Dating is a time of intense romantic encounters usually practiced in Western cultures in which two people meet collectively for the purpose of evaluating the other’s compatibility as a potential mate in a more personal future romantic relationship. However, despite its universal acceptance in all cultures, the practice of dating has undergone substantial changes to adapt to changing social mores and norms. Today, a number of people in the West have developed an almost frenzied desire for love and romance, to the extent that they go out of their way to meet and mingle with other people especially those who seem to have it all. While this is not so much a unique feature of the Western society as a whole (where dating habits are widespread across different countries), it does seem to be particularly evident in the United States, where dating has become a deeply rooted cultural habit.
The term ‘dating’ is also used in a more specific sense to refer to the pre-engagement pairing of people who live together for the purposes of becoming more emotionally and sexually acquainted before actually tying the knot. In the United States, the phenomenon of pre-engagement dating is widespread, with many states making it illegal for people to enter into marriage before they’re truly ready. As such, one of the more prominent social taboos of the United States today is the dating of another individual before one is even sure that he or she is ready to date anyone else. This taboo has helped fuel the rise of online dating services on the Internet, allowing thousands of people the opportunity to test the waters of a potential relationship before risking it in real life.
In all, the idea of dating has changed throughout the ages to accommodate varying needs across different cultures and societies. For example, some would say that hooking up is not really a dating tradition at all since the act of being forced to date somebody is itself not really a dating practice since you could just as easily just opt to not go out on a date with somebody instead. However, the reasons that people go out on dates are still the same. While not everyone will agree on the exact origins of dating, most would agree that it is all about getting along with other people so that we can have fun and not spend our entire lives avoiding one another.