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In some societies, the parents or community propose potential partners and then allow limited dating to determine whether the parties are suited.
In Japan, there is a such type of courtship called Omiai, with similar practices called "Xiangqin" (相親) in the Greater China Area.
Scientific research into courtship began in the 1980s after which time academic researchers started to generate theories about modern dating practices and norms.
The average duration of courtship varies considerably throughout the world.
Furthermore, there is vast individual variation between couples.
It is common to see the male showing off by sending love letters and love poems, singing romantic songs, and buying gifts for the female.
The parents are also seen as part of the courtship practice, as their approval is commonly needed before courtship may begin or before the female gives the male an answer to his advances.
Throughout history, courtship has often included traditions such as exchanging valentines, written correspondence (which was facilitated by the creation of the postal service in the nineteenth century), and similar communication-based courting.
Over recent decades, though, the concept of arranged marriage has 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 or not to continue the relationship.
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 which partners are chosen for young people, typically by their parents.
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.
Traditions are often referred to as a thing of the past, although there are many people that still follow the old-fashioned courting route for their relationships.