Blind dating is where two people who do not know each other are set up by someone else to go on a date. Blind dates are usually set up by friends, family or co-workers. You can ask your friend to set you up on a blind date, or it could come as a surprise. Don't hesitate to let others know what you're looking for. That way, your blind date isn't so blind.
Here’s what “dating” isn’t—it’s not exclusivity. Not guaranteed exclusivity, anyway. Even as things grow more serious, exclusivity is something that always requires a frank conversation about what each party wants, and without that conversation, it’s not safe to assume the two of you are on the same page. Regardless of how much time has passed, how often you see each other, etc., two people being committed to each other, always requires that awful, painful, awkward conversation. Always.
You alone can add up the plusses and minuses to determine whether this is the only relationship you want in your life. Does it exact too high a cost to your full personhood? It's nice to think that you've found your heart's desire, especially when work leaves little room for a social life, but premature closure could bring a lifetime of unhappiness. Maybe you and your boyfriend need a six-month time-out to date others; you might discover there are potential partners who bring a better blend of qualities to a relationship.
There's something wonderful, I think, about taking chances on love and sex. ... Going out on a limb can be roller-coaster scary because none of us want to be rejected or to have our heart broken. But so what if that happens? I, for one, would rather fall flat on my face as I serenade my partner (off-key and all) in a bikini and a short little pool skirt than sit on the edge of the pool, dipping my toes in silence.
One report suggested the United States as well as other western-oriented countries were different from the rest of the world because "love is the reason for mating," as opposed to marriages being arranged to cement economic and class ties between families and promote political stability. Dating, by mutual consent of two single people, is the norm. British writer Kira Cochrane, after moving to the U.S., found herself grappling with the American approach to dating. She wondered why it was acceptable to juggle "10 potential partners" while weighing different attributes; she found American-style dating to be "exhausting and strange." She found dating in America to be "organized in a fairly formal fashion" with men approaching women and asking point blank for a date; she found this to be "awkward." She described the "third date rule" which was that women weren't supposed to have sex until the third date even if they desired it, although men were supposed to try for sex. She wrote: "Dating rules almost always cast the man as aggressor, and the woman as prey, which frankly makes me feel nauseous." Canadian writer Danielle Crittenden, however, chronicling female angst, criticized a tendency not to take dating seriously and suggested that postponing marriage into one's thirties was problematic:
Taking serving seriously may change your attitude toward dating. You have been programmed to "put your best foot forward" so that you will impress the other person. Consequently, you may be reluctant to discuss what is bothering your date, fearing he may walk away from you. Genuine service demands that we speak the truth in love. We do not serve each other by avoiding one another's sadness or depression.
There is concern that young people's views of marriage have changed because of economic opportunities, with many choosing deliberately not to get married, as well as young marrieds who have decided not to have children, or to postpone having them. Cohabiting relationships are tolerated more often. Communities where people live but do not know each other well are becoming more common in China like elsewhere, leading to fewer opportunities to meet somebody locally without assistance. Divorce rates are rising in cities such as Shanghai, which recorded 27,376 divorces in 2004, an increase of 30% from 2003.
God made us male and female, and it is His desire that we relate to each other as fellow creatures sharing His image. Our differences are numerous, but our basic needs are the same. If we are to serve people, (which is one of life's highest callings) then we must know the basic difference—male and female. Relationships cannot be built without some kind of social interaction. In Western culture, dating provides the setting for such interaction. Even though dating has been perverted by society, it still has its place if done correctly.
While the term dating has many meanings, the most common refers to a trial period in which two people explore whether to take the relationship further towards a more permanent relationship; in this sense, dating refers to the time when people are physically together in public as opposed to the earlier time period in which people are arranging the date, perhaps by corresponding by email or text or phone. Another meaning of the term dating is to describe a stage in a person's life when he or she is actively pursuing romantic relationships with different people. If two unmarried celebrities are seen in public together, they are often described as "dating" which means they were seen in public together, and it is not clear whether they are merely friends, exploring a more intimate relationship, or are romantically involved. A related sense of the term is when two people have been out in public only a few times but have not yet committed to a relationship; in this sense, dating describes an initial trial period and can be contrasted with "being in a committed relationship".