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Forbidding experimental and serial courtship and sanctioning only arranged matches is partly a means of guarding the chastity of young people and partly a matter of furthering family interests, which in such cultures may be considered more important than individual romantic preferences.Over recent decades though, the concept of arranged marriage ha s changed or simply been mixed with other forms of dating, including Eastern and Indian ones; potential couples have the opportunity to meet and date each other before one decides on whether to continue the relationship or not.In the earlier 1800s, young adults were expected to court with the intention of finding a marriage partner, rather than for social reasons.

The matchmaker and parents will often exert pressure on the couple to decide whether they want to marry or not after a few dates.

Courtship in the Philippines is one known complex form of courtship.

A courtship may be an informal and private matter between two people or may be a public affair, or a formal arrangement with family approval.

Traditionally, in the case of a formal engagement, it has been perceived that it is the role of a male to actively "court" or "woo" a female, thus encouraging her to understand him and her receptiveness to a proposal of marriage.

In America, in the 1820s, the phrase "date" was most closely associated with prostitution.

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