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.

Author's Bio: 

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 http://www.successpublishers.com.ng . 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 http://marryright.wordpress.com/. Email: Francis19561@hotmail.com