Thus, the concept of marriage is changing widely in many countries.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.

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By showing an interest in these three digits, people are probably being smart rather than shallow, says Jeffrey Hall, associate professor of communications at the University of Kansas.

“Finances, education, and job prospects all factor into the value of a potential mate,” he says.

The protocols and practices of dating, and the terms used to describe it, vary considerably from country to country and over time.

While the term has several meanings, the most frequent usage refers to two people exploring whether they are romantically or sexually compatible by participating in dates with the other.

Neurobiologist Robert Sapolsky constructed a reproductive spectrum with opposite poles being tournament species, in which males compete fiercely for reproductive privileges with females, and pair bond arrangements, in which a male and female will bond for life.

These species-particular behavior patterns provide a context for aspects of human reproduction, including dating.

In the twentieth century, dating was sometimes seen as a precursor to marriage but it could also be considered as an end-in-itself, that is, an informal social activity akin to friendship.

It generally happened in that portion of a person's life before the age of marriage, enabled dates to be arranged without face-to-face contact.

Some people inquire about a potential mate’s age or how many previous partners they’ve had. Some 42% of adults say knowing someone’s credit score would affect their willingness to date that person, according to a recent survey of 1,000 adults by personal finance website Women were nearly three times as likely to consider credit score a major influence on a potential partner compared to men (20% versus 7%).

Younger daters are not as concerned about these three digits: 45% of older millennials, defined here as those aged 27 to 36, said that knowing someone’s credit score would only have a minor impact on their desire to date.

These people will have dates on a regular basis, and they may or may not be having sexual relations.