Dating is the term used for the process of locating, evaluating and then eventually getting into a dating relationship. Dating is an evolving social activity, which began in ancient Greece having reference to the period of Thanetes (ANCAD) where it was used as a means of recruitment into political organizations and societies such as those associated with the philosophies of Plato (Athens) and Aristotle (Crete). Dating is often times used as a way of physical evaluation of potential partners. Dating is also a term used in the field of courtship activities that are used to evaluate potential mates either for marriage or some other relationship.
Online dating is a stage of dating practised by many Western societies in which two individuals meet socially usually with the intention of each evaluating the other’s compatibility as a potential partner in a dating relationship. Online dating is the stage of communication which can be established between the partners via the internet or other means and can be concluded in one meeting or a series of meetings. Online dating provides a way to meet more people from various parts of the world and to know more about them. The use of online dating services has provided an ideal way to get to know others who are from different cultural, economic and religious backgrounds. This helps build friendship and cross-cultural relations while enhancing inter-personal interaction and understanding. In a number of cases this has lead to marriages and the establishment of families with members from different cultures sharing love and life experiences that lead them to commit to long term relationships.
This stage of relationship does not occur in a vacuum. It occurs in the context of already existing relationships. Interaction and dating play a vital role in such relationships. Online dating sites are also emerging as important stages of relationships, leading to the establishment of marriages, pre-marital commitments and long term relationships. It is only at this stage of relationship that online dating platforms are being used by individuals to find their partners, or prospective partners, as they are popularly known.