When most Americans think of dating, they think of dinner and a movie. However, dating has changed drastically over the course of history and varies from country to country as well.
In the early ages, there was no dating or courtship. Men actually captured their wives! They would raid villages and take the women they wanted for their own. A lot of our dating traditions were born in the medieval times from the concept of chivalry. This is where we got out notion that the male should pay for dinner and that a male should hold the door open for a lady. Women were actually given the right to propose marriage in 1228!
Between 1830 and 1900, romantic love was considered important to relationships. The rules for dating were strict and steadfast. Men and women had cards with their names imprinted on them which were left for each other in an elaborate courtship ritual. It was commonplace for chaperones to accompany couples on dates.
Today things have changed, but still there are special customs depending on where you live.
In Australia, girls often ask boys out on dates and pay for everything.
In European countries, teenagers often go out on group dates.
Dating is actually forbidden in Iran. Boys and girls are kept separate until they are ready to be married and then their parents do the introductions.
Dating is also very rare in Afghanistan, as most marriages are arranged.
Japanese and Korean individuals usually do not begin dating until they are in college.
In Brazil, group dates are not common at all. People tend to date much longer before they get married.
In China, dating usually does not begin until an individual is in their twenties.
Chinese singles usually only date one or two people before they get married. There are also still instances of arranged marriages.
In most Asian countries it is customary for young people to remain at home until they are married and often a newlywed couple will live with one set of parents for awhile after they are married.
In Kiev, women do not like to shake hands. They think that it is not feminine. A woman will hold onto a man's arm when they are out on a date instead of holding his hand.
Relationships and marriage are important in all cultures, but the actual act of dating varies greatly depending on where you live.