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This period of courtship is sometimes seen as a precursor to engagement.

Dating as an institution is a relatively recent phenomenon which has mainly emerged in the last few centuries.

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.

Accordingly, there was little need for a temporary trial period such as dating before a permanent community-recognized union was formed between a man and a woman.

The two, Skout's chief executive officer and chief technology officer respectively, relaunched the network in 2009 as a dating and people discovery application and website after recognizing over 80% of the site's users were using it as a dating platform. - it uses the ‘Meet People’ search settings and instantly matches Skouters who share similar interests.