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Dating: What Is It Exactly?

by David McFarlane

Many couples stop dating once they have chosen to remain together - be it getting married, or even having children. But love can disappear from a relationship without intimacy or romance. Not surprisingly, couples whom successfully continue dating each other even after they have been together for a long time keep their passions for each other alive. On the other hand, not all couples need to date in order for this to happen, with other aspects of their relationship keeping their love strong for each other.

In the West dating is fairly casual, while in many traditional countries it is considered a highly structured activity, with very specific formal rules.

In some countries, parents or community members choose potential partners - then limited dating is allowed in order to determine whether or not the partners are suited to one another.

In some cultures, dating is completely removed altogether with arranged marriages, where partners are chosen for young people - usually by their parents.

Dating can involve any number of methods, such as face-to-face dating, virtual dating, phone conversations, the writing of letters, poetry, songwriting or the giving of gifts.

Dating literally means the act of going out on dates. In the West, a date is an event where one person spends time with a potential lover in a social surrounding. This event is arranged in advance, and is usually an exclusive meeting of two people with mutual interest in one another. This allows the two parties to communicate and understand each other better - in this sense, the purpose of dating is for the people to become acquainted with each other and decide whether or not to persue a relationship.

When dating, people often explore one another's personalities, in order to discover if they would be compatible together in a relationship or not. The discovery of poor or low compatibility would more often than not signal the end of the relationship. Personal information found when dating may include attitudes, habits, preferences, interests, maturity, background, political views or age gaps.

A person usually tries to show their best qualities when dating, as well as being on their best behavior - dressing up or using perfume or cologne might also be used to attract the other person.

Dating is going out and doing something (like having dinner and then going to the cinema), but dating may continue between dates through various methods including meeting online, talking on the phone, or writing each other letters.

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