential dates. Mobile dating or cellphone dating refers to exchanging text messages to express interest in others on the system. These may be web-based or online as well, depending on the company. At a singles event, a group of singles are brought together to take part in various activities for the purposes of meeting new people. Events might include parties, workshops, and games. Many events are aimed at singles of particular affiliations, interests, or religions. A weekend flirting course in
Britain Britain most often refers to: * The United Kingdom, a sovereign state in Europe comprising the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands * Great Britain, the largest island in the United King ...
advised daters to "love the inner you" and understand the difference between arrogance from insecurity and "true self-confidence"; it featured exercises in which students were told to imagine that they were "great big beautiful gods and goddesses" and treat others similarly.


Media


Board games

'' Mystery Date'' is a
board game Board games are tabletop games that typically use . These pieces are moved or placed on a pre-marked board (playing surface) and often include elements of Tabletop game, table, Card game, card, Role-playing game, role-playing, and miniatures ga ...
from the
Milton Bradley Company Milton Bradley Company or simply Milton Bradley (MB) was an American board game manufacturer established by Milton Bradley in Springfield, Massachusetts, Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1860. In 1920, it absorbed the game production of McLoughli ...
, originally released in 1965 and reissued in 1970, 1999, and in 2005, whose object is to be ready for a date by acquiring three matching color-coded cards to assemble an outfit. The outfit must then match the outfit of the date at the "mystery door". If the player's outfit does not match the date behind the door, the door is closed and play continues. The game has been mentioned, featured, or parodied in several popular films and television shows.


Television

Numerous television reality and
game show A game show is a genre of broadcast viewing entertainment (radio, television, internet, stage or other) where contestants compete for a reward. These programs can either be participatory or demonstrative and are typically directed by a host, ...
s, past and current, address dating. For example, the
dating game show Dating game shows are game shows that incorporates a variety of matchmaking systems and services in the form of a game with clear rules. Human matchmaking is involved only in selecting the game's contestants, who are usually selected more for the ...
s ''
The Dating Game ''The Dating Game'' is an American television game show that first aired on December 20, 1965, and was the first of many shows created and packaged by Chuck Barris from the 1960s in television, 1960s through the 1980s in television, 1980s. Amer ...
'' first aired in 1965, while more modern shows in that genre include '' The Manhattan Dating Project'' (US Movie about Dating in New York City), ''
Blind Date A blind date is a social engagement between two people who have not met, usually arranged by a mutual acquaintance. Structure A blind date is arranged for by a mutual acquaintance of both participants. The two people who take part in the blind ...
'', '' The 5th Wheel'', and '' The Bachelor'' and its spinoff series, in which a high degree of support and aids are provided to individuals seeking dates. These are described more fully here and in the related article on " reality game shows" that often include or motivate romantic episodes between players. Another category of dating-oriented reality TV shows involves
matchmaking Matchmaking is the process of matching two or more people together, usually for the purpose of marriage, in which case the matchmaker is also known as a marriage broker. The word is also used in the context of sporting events such as boxing, in ...
, such as ''
Millionaire Matchmaker ''The Millionaire Matchmaker'' was an American reality television series on Bravo (American TV network), Bravo that premiered on January 22, 2008, and is hosted by Patti Stanger. ''The Millionaire Matchmaker'' follows Patti Stanger, owner of the ...
'' and ''
Tough Love Tough love is the act of treating a person sternly or harshly with the intent to help them in the long run. Description Bill Milliken described tough love through the expression, "I don't care how this makes you feel toward me. You may hate m ...
''. A popular dating-themed TV show in the UK is '' Take Me Out''.


Age groups

Dating can happen for people in most age groups with the possible exception of young children.
Teenagers Adolescence () is a transitional stage of Developmental biology, physical and psychological Human development (biology), development that generally occurs during the period from puberty to adulthood (typically corresponding to the age of majo ...
and tweens have been described as dating; according to the
CDC The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the national public health agency of the United States. It is a United States federal agency, under the Department of Health and Human Services The United States Department of He ...
, three-quarters of eighth and ninth graders in the United States described themselves as "dating", although it is unclear what is exactly meant by this term. A 2018 study in the ''Journal of Youth and Adolescence'' found that serious dating among teenagers can have negative affects on a teenager's mood. This is most likely due to the incomplete cognitive and emotional development of teenagers that cause a lack of ability to handle the challenging aspects of romantic relationships. Young persons are exposed to many people their own age in their
high school A secondary school describes an institution that provides secondary education and also usually includes the building where this takes place. Some secondary schools provide both '' secondary education, lower secondary education'' (ages 11 to 14) ...
s or
secondary school A secondary school describes an institution that provides secondary education and also usually includes the building where this takes place. Some secondary schools provide both '' secondary education, lower secondary education'' (ages 11 to 14) ...
s or
college A college (Latin: ''collegium'') is an educational institution or a University system, constituent part of one. A college may be a academic degree, degree-awarding Tertiary education, tertiary educational institution, a part of a coll ...
or
universities A university () is an educational institution, institution of higher education, higher (or Tertiary education, tertiary) education and research which awards academic degrees in several Discipline (academia), academic disciplines. Universities ty ...
. There is anecdotal evidence that traditional dating—one-on-one public outings—has declined rapidly among the younger generation in the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
in favor of less intimate sexual encounters sometimes known as ''hookups'' (slang), described as brief sexual experiences with "no strings attached", although exactly what is meant by the term ''hookup'' varies considerably. Dating is being bypassed and is seen as archaic, and relationships are sometimes seen as "greedy" by taking time away from other activities, although exclusive relationships form later. Some college newspapers have decried the lack of dating on campuses after a 2001 study was published, and conservative groups have promoted "traditional" dating. When young people are in school, they have a lot of access to people their own age, and do not need tools such as online websites or dating services. Chinese writer Lao Wai, writing to homeland Chinese about America, considered that the college years were the "golden age of dating" for Americans, when Americans dated more than at any other time in their life. There are indications people in their twenties are less focused on marriage but on careers. People over thirty, lacking the recency of a college experience, have better luck online finding partners. Economist Sylvia Ann Hewlett in 2002 found that 55% of 35-year-old career women were childless, while 19% of male corporate executives were, and concluded that "the rule of thumb seems to be that the more successful the woman, the less likely it is she will find a husband or bear a child." While people tend to date others close to their own age, it's possible for older men to date younger women. In many countries, the older-man-younger-woman arrangement is seen as permissible, sometimes with benefits. It's looked on more positively in the U.S. than in China; older men are described as more knowledgeable sexually and intellectually, supportive, skilled in the ways of women, and financially more secure so there's "no more going Dutch." In China, older men with younger women are more likely to be described as "weird uncles" rather than "silver foxes." One Beijing professor reportedly advised his male students to delay dating: A notable example of the older-woman-younger-man is
Demi Moore Demi Gene Moore ( ; née Guynes; born November 11, 1962) is an American actress. After making her film debut in 1981, Moore appeared on the soap opera ''General Hospital'' (1982–1984) and subsequently gained recognition as a member of the Bra ...
pairing with 15-years-her-junior
Ashton Kutcher Christopher Ashton Kutcher (; born February 7, 1978) is an American actor, producer, entrepreneur, and former model. He is the recipient of various accolades, including a People's Choice Award, and nominations for two Young Artist Awards, a ...
. Older women in such relations have recently been described as "cougars", and formerly such relationships were often kept secret or discreet, but there is a report that such relationships are becoming more accepted and increasing. Since
divorce Divorce (also known as dissolution of marriage) is the process of terminating a marriage or marital union. Divorce usually entails the canceling or reorganizing of the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage, thus dissolving the ...
is increasing in many areas, sometimes celebrated with " divorce parties", there is dating advice for the freshly divorced as well, which includes not talking about your ex or your divorce, but focusing on "activities that bring joy to your life." Adviser Claire Rayner in ''The Guardian'' suggests calling people from your address book with whom you haven't been in touch for years and say "I'd love to get back in contact." Do activities you like doing with like-minded people; if someone seems interesting to you, tell them. It's more acceptable for this group for women to ask men out.


See also

*
Age disparity in sexual relationships In sexual relationships, concepts of age disparity, including what defines an age disparity, have developed over time and vary among societies. Differences in age preferences for mates can stem from partner availability, gender roles, and evolu ...
* Charity dating *
Dating coach Dating coaches offer coaching and related products and services to improve their clients' success in dating and relationships. Through discussion, role-playing, behaviour modelling, and other forms of direction, a dating coach trains clients to mee ...
* Group dating * List of online dating websites *
Online dating service Online dating, also known as Internet dating, Virtual dating, or Mobile app dating, is a relatively recent method used by people with a goal of searching for and interacting with potential romantic or sexual partners, via the internet ...
*
Secret dating Terms like secret dating, private dating or secret romance refer to the concept of dating Dating is a stage of Romance (love), romantic relationships in which two individuals engage in an activity together, most often with the intention of eva ...
* Teen dating violence *
Matchmaking Matchmaking is the process of matching two or more people together, usually for the purpose of marriage, in which case the matchmaker is also known as a marriage broker. The word is also used in the context of sporting events such as boxing, in ...


Notes


References

* * * *


Further reading

*


External links

* Philosophy of love Socialization