This period of courtship is sometimes seen as a precursor to engagement.
Dating as an institution is a relatively recent phenomenon which has mainly emerged in the last few centuries.
Dating may also involve two or more people who have already decided that they share romantic or sexual feelings toward each other.
These people will have dates on a regular basis, and they may or may not be having sexual relations.
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 with another person is not only frowned upon but can even lead to either person being socially ostracized.
In the twentieth century, dating was sometimes seen as a precursor to marriage but it could also be considered as an end-in-itself, that is, an informal social activity akin to friendship.
While the term has several meanings, the most frequent usage refers to two people exploring whether they are romantically or sexually compatible by participating in dates with the other.
With the use of modern technology, people can date via telephone or computer or meet in person.
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