Dating is the act of meeting or courting; more often used to refer to courtship. Dating is an introduction to another person that focuses on evaluating the potential for personal or romantic involvement in the future, with the purpose of developing social connections through common interest and friendship. It is one of the earliest forms of courtship and was probably practiced in antiquity. Dating is a process of discovering oneself through interaction with others, usually of a same-sex nature. Dating can take place in person, via written correspondence, over the telephone or through electronic means, depending on where the person is interested. The most common places where people date are at school, a club or a party, or online.
The term “dating” as a verb means to seek out or pursue for a partner or to date. Dating is a phase of romantic relationships commonly practiced in Western cultures during which two people meet socially to try to assess the other’s suitability as an future partner in a romantic relationship. While many people date for fun, there are also others who date for a serious relationship or marriage. There is a difference between dating and relationship, however, and the terms are often used interchangeably. In a dating relationship, two people who are interested in dating another person engage in consciously directed, reciprocal interactions with the idea of developing a relationship or a lasting romantic attachment with another person.
Some of the most common questions that arise when dating someone is “What are you looking for in a relationship?” and “How do you go about building a relationship?” In a long-term relationship, there are a number of underlying dynamics that determine whether or not the relationship will survive. Understanding these dynamics and making healthy choices in how to date will help relationships persist and grow through the inevitable challenges. In a short-term, casual dating relationship, the two people are just looking for some fun, yet fulfilling, interactions that can be developed into long-term romantic relationships.