How your country affects the way you define dating?

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Many social realities have evolved throughout the years. Dating is one of those. Not only has it evolve with time, but it’s social significance and importance varies around the world. Dating holds a strong place in Millennials’ life. According to Urban Dictionary, it is when ” two people who are attracted to each other spend time together to see if they also can stand to be around each other most of the time, if this is successful they develop a relationship”. Simply put, dating usually comes before a committed relationship.

Like many social realities, dating manifests itself differently in different countries. Religion and language are two social aspects that have a strong effect on dating. Overall, North-Americans are said to be more cautious and wary of commitment, while Europeans tend to look for commitment and establish it pretty quickly. But like many social aspects in the western world, dating is also shaped by multiculturalism. Therefore dating norms can differ from one community to another, influenced by cultural or religious traditions. In the eastern world, where one religion is dominant and regulates the state (officially or not) these norms are way more homogenous.

Language also has an effect on the dating realities of a region. The simple term “dating” allows English speakers to label a relationship (instead of having to label someone as a boyfriend/girlfriend). But many languages or dialects do not have a direct translation of this term. We don’t need to look far to be able to find an example. Here, in Canada, young french-speaking Millennials do not have a direct translation of the word “dating”. Although we have been able to find a way to translate the dating stage with “sortir avec” or “voir quelqu’un”, the fact that it isn’t anchored into our language’s culture causes for the “dating” stage to not be a go-to definition of a relationship. In Canada, where most are bilingual, this doesn’t cause much of an impact on social norms, but in a smaller country where there’s only on dialect, this can shape society.

It is clear, that dating isn’t simply young Millennials being afraid of commitment, but that its definition and perception can come from cultural and religious history.

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