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The term 'dating' refers to a process through which a person gets together with another person to explore the possibilities of romantic and sexual coupling. People generally start dating in their middle teen years some time after puberty (biological sexual maturation) has started. The majority of people at first date in an exploratory fashion, forming intense but temporary unions with one or more people in series. Teenage exploration dating tends to turn into more goal-directed dating as people age into adulthood and experience social and internal pressures to 'get married', settle down and have a family. Though most adults do end up forming more permanent committed relationships (which may involve marriage and/or children), not all who do remain faithful to their relationships. Some substantial minority of married adults continue to date after marriage by forming adulterous liaisons and affairs. While many committed relationships do thrive, a number also fail due to divorce, death and other circumstances. The survivors of these relationships, bruised as they are, often find themselves motivated to go back into the dating pool to try their luck at relationship building again.

People can be motivated to date each other for a variety of reasons, both healthy and unhealthy. People are social beings who desire the companionship of others and feel lonely without it. People are sexual beings who crave sexual relationships and the physical warmth of another body. People a...

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