Dating has been around for centuries. Throughout the decades, people in different cultures have developed their own method of dating, but the concept remains the same. Human beings are considered a tournament species, which is the name given to creatures that compete for a mate. Although not every human pair stays together after courtship, we constantly show these behavior traits. Luckily, most cultures have evolved into a more open courtship process. Capability and physical appearance still play a role, but much more freedom has entered into the courtship equation.
Dating Customs of Old
During the medieval era, European weddings were generally arranged by family members. These were viewed more as a business agreement than a blossoming love between two young people. Through these unions, families could obtain status or other benefits. Not surprisingly, a great number of people in these situations wound up in discreet love affairs. Dating as we know it today had no real place during this period. This practice slowly changed over time.
If you compare dating of long ago with the current practices in many cultures today, you will find that traditional courtship was very tame. The couple would be permitted to spend time together, usually at home and only with a chaperone. This would ensure that nothing intimate would occur during the meeting. Women were also encouraged to play hard to get. During 1851, the average age of newly married couples was approximately 24 years.
Dating soon left the home and went public, so to speak, among the lower class. Viewing their homes as unsuitable for a date, many people began meeting in public places. Dinner and a movie became a very popular choice, and still are for many couples today. As time went on, couples would spend time together unsupervised.
Modern Day Dating
The dating methods many cultures see today have become a bit more complicated than they once were. Long ago, young people were not given options and were strictly monitored in their courtship habits. Today, most young can date who they want when they want. Teenagers often go on dates, usually un-chaperoned. The advancement of technology has given individuals more ways to meet and form a relationship. Every day, men and women meet potential mates online, converse by phone or send text messages. A great deal of interacting can be done long before two people ever meet face to face.
Sexuality in dating has also become a far more prominent subject. Many cultures are more open about intimacy. Language and clothing have also furthered this lean towards a more open sexual element in dating. It appears some cultures are also waiting a little longer before tying themselves down with marriage. The current average marrying age in Europe is up to 29 years.
Accepted dating customs vary from one culture to the next. Some still adhere to very strict, traditional guidelines while others have opened up significantly. Regardless of culture, dating remains the generally accepted way to build a relationship with another person.