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:
Temptation, here, is from the Greek noun peirasmos, which can refer to trials or tests with a beneficial purpose or effect, or it can refer to trials or tests designed to lead to wrong doing. It depends on the reaction of the person who is being tempted. Temptation of itself is not sin. It must be accepted before it results in sin. Temptation is a forerunner of sin, and it warns that the potential for sin is not far away.
In (most places in) North America, a date consists of intention, like art. If your intention is to get to know the other person for a possible romantic partnership, you're on a date. The act of getting to know one another is called dating. Now, there's hooking up, friends with benefits, casual dating, and all manner of other things. Yet none of these are "dating." There's no courtship, there's zero determining if you're compatible romantically or long-term. You're just bumping the naughty bits, and that's why we North Americans have so many, varied terms for what is essentially a no strings attached sexual relationship.
It's interesting because if I say I dated a guy in past tense, that usually means it was someone I was hooking up with and not an ex-boyfriend because I'd just say ex. But if I'm dating someone in the present tense, that's probably someone who I'm hooking up with exclusively and seeing regularly, but we don't have the label yet. I wouldn't refer to a current boyfriend as 'the guy I'm dating.' Past tense is used more loosely.
^ Maureen Dowd quoting poet Dorothy Parker (2005). "What's a Modern Girl to Do?". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-12-08. Sylvia Ann Hewlett, ... in 2002, conducted a survey and found that 55 percent of 35-year-old career women were childless. ... compared with only 19 percent of the men. ... "the rule of thumb seems to be that the more successful the woman, the less likely it is she will find a husband or bear a child. ...
There are conflicting reports about dating in China's capital city. One account suggests that the dating scene in Beijing is "sad" with particular difficulties for expatriate women hoping to find romance. One explanation was that there are more native Chinese women, who seem to be preferred by Chinese men, and that expat women are seen as "foreigners" by comparison. According to the 2006 report, expat Chinese men have better luck in the Beijing dating scene. A different report, however, suggested that Chinese men preferred Western women, whom they consider to be more independent, less girlish, and more straightforward than Chinese women. Another account suggested that western women in Beijing seem invisible and have trouble attracting Chinese men.
People can meet other people on their own or the get-together can be arranged by someone else. Matchmaking is an art based entirely on hunches, since it is impossible to predict with certainty whether two people will like each other or not. "All you should ever try and do is make two people be in the same room at the same time," advised matchmaker Sarah Beeny in 2009, and the only rule is to make sure the people involved want to be set up. One matchmaker advised it was good to match "brains as well as beauty" and try to find people with similar religious and political viewpoints and thinks that like-minded people result in more matches, although acknowledging that opposites sometimes attract. It is easier to put several people together at the same time, so there are other candidates possible if one doesn't work out. And, after introducing people, don't meddle.
Generally, during much of recorded history of humans in civilization, and into the Middle Ages in Europe, weddings were seen as business arrangements between families, while romance was something that happened outside of marriage discreetly, such as covert meetings. The 12th-century book The Art of Courtly Love advised that "True love can have no place between husband and wife." According to one view, clandestine meetings between men and women, generally outside of marriage or before marriage, were the precursors to today's dating.