It is increasingly common today, however, with new generations and in a growing number of countries, to frame the work-life balance issue as a social problem rather than a gender problem. With the advent of a changing workplace, the increased participation of women in the labor force, an increasing number of men who are picking up their share of parenting and housework, and more governments and industries committing themselves to achieving gender equality, the question of whether or not, or when to start a family is slowly being recognized as an issue that touches (or should touch) both genders.
A casual date involves two people accompanying each other and participating in an activity or event that they both find interesting. This may include a meal, a movie, a concert or an evening at a club or bar. Usually, there are no romantic emotions involved in this type of encounter; the focus is on enjoying a mutually enjoyable social activity. Both parties are free to date other people and there is no commitment to continue dating each other. They are mostly interested in having a good time.
Of course, the conversation should be appropriate for the setting. If you're in a noisy bar, the girl you're chatting up might not be in the mood to talk about personal or philosophical subjects. Still, it should be possible to say something meaningful about the music, the crowd, or the feel of the evening that shows her you're enjoying the moment with her.
If you are not quite ready to get involved with a boyfriend, or if you are seldom asked for a date but are inclined to have a friendship with a male friend, you may then plan a picnic or a dinner with four or five girl friends and invite four or five male friends to join. If you are a male, you can do likewise. Note should be taken that the number of males and females in such situations need not be exactly equal lest the pressure of matching would becomes too great. After all, the primary purpose of such gatherings is to get to know each other and have a good time.
The majority of Indian marriages are arranged by parents and relatives, and one estimate is that 7 of every 10 marriages are arranged. Sometimes the bride and groom don't meet until the wedding, and there is no courtship or wooing before the joining. In the past, it meant that couples were chosen from the same caste and religion and economic status. There is widespread support for arranged marriages generally. Writer Lavina Melwani described a happy marriage which had been arranged by the bride's father, and noted that during the engagement, the woman was allowed to go out with him before they were married on only one occasion; the couple married and found happiness. Supporters of arranged marriage suggest that there is a risk of having the marriage fall apart whether it was arranged by relatives or by the couple themselves, and that what's important is not how the marriage came to be but what the couple does after being married. Parents and relatives exert considerable influence, sometimes posting matrimonial ads in newspapers and online. Customs encourage families to put people together, and discourage sexual experimentation as well as so-called serial courtship in which a prospective bride or groom dates but continually rejects possible partners, since the interests of the family are seen as more important than the romantic needs of the people marrying. Indian writers, such as Mistry in his book Family Matters, sometimes depict arranged marriages as unhappy. Writer Sarita Sarvate of India Currents thinks people calculate their "value" on the "Indian marriage market" according to measures such as family status, and that arranged marriages typically united spouses who often didn't love each other. She suggested love was out of place in this world because it risked passion and "sordid" sexual liaisons. Love, as she sees it, is "Waking up in the morning and thinking about someone." Writer Jennifer Marshall described the wife in an arranged marriage as living in a world of solitude without much happiness, and feeling pressured by relatives to conceive a son so she wouldn't be considered as "barren" by her husband's family; in this sense, the arranged marriage didn't bring "love, happiness, and companionship." Writer Vijaysree Venkatraman believes arranged marriages are unlikely to disappear soon, commenting in his book review of Shoba Narayan's Monsoon Diary, which has a detailed description of the steps involved in a present-day arranged marriage. There are indications that even the institution of arranged marriages is changing, with marriages increasingly being arranged by "unknown, unfamiliar sources" and less based on local families who know each other. Writer Lavina Melwani in Little India compared Indian marriages to business deals:
We too often times fall in love too deep where we are living for the moment instead of thinking about the future. Does your partner compliment you in a way nobody else has ever done? Does your partner elevate you to being a better and more engaging person? Going out on dates to the movies, to dinner, concerts, shows, etc. is all great while you are dating but can your partner still promise you all of those things for a lifetime? A smile being on your face and love in your heart should not only happen for just a season but it should last for a lifetime. The person you are dating should be building with you, hurting with you, crying with you, laughing with you, succeeding with you, rejoicing with you, and most importantly…praying with you. The love you receive from that person should be your purpose for loving, your purpose for growth, and your purpose for preparing wedding vows.
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.
While people tend to date others close to their own age, it's possible for older men to date younger women. In many countries, the older-man-younger-woman arrangement is seen as permissible, sometimes with benefits. It's looked on more positively in the U.S. than in China; older men are described as more knowledgeable sexually and intellectually, supportive, skilled in the ways of women, and financially more secure so there's "no more going Dutch." In China, older men with younger women are more likely to be described as "weird uncles" rather than "silver foxes." One Beijing professor reportedly advised his male students to delay dating:
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.
A girl doesn’t know what she wants because she is scared. She is comfortable being closed off because she isn’t mature enough to fight her fears in order to find herself. She uses others to her convenience because she is afraid to risk. Closing herself prevents her from experiencing real feelings therefore she remains false, bound, selfish and dependent and she looks for independence everywhere but within.
Very attractive translates as big-headed ... Average build means a bit paunchy ... 5ft 10 is actually 5ft 7 and a half ... The picture is always taken from the best, most flattering angle ... Black and white photos mean I am pretentious or I've something to hide ... Anyone who writes in text speak or says I heart instead of I like should be avoided ... Ditto for people whose interests include feet.
While some of what happens on a date is guided by an understanding of basic, unspoken rules, there is considerable room to experiment, and there are numerous sources of advice available. Sources of advice include magazine articles, self-help books, dating coaches, friends, and many other sources. And the advice given can pertain to all facets of dating, including such aspects as where to go, what to say, what not to say, what to wear, how to end a date, how to flirt, and differing approaches regarding first dates versus subsequent dates. In addition, advice can apply to periods before a date, such as how to meet prospective partners, as well as after a date, such as how to break off a relationship.