What to Do on a Date (1951)

DVD: www.amazon.com thefilmarchive.org Dating is a form of courtship consisting of social activities done by two persons with the aim of each assessing the other’s suitability as a partner in an intimate relationship or as a spouse. While the term has several senses, it usually refers to the act of meeting and engaging in some mutually agreed upon social activity in public, together, as a couple. The protocols and practices of dating, and the terms used to describe it, vary considerably from country to country. The most common sense is two people trying out a relationship and exploring whether they’re compatible by going out together in public as a couple, and who may or may not yet be having sexual relations, and this period of courtship is sometimes seen as a precursor to engagement or marriage. One report suggested the United States as well as other western-oriented countries were different from the rest of the world because “love is the reason for mating”, as opposed to marriages being arranged to cement economic and class ties between families and promote political stability. Dating, by mutual consent of two single people, is the norm. British writer Kira Cochrane, after moving to the US, found herself grappling with the American approach to dating. She wondered why it was acceptable to juggle “10 potential partners” while weighing different attributes; she found American-style dating to be “exhausting and strange.” She found dating in America to be “organized in a
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