One of the main purposes of dating is for two or more people to evaluate one another's suitability as a long term companion or spouse. Often physical characteristics, personality, financial status, and other aspects of the involved persons are judged and, as a result, feelings can be hurt and confidence shaken. Because of the uncertainty of the whole situation, the desire to be acceptable to the other person, and the possibility of rejection, dating can be very stressful for all parties involved. Some studies have shown that dating tends to be extremely difficult for people with social anxiety disorder.
So dating is not a good predictor of married life. The apparent health of your dating relationship does not guarantee that you will have an easy transition into a healthy marriage. Dating is not a realistic look at your relationship's ability to persevere. This is important because commitment and perseverance play an essential role in marriage. Commitment and perseverance are hard to see in a person through dating alone. It takes time to see the way a person truly is.
The old-fashioned name of this type of dating is called “courtship.” During courtship, a couple gets to know each other for the purpose of deciding whether they should get married or not. It might be informal and private, or it might be a public affair involving family or community approval. In most cases, it involves a commitment to an exclusive relationship with the other person to make this decision.
The reasons for dating in Korea are various. Research conducted by Saegye Daily showed that teenagers choose to date for reasons such as "to become more mature," "to gain consultation on worries, or troubles," or "to learn the difference between boys and girls," etc. Similarly, a news report in MK Daily showed that the primary reasons for dating for workers of around ages 20-30 are "emotional stability," "marriage," "someone to spend time with," etc. An interesting feature in the reasons for dating in Korea is that many Koreans are somewhat motivated to find a date due to the societal pressure that often views single persons as incompetent.
Journalist Emily Witt in 2016 wrote that while "social mores had changed to accept a wider range of sexual practices", there was still much "loneliness and anxiety". She traveled to San Francisco and began dating a lot, using Internet dating services and apps, and sometimes going to singles' bars alone, only to find that the "romantic-comedy concept of love" with a "perfect, permanent, tea-for-two ending" was not going to happen to her.
There's a ridiculous amount of social pressure in North America to have sex, for men to have "more" partners, and for women to detach emotionally and make it "okay." Almost everyone I met in Europe in their mid 20s to 30s had had one, maybe two, very long term partnerships, and perhaps one casual, one night stand. Everyone I know in North America? Um... I've lost count.
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.
There is a general perception that men and women approach dating differently, hence the reason why advice for each sex varies greatly, particularly when dispensed by popular magazines. For example, it is a common belief that heterosexual men often seek women based on beauty and youth. Psychology researchers at the University of Michigan suggested that men prefer women who seem to be "malleable and awed", and prefer younger women with subordinate jobs such as secretaries and assistants and fact-checkers rather than executive-type women. Online dating patterns suggest that men are more likely to initiate online exchanges (over 75%) and extrapolate that men are less "choosy", seek younger women, and "cast a wide net". In a similar vein, the stereotype for heterosexual women is that they seek well-educated men who are their age or older with high-paying jobs. Evolutionary psychology suggests that "women are the choosier of the genders" since "reproduction is a much larger investment for women" who have "more to lose by making bad choices."
Dating websites are gaining ground in India. Writer Rupa Dev preferred websites which emphasized authenticity and screened people before entering their names into their databases, making it a safer environment overall, so that site users can have greater trust that it is safe to date others on the site. Dev suggested that dating websites were much better than the anonymous chatrooms of the 1990s.
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.