DATING


Dating is a form of courtship consisting of social activities done by two people with the aim of each assessing the other’s suitability as a partner in an intimate relationship or as a spouse. While the term has several meanings, it usually refers to the act of meeting and engaging in some mutually agreed upon social activity in public, together, as a couple.
The protocols and practices of dating, and the terms used to describe it, vary considerably from country to country. The most common idea is two people trying out a relationship and exploring whether they’re compatible by going out together in public as a couple, who may or may not yet be having sexual relations. This period of courtship is sometimes seen as a precursor to engagement or marriage.
From the perspective of the history of humans in civilization, dating as an institution is a relatively recent phenomenon which has mainly emerged in the last few centuries. From the standpoint of anthropology and sociology, dating is linked with other institutions such as marriage and the family which have also been changing rapidly and which have been subject to many forces, including advances in technology and medicine. As humans have evolved from the hunter-gatherers into civilized societies and more recently into modern societies, there have been substantial changes in the relationship between men and women, with perhaps the only biological constant being that both adult women and men must have sexual intercourse for human procreation to happen.
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.
Since people dating often don’t know each other well, there’s the risk of violence, including date rape. According to one report, there was a 10% chance of violence between students happening between a boyfriend and girlfriend, sometimes described as “intimate partner violence”, over a 12–month period. Another estimate was that 20% of U.S. high school girls aged 14–18 were “hit, slapped, shoved or forced into sexual activity”. There is evidence that violence while dating isn’t limited to any one culture or group or religion, but that it 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 conducting 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. In some regions of the world, such as Chechnya, bride-stealing is fairly common, enough to provoke leader Ramzan Kadyrov to urge young men to use persuasion instead.
Dating customs and habits vary considerably throughout the world. The average duration of courtship before proceeding to engagement or marriage varies considerably throughout the world.

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2 responses

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  2. Pingback: Passive Resistance: Go Away Closer « Women in Contemporary Relationships

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