This period of courtship is sometimes seen as a precursor to engagement or marriage.
Dating as an institution is a relatively recent phenomenon which has mainly emerged in the last few centuries.
These species-particular behavior patterns provide a context for aspects of human reproduction, including dating.
However, one particularity of the human species is that pair bonds are often formed without necessarily having the intention of reproduction.
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.