With the use of modern technology, people can date via telephone or computer or meet in person.
This term may also refer to two or more people who have already decided they share romantic or sexual feelings toward each other.
In the twentieth century, dating was sometimes seen as a precursor to marriage but it could also be considered as an end-in-itself, that is, an informal social activity akin to friendship.
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.
Men and women became more equal politically, financially, and socially in many nations.
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 or marriage.
Today, the institution of dating continues to evolve at a rapid rate with new possibilities and choices opening up particularly through online dating.