It is a form of courtship, consisting of social activities done by the couple, either alone or with others.The protocols and practices of dating, and the terms used to describe it, vary considerably from country to country and over time.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.
From about 1700 a worldwide movement perhaps described as the "empowerment of the individual" took hold, leading towards greater emancipation of women and equality of individuals.
Information about human sexuality grew, and with it an acceptance of all types of sexual orientations is becoming more common.
Today, the institution of dating continues to evolve at a rapid rate with new possibilities and choices opening up particularly through online dating.
It generally happened in that portion of a person's life before the age of marriage, enabled dates to be arranged without face-to-face contact.
Cars extended the range of dating as well as enabled back-seat sexual exploration.