In many societies, individuals could decideвon their ownвwhether they should marry, whom they should marry, and when they should marry. A few centuries ago, dating was sometimes described as a ""courtship ritual where young women entertained gentleman callers, usually in the home, under the watchful eye of a chaperone ,""  but increasingly, in many Western countries, it became a self-initiated activity with two young people going out as a couple in public together.
Still, dating varies considerably by nation, custom, religious upbringing, technology, dating 12 years older social class, and important exceptions with regards to individual freedoms remain as many countries today still practice arranged marriages, request dowries, and forbid same-sex pairings.
Although in many countries, movies, meals, and meeting in coffeehouses and other places is now popular, as are advice books suggesting various strategies for men and women,  in other parts of the world, such as in South Asia and many parts of the Middle East, being alone in public as a couple with another person is not only frowned upon but can even lead to either person being socially ostracized.
In the twentieth century, dating was sometimes seen as a precursor to marriage but it could also be considered as an end-in-itself, that is, an informal social activity akin to friendship.
It generally happened in that portion of a person's life before the age of marriage,  but as marriage became less permanent with the advent of divorcedating could happen at other times in peoples lives as well.
After Americain West Side Story, Blaine talks to Rachel about how nervous he is about performing because they are both virgins. She tells him it's not about sex, it's about finding your soul-mate against all odds - she tells him that they have both experienced that and he looks ready to cry. The next scene Kurt and Blaine have together is after the opening night - Blaine is rehearsing a move that he messed up.
Kurt comes up behind him and says he should be celebrating. Without making eye contact, Blaine continues to dance, explaining that he screwed up.
Kurt tells him that he thought the dance step had been perfect and Blaine stops dancing, finally meeting Kurt's gaze. They exchange congratulations and thanks before Kurt says that the Warblers - and Sebastian - had been in the audience.
Blaine changes from being distant to address the issue between them and calls Kurt over to him.