Dating is a social activity of marking an age, a phase of courtship and relationships practiced mainly in Western societies where two persons either meet socially for the purpose of each evaluating the other’s potential as a future partner in a potentially intimate relationship or even just a friend. It is a process of marking and establishing relationships with others by interacting with them on familiar grounds, especially the most commonly used social grounds like the first date. Dating has become a popular trend in the recent years and has taken various shapes and forms. Today there are several ways on how to go about dating. There have been some innovations in the mode of dating practiced in recent decades, the most common among these innovations being online dating services and dating sites offering an assortment of services like instant matchmaking chat services that could facilitate introductions to friends or even first dates without having to spend too much time meeting them in person.
The definition of dating has also changed over time, from a cultural to a sociological one. Dating has been defined in many countries, cultures and societies as something that involves pre-engagement where the couple is not sexually engaged in the process of dating. It is therefore understood that the definition of dating is very much dependent on the level of sexual awareness in the society. For some it is just a fun and adventurous activity while for some, it is a serious endeavor of meeting and getting to know others for purposes of love, friendship and possibly for purposes of marriage. In some societies, the definition of dating excludes people who are physically attractive people are considered not good candidates for dating. This is because they may be perceived as being promiscuous.
The definition of dating meaning changes according to the culture and society where a particular individual or couple is embedded. A more traditional definition of dating may involve a group of friends who come together to have fun and perhaps make new friends while meeting for coffee or even for a dinner party where they share their interests and tastes with others. This type of dating, which can be seen at a slower pace and includes some touching of the body, is known by the name cup dating while a more modern type of dating may involve a sort of online interaction for purposes of communication and often romance.