Chinese-style flirtatiousness is termed sajiao (Chinese: 撒娇; pinyin: sājiāo), best described as "to unleash coquettishness" with feminine voice, tender gestures, and girlish protestations. Chinese women expect to be taken care of (Chinese: 照顾; pinyin: zhàogu) by men like a baby girl is doted on by an attentive and admiring father. They wish to be almost "spoiled" (Chinese: 惯; pinyin: guàn) by a man buying gifts, entertainment, and other indulgences. It's a positive sign of heartache (Chinese: 心疼; pinyin: xīnténg) when a man feels compelled to do "small caring things" for a woman without being asked such as pouring a glass of water or offering a "piggyback ride if she's tired." These are signs of love and accepted romantic notions in China, according to one source.
Romantic encounters were often described with French terms like rendezvous or tête-à-tête. The German term of Stelldichein (as translated by Joachim Heinrich Campes) is used to signify dating when the age of consent to marriage was relatively high. German traditions to signify lovers who met in hiding were described with terms like Fensterln (windowing) or Kiltgang (dawn stroll) used in Bavaria and Switzerland. Analyst Sebastian Heinzel sees a major cultural divide between American dating habits and European informality, and leads to instances in which European expatriates in cities such as New York keep to themselves.
Dating may also involve two or more people who have already decided that they share romantic or sexual feelings toward each other. These people will have dates on a regular basis, and they may or may not be having sexual relations. This period of courtship is sometimes seen as a precursor to engagement. Some cultures[which?] require people to wait until a certain age to begin dating, which has been a source of controversy.