Dating is any social activity undertaken by, typically, two people with the aim of each assessing the other's suitability as their partner in an intimate relationship or as a spouse. The word refers to the act of meeting and engaging in some mutually agreed upon social activity. Traditional dating activities include entertainment or a meal.
In many cultural traditions, a date may be arranged by a third party, who may be a family member, acquaintance, or professional matchmaker. Recently internet dating has become popular.
Although dating etiquette in Western culture has become more relaxed during the twentieth century, there are considerable differences between social and personal values. For example, when an activity costs money (for example, a meal), traditionally the man was expected to pay; but in recent times the practice of "going Dutch" (splitting the expenses) has become common and acceptable.