So let's call dating what it really is: a way to get to know a complete stranger to see if they're a possible romantic partner for the long haul. It isn't an excuse to "test the merchandise," or "see how I feel in six months.". It's really a method, and a pretty intelligent one at that, to get to know someone before you bond physically with another person.
In Paris, a man I considered to have dated a few weeks (he was adamant we were in a relationship), told me, "Either you're having casual sex, or you're in a relationship. That's it". My next question, "Well, then how did you know you wanted a relationship with me?" He laughed. "From the second I saw your picture online and sent you a message, we were in a relationship. I stopped talked to other girls. I stopped messaging them. And I asked you to meet me on the Seine".
^ Jump up to: a b Sharon Jayson (2010-02-10). "Internet changing the game of love". USA Today. Retrieved 2010-12-08. Meeting through friends was also commonly cited by those in the 1992 National Health and Social Life Survey, co-directed by sociologist Edward Laumann of the University of Chicago. That survey questioned 3,300 adults ages 18 to 59....
Throw in some surprises. Consistency is important when you're dating, but you should also throw in some romantic surprises. The surprises will depend on the personality of the girl - maybe she'd love it if you cooked dinner for her, sent her flowers at work, or planned a fun weekend trip. She'll be impressed by your thoughtfulness if you mix it up sometimes.
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.
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. According to Sapolsky, humans are somewhat in the middle of this spectrum, in the sense that humans form pair bonds, but there is the possibility of cheating or changing partners. These species-particular behavior patterns provide a context for aspects of human reproduction, including dating. However, one particularity of the human species is that pair bonds are often formed without necessarily having the intention of reproduction. In modern times, emphasis on the institution of marriage, generally described as a male-female bond, has obscured pair bonds formed by same-sex and transgender couples, and that many heterosexual couples also bond for life without offspring, or that often pairs that do have offspring separate. Thus, the concept of marriage is changing widely in many countries.