Dating is the first of the pre-marriage relationships.  The other stages are courtship and engagement.  It
simply means meeting, appointment, going out with someone or seeing someone
with the objective of learning relationship skills or socialization and building
a relationship.  The age at which someone
starts dating helps to determine which dating objective is in focus.  The ultimate objective of dating is to find a
courtship partner or would be spouse.

At what age one can start dating has become a thorny issue.  Among the advanced climes of the world, dating is incorporated in the growing up of
people.  Among the developing nations of
the world, dating is in some places considered inappropriate behavior.  However, with the world becoming a global
village, it has also become impossible for the developing societies to not
factor dating and its related practices in their vocabulary and culture.  Not with a mistake in London becoming a
fashion in Lagos in less than one hour of its occurrence or New York fashion
that previously took decades to reach Nairobi now exhibited almost
simultaneously in the two cities via satellite and internet communications that
is becoming very robust these days.

In the advanced cultures of North America and Europe, young people start dating as early as 16 years of age.  This stage of dating is purposed for the learning of relationship and communication skills by the young people.  Of course, legally and biologically, marriage
cannot be considered at this age.  For
girls, they have at least two years of practice to gain the ability to
communicate with the opposite sex given that marriage is possible for the
female gender from age 18.  For the boys,
this gives them from 3 to more years of experience given that they would need
to be about 19 years of age before considering marriage in some places.  Talk of boys being more babies than girls.

In the developing world, dating where it ever exists does not start until people are ready for marriage.  As the world comes close, city people of the developing world are practicing dating and other related pre-marriage
relationships such as courtship and engagement. 
But majority of the people still wake up and approach a girl’s family
and declare their intention to marry her without first considering what she
feels or wants from life.  It may
surprise you to know that even among the elite in these communities; they are
still marrying their daughters out without much regard to what she would have
considered on her own.

It is strongly suggested here that a dating culture starting from age 16 or even 14 be introduced in all societies.  Its curriculum may have to be developed with explicit teachings against premarital sex. 
Those who think that this might lead people to promiscuity should
consider the emerging facts of our time – the fact that children are becoming
sexually active from age 9 and contrary to the popular opinion, they are
seriously engaging in sexual intercourse at very younger age.

An officially adopted dating relationship culture and education or cultural education has become important.  The curriculum should include
the need for sexual purity, the dangers of premarital sex, laying great
emphasis on the purpose and or objective of early life dating which is for
socialization or the acquisition of social skills.  This would even have a positive impact on
marriages and improve the quality of families and the society.

Francis Nmeribe helps people who desire a joyful relationship in their dating, courtship and marriage relationships.  He is the author of numerous great relationship and personal development articles and books
including - "Foundation For Joyful Relationships", "Wrong
Reasons For Getting Married", "Growing From Your Experiences",
"Action Quotes".  If you need help with your dating, courtship
and marriage relationships, contact Francis Nmeribe at  . Subscribe to the RSS Feeds and get a free
copy of the Ebook version of "Wrong Reasons For Getting
Married".  Read more free relationship articles on my blog
Email: [email protected]

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