This period of courtship is sometimes seen as a precursor to engagement or marriage.
Dating as an institution is a relatively recent phenomenon which has mainly emerged in the last few centuries.
While pair-bonds of varying forms were recognized by most societies as acceptable social arrangements, marriage was reserved for heterosexual pairings and had a transactional nature, where wives were in many cases a form of property being exchanged between father and husband, and who would have to serve the function of reproduction.
Communities exerted pressure on people to form pair-bonds in places such as Europe; in China, society "demanded people get married before having a sexual relationship" and many societies found that some formally recognized bond between a man and a woman was the best way of rearing and educating children as well as helping to avoid conflicts and misunderstandings regarding competition for mates.
Humans have been compared to other species in terms of sexual behavior.
Neurobiologist Robert Sapolsky constructed a reproductive spectrum with opposite poles being tournament species, in which males compete fiercely for reproductive privileges with females, and pair bond arrangements, in which a male and female will bond for life.
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These people will have dates on a regular basis, and they may or may not be having sexual relations.It can be a form of courtship that consists of social activities done by the couple.The protocols and practices of dating, and the terms used to describe it, vary considerably from country to country and over time.Since then, more than 42 million people from more than 25 countries have joined Match, and practically all of them have found a compatible date or long-term relationship.Dating is a stage of romantic relationships in humans whereby two people meet socially, possibly as friends or with the aim of each assessing the other's suitability as a prospective partner in a more committed intimate relationship or marriage.