From the standpoint of anthropology and sociology, dating is linked with other institutions such as marriage and the family which have also been changing rapidly and which have been subject to many forces, including advances in technology and medicine.
As humans societies have evolved from hunter-gatherers into civilized societies, there have been substantial changes in relations between people, with perhaps one of a few remaining biological constants being that both adult women and men must have sexual intercourse for human procreation to happen.
Historically, marriages in most societies were arranged by parents and older relatives with the goal not being love but legacy and "economic stability and political alliances", according to anthropologists.
Accordingly, there was little need for a temporary trial period such as dating before a permanent community-recognized union was formed between a man and a woman.
Thus, the concept of marriage is changing widely in many countries.Social rules regarding dating vary considerably according to variables such as country, social class, race, religion, age, sexual orientation and gender.Behavior patterns are generally unwritten and constantly changing.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.