Until recently, Indian marriages had all the trappings of a business transaction involving two deal-making families, a hardboiled matchmaker and a vocal board of shareholders – concerned uncles and aunts. The couple was almost incidental to the deal. They just dressed and showed up for the wedding ceremony. And after that the onus was on them to adjust to the 1,001 relatives, get to know each other and make the marriage work.
As many of you know, my wife Sue and I have been married for more than thirty years. We have a daughter who is 27, and we have two grandsons. We have a daughter who is 25, and is single. Our son is 17, and of course, he is single as well. The reason I mention that, for those of you who did not know, is that the subject which I have to talk to you about today is one that I have been thinking about for many years. I have been back and forth, so to speak, on how to approach the subject. In the last year or so, we have had a lot of questions about this subject—so many questions that I thought it was important to speak on it. This subject directly affects my family, and has directly, or is directly, affecting anyone that is at least 16 years old. I think you will find this subject interesting. Please do not tune out if you think it is not directed to you because there are principles in it we can all learn from. The subject in one word is "Dating."
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.[97] 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.[97] 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.[97] 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.[103]
^ Kira Cochrane (24 January 2009). "Should I follow any rules?". The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-12-08. The Rules centres on the premise that "men are born to respond to challenge. Take away challenge and their interest wanes", and thus followers are instructed to suppress their natural instincts and continue as follows: ... never ask a man to dance, ... women should laugh at all their date's jokes...
Dating in Korea is also considered a necessary activity supported by society.[112] Korean adults are constantly questioned whether or not they are dating by the people around them.[112] During family gatherings on holidays one of the questions that people hate getting asked the most is related to marriage.[121] According to a survey it was the highest ranked by 47.3 percent.[121]
^ Jump up to: a b Lavina Melwani (2010). "The Mating Game". Little India. Archived from the original on 2010-12-14. Retrieved 2010-12-08. Matrimonial sites ... Even parents approve, because young people get to know each other – without physical contact! Parents get to check the details important to them and the couple can connect at many levels. While parents and family members post the resumes of a prospective bride or groom, ...
Desire, in this context, is a force of attraction in the wrong direction: we long for it, crave it, covet it, and want it. That sounds like a good description of what happens to a single that is getting interested in someone of the opposite sex. Desire is something that can be nourished or stifled. We can control and even eliminate it, if we deal with it immediately.
Since people dating often do not know each other well,[citation needed] there is the risk of violence, including date rape. According to one report, there was a 10% chance of violence between students happening between a boyfriend and girlfriend, sometimes described as "intimate partner violence", over a 12–month period.[66] A 2004 estimate was that 20% of U.S. high school girls aged 14–18 were "hit, slapped, shoved or forced into sexual activity".[67] Violence while dating isn't limited to any one culture or group or religion, but remains an issue in different countries.[68] (It is usually the female who is the victim, but there have been cases where males have been hurt as well.) Sara McCorquodale suggests that women meeting strangers on dates meet initially in busy public places, share details of upcoming dates with friends or family so they know where they'll be and who they'll be with, avoid revealing one's surname or address, and conduct searches on them on the Internet prior to the date.[69] One advisor suggested: Don't leave drinks unattended; have an exit plan if things go badly; and ask a friend to call you on your cell phone an hour into the date to ask how it's going.[69]
The game show If You Are the One, titled after Chinese personal ads, featured provocative contestants making sexual allusions and the show reportedly ran afoul of authorities and had to change its approach.[78] The two-host format involves a panel of 24 single women questioning a man to decide if he'll remain on the show; if he survives, he can choose a girl to date; the show gained notoriety for controversial remarks and opinions such as model Ma Nuo saying she'd prefer to "weep in a BMW than laugh on a bike", who was later banned from making appearances.[79]
Ironically, this can happen when a baptized member of God's church puts the person he is dating in higher esteem and importance than his devotion and responsibility to God. In this sense, he or she neglects being the spiritually betrothed in favor of his or her physical engagement. This is a type of rejection of God—a very serious sin and even to the point of idolatry!
^ Jump up to: a b "QQ chat rooms gain on dating agencies". China Daily. 2007-08-15. Retrieved 2010-12-09. The Internet QQ chat room is challenging traditional dating agencies ... more than 20,000 members. ... The QQ user groups charge little for service in comparison with traditional dating agencies, that usually collect 100 (US$13) to 200 yuan (US$26) per introduction.
Some people are asexual, meaning they don't experience sexual desire or attraction to others, but they still want to participate in a romantic relationship. While asexual people often choose to date each other to create a purely asexual relationship, this is not always the case. When an asexual person and a sexual person enter into a relationship, it can take a few different forms, according to the Asexuality Visibility & Education Network. The couple can choose to be completely sexless, or the asexual partner can "compromise" by engaging in sex occasionally under certain circumstances, or partners can experiment with "pseudosexual behavior," such as cuddling, to find an arrangement that works for both.  
Social rules regarding dating vary considerably according to variables such as country, social class, race, religion, age, sexual orientation and gender. Behavior patterns are generally unwritten and constantly changing. There are considerable differences between social and personal values. Each culture has particular patterns which determine such choices as whether the man asks the woman out, where people might meet, whether kissing is acceptable on a first date, the substance of conversation, who should pay for meals or entertainment,[17][18] or whether splitting expenses is allowed. Among the Karen people in Burma and Thailand, women are expected to write love poetry and give gifts to win over the man.[19][citation needed] Since dating can be a stressful situation, there is the possibility of humor to try to reduce tensions. For example, director Blake Edwards wanted to date singing star Julie Andrews, and he joked in parties about her persona by saying that her "endlessly cheerful governess" image from movies such as Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music gave her the image of possibly having "lilacs for pubic hair";[20] Andrews appreciated his humor, sent him lilacs, dated him and later married him, and the couple stayed together for 41 years until his death in 2010.[20]
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