Dating traditionally is a term to describe two people participating in activities together in order to get to know each other and determine suitability for a more intimate relationship or marriage.

Increasingly, however, it is more of a term that people use to describe a relationship (often but not always involving sexual relations) as having no emotional attachment. A person can be 'dating' several people at once.

In this article, we're going to look at some of the more common terms used to describe dating.

One term that used to be pretty much synonymous with it is courtship - an older (although still practiced in some cultures) version of dating, in which there are usually chaperones, and the meeting itself is typically arranged by a third party (relatives of the couple, generally).

Third parties (although not necessarily family, it's often through a dating service or friends) can set up 'blind dates' in which the two people involved do not previously know each other.

Another activity is 'speed dating' in which a group of people come together, and, through a fairly structured method, are systematically paired with each other for a short period of time in order to see if any of the participants make a connection.

Another term widely used is 'online dating.' This is where people meet typically through signing up at a third party website and answering a series of questions designed to match people that will be hopefully compatible. This is becoming more and more popular, and the screening methods are becoming more advanced as well.

Something becoming increasingly popular is 'virtual dating' in which people spend time on a virtual world interacting with each other via 'avatars' (their in-game personas) and perhaps at some point actually start dating in the real world.

There's also a tendency in recent years towards 'hook-up' sites, where people can find others who are just interested in one-night stands or sexual relationships with no emotional ties or commitments.

There are a lot of other dating terms, but these are currently some of the more common ones being used. By exploring this category today you can find out a lot more about the various forms dating can take, and all the different nuances and subtopics that can be involved.