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.
I think dating, as you say, is super casual, you might be dating a few people, playing the field, just seeing what’s out there. Seeing someone on the other hand is much more exclusive, that sort of limbo stage between dating and making it official! This is a really great and amusing post to read! I really enjoyed it! And loved the ‘Friend’s with benefits’ gif in there! It’s one of my favourite feel good movies!
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.
Exclusive dating occurs when both parties make a commitment to date only each other. This typically occurs some time between one to six months after the first date. It's the next logical step after casual dating and it gives both of you an opportunity to discover if you are involved in a serious relationship that may ultimately lead to a lasting commitment that may result in marriage. Exclusive dating is a learning process; after one or more exclusive dating experiences, singles often have a better understanding of the kind of life partner they seek.
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.
Romantic encounters were often described with French terms like rendezvous or tête-à-tête. The German term of Stelldichein (as translated by Joachim Heinrich Campes) is used to signify dating when the age of consent to marriage was relatively high. German traditions to signify lovers who met in hiding were described with terms like Fensterln (windowing) or Kiltgang (dawn stroll) used in Bavaria and Switzerland. Analyst Sebastian Heinzel sees a major cultural divide between American dating habits and European informality, and leads to instances in which European expatriates in cities such as New York keep to themselves.
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.