Since people dating often do not know each other well, 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. A 2004 estimate was that 20% of U.S. high school girls aged 14–18 were "hit, slapped, shoved or forced into sexual activity". Violence while dating isn't limited to any one culture or group or religion, but remains an issue in different countries. (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. 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.
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.
Our prayers should take on the quality of communication that is the ideal when a man and a woman date toward marriage. On the first date, they may not know much about each other, but with further contact their knowledge of each other grows. In talking back and forth, the relationship develops. They discover common interests. They begin to find each other attractive and fascinating as they get to know them better.
If you tell a teenager that "necking" or "making out" is wrong, that it should never be indulged in outside of marriage, that it robs his future marriage of much of its possible joys, delights, and blissful happiness in marriage—the young man or woman will probably look at you rather pityingly, wondering how you could be so naïve! He would probably reverse the truth and shoot back, "Where have you been for the last hundred years, that you do not know the facts of life yet?" This is the attitude that many teens have toward adults.
But what's the harm? Isn't this just entertainment? Well, let's see. Corporations spend billions of dollars every year on advertising. Why? Because they know that media affects behavior. Today's youth are the most marketed-to generation in the history of the world. Our kids are spending an estimated $200 billion a year on trinkets and toys and clothes and media. Marketing executives at MTV and other youth oriented media do not brag about how they know what kids want, but about how they have learned to manipulate the teenage mind. They are selling a "lifestyle" to our children that robs them of their innocence and their best futures, and capitalizes on the natural raging hormones that mark the teen years. Instead of helping channel that energy into worthwhile activities, the media fuels the flames in an effort to keep them tuned into the programming. These marketers are teaching our young girls that their lives are all about their sexual power and our young boys that life is all about who can be more crudely funny or irresponsible. Sexual activity is expected and has no consequences. Civility does not exist. The only brand of respect that's taught is a twisted brand of "self-respect."
Humans have been compared to other species in terms of sexual behavior. Neurobiologist Robert Sapolsky constructed a reproductive spectrum with opposite poles being tournament species, in which males compete fiercely for reproductive privileges with females, and pair bond arrangements, in which a male and female will bond for life. According to Sapolsky, humans are somewhat in the middle of this spectrum, in the sense that humans form pair bonds, but there is the possibility of cheating or changing partners. These species-particular behavior patterns provide a context for aspects of human reproduction, including dating. However, one particularity of the human species is that pair bonds are often formed without necessarily having the intention of reproduction. In modern times, emphasis on the institution of marriage, generally described as a male-female bond, has obscured pair bonds formed by same-sex and transgender couples, and that many heterosexual couples also bond for life without offspring, or that often pairs that do have offspring separate. Thus, the concept of marriage is changing widely in many countries.