Dating is a stage of sexual selection in humans whereby two people meet socially, possibly as friends or possibly with the aim of each assessing the other's suitability as a partner in an intimate relationship or marriage.
A related sense of the term refers to a couple who have already decided that they like each other, and are seeing each other on a regular basis, and who may or may not be having sexual relations.
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.
People have all sorts of deal breakers when it comes to the people they date, and they tend to be highly subjective. But no one would consider discriminating against meat eaters or Republicans a type of bigotry. My relationship with the Lutheran, while lasting 9 months, was one of my most stressful and unhappy relationships precisely because of the religion issue.
Some people have no interests in nerds (an idea which has caused more than one internet kerfuffle), while I consider nerdiness a requirement. And really, religion is no different, despite the way many people in society want to treat it. My dating record has gone something like: Apathetic Agnostic Wiccan (who later turned atheist, I think because of me) Hard core Rush Limbaugh loving Lutheran (more on that anomaly in a bit) Atheist Atheist Atheist And if I had to put money on it, the next boyfriend will probably be an atheist too. Like most high school relationships, we only superficially got along – we were both nerds with similar tastes in movies.
I don’t give a damn what type of music you listen to, but that can be important to someone who loves the music scene. Going to crack jokes about me getting in the kitchen? It’s an idea and philosophy, and one that makes me want to bash my head in. But I knew he didn’t agree with my religious views – that it made him feel guilty and even embarrassed for dating me – and in return it made me feel like crap.
Some people find complementary political ideas are necessary, and others thing lively debate spices up a relationship. And when religion came up, we’d get in the stupidest, most unproductive fights. Now that I’m a full fledged atheist activist, I don’t know how it could work.
When I’ve said that before, some people say it’s hypocritical – that discriminating against a potential romantic interest based on religion is itself a form of bigotry.
Even if they loved the debate and their kink was being constantly told how wrong they are…no thanks.
I deal enough with debunking religious ridiculousness as is – I don’t want to spend my relaxing time doing that too.
I’ve had people quip that I’m narrowing my dating pool.