Each year, November 11 has become an unofficial holiday known as China's Singles' Day when singles are encouraged to make an extra effort to find a partner. Worried parents of unmarried children often arrange dates for their offspring on this day as well as others. Before the day approaches, thousands of college students and young workers post messages describing their plans for this day. In Arabic numerals, the day looks like "1111", that is, "like four single people standing together", and there was speculation that it originated in the late 1990s when college students celebrated being single with "a little self-mockery" but a differing explanation dates it back to events in the Roman Empire. For many, Singles' Day offers people a way to "demonstrate their stance on love and marriage.
Blind dating is where two people who do not know each other are set up by someone else to go on a date. Blind dates are usually set up by friends, family or co-workers. You can ask your friend to set you up on a blind date, or it could come as a surprise. Don't hesitate to let others know what you're looking for. That way, your blind date isn't so blind.
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.