From ArticleWorld

Dating and courtship vary from country to culture in reasons, methods and needs.

Dating and courtship around the world

The different types of courtship vary as much as the societies that practice them. In some societies, it is highly structured, with well-known rules. In others, arranged marriages are the norm. Sometimes, members of the community select potential partners and limited dating is allowed. In Japan, a matchmaker provides pictures and resumes of potential mates and often attends the initial, formal meeting (this is called Omiai). Meanwhile, in Western societies, dates are more social occasions; a chance for potential lovers or spouses to get to know each other. Sometimes the term is used to define a social evening between an already established couple.

Dating today

After World War II, commercial dating agencies emerged in the Western world, as did newspaper and magazine personal ads. But dating and courtship continues to evolve to meet the needs of tech-savvy singles. Home phones with answering machines, cell phones and Web-based systems allow singles to get to know each other via instant messaging, e-mail or video. This technology is popular: Currently, one in five singles is said to use the Internet for dating.

The trend continues to grow. According to an article published in Canadian Business in February 2002, 53 percent of online consumers know someone who has started a friendship or relationship online and three quarters of 18-24 year old online consumers say they do. Sites like, and allow Web-savvy users to interact with each other on a social level, oftentimes resulting in a face-to-face meeting and eventual courtship.

Animal courtship

In the animal kingdom, courtship activities play a role in sexual selection and reproductive decision making. Rituals prepare the sexes for mating, allow for recognition and help a female choose a mate. Females who produce fewer eggs (and thus have fewer opportunities to reproduce) are generally thought of being more selective in terms of their mates. Since male animals produce sperm in great quantities, they do not have as strong a need to be selective.