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.
Relationships in which dating is undertaken by two people, who choose their dates without parental involvement and sometimes carry on clandestine get-togethers, has become increasingly common. When this leads to a wedding, the resulting unions are sometimes called love marriages. There are increasing instances when couples initiate contact on their own, particularly if they live in a foreign country; in one case, a couple met surreptitiously over a game of cards. Indians who move abroad to Britain or America often follow the cultural patterns of their new country: for example, one Indian woman met a white American man while skiing, and married him, and the formerly "all-important relatives" were reduced to bystanders trying to influence things ineffectively. Factors operating worldwide, such as increased affluence, the need for longer education, and greater mobility have lessened the appeal for arranged marriages, and these trends have affected criteria about which possible partners are acceptable, making it more likely that pairings will cross previously impenetrable barriers such as caste or ethnic background. Indian Americans in the U.S. sometimes participate in Singles Meets organized by websites which happen about once a month, with 100 participants at each event; an organizer did not have firm statistics about the success rate leading to a long-term relationship but estimated about one in every ten members finds a partner through the site.
Dating is a stage of romantic relationships in humans whereby two people meet socially with the aim of each assessing the other's suitability as a prospective partner in an intimate relationship. It is a form of courtship, consisting of social activities done by the couple, either alone or with others. The protocols and practices of dating, and the terms used to describe it, vary considerably from country to country and over time. While the term has several meanings, the most frequent usage refers to two people exploring whether they are romantically or sexually compatible by participating in dates with the other. With the use of modern technology, people can date via telephone or computer or meet in person.