In (most places in) North America, a date consists of intention, like art. If your intention is to get to know the other person for a possible romantic partnership, you're on a date. The act of getting to know one another is called dating. Now, there's hooking up, friends with benefits, casual dating, and all manner of other things. Yet none of these are "dating." There's no courtship, there's zero determining if you're compatible romantically or long-term. You're just bumping the naughty bits, and that's why we North Americans have so many, varied terms for what is essentially a no strings attached sexual relationship.
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.
Friends back home couldn't get enough of this. My male friends scoffed, my female friends swooned. Yes, the guy really planned to have me serenaded, on our first date, along the Seine River. I lost my credit card and was two hours late, so instead we met for wine and cheese. We did, however, stroll hand-in-hand along a love lock bridge. It was like a fairytale. Or was it?
Historically, marriages in most societies were arranged by parents and older relatives with the goal not being love but legacy and "economic stability and political alliances", according to anthropologists. Accordingly, there was little need for a temporary trial period such as dating before a permanent community-recognized union was formed between a man and a woman. While pair-bonds of varying forms were recognized by most societies as acceptable social arrangements, marriage was reserved for heterosexual pairings and had a transactional nature, where wives were in many cases a form of property being exchanged between father and husband, and who would have to serve the function of reproduction. Communities exerted pressure on people to form pair-bonds in places such as Europe; in China, society "demanded people get married before having a sexual relationship" and many societies found that some formally recognized bond between a man and a woman was the best way of rearing and educating children as well as helping to avoid conflicts and misunderstandings regarding competition for mates.