The first large-scale computer dating system, The Scientific Marriage Foundation, was established in 1957 by Dr. George W. Crane. In this system, forms that applicants filled out were processed by an IBM card sorting machine. The earliest commercially successfully computerized dating service in either the US or UK was Com-Pat, started by Joan Ball in 1964. Operation Match, started by Harvard University students a year later is often erroneously claimed to be the "first computerized dating service." In actuality, both Com-Pat and Operation Match were preceded by other computerized dating services in Europe—the founders of Operation Match and Joan Ball of Com-Pat both stated they had heard about these European computer dating services and that those served as the inspiration for their respective ideas to create computer dating businesses.
Dating is a stage of romantic relationships in humans whereby two people meet socially with the aim of each assessing the other's suitability as a prospective partner in an intimate relationship. It is a form of courtship, consisting of social activities done by the couple, either alone or with others. The protocols and practices of dating, and the terms used to describe it, vary considerably from country to country and over time. While the term has several meanings, the most frequent usage refers to two people exploring whether they are romantically or sexually compatible by participating in dates with the other. With the use of modern technology, people can date via telephone or computer or just meet in person.
Research from Berkeley suggests there's a dropoff in interest after online daters meet face–to–face. It's a lean medium not offering standard cues such as tone of voice, gestures, and facial expressions. There is substantial data about online dating habits; for example, researchers believe that "the likelihood of a reply to a message sent by one online dater to another drops roughly 0.7 percent with every day that goes by". Psychologist Lindsay Shaw Taylor found that even though people said they'd be willing to date someone of a different race, that people tend to choose dates similar to themselves.
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The prospect of love often entails anxiety, sometimes with a fear of commitment  and a fear of intimacy for persons of both sexes. One woman said "being really intimate with someone in a committed sense is kind of threatening" and described love as "the most terrifying thing." In her Psychology Today column, research scientist, columnist, and author Debby Herbenick compared it to a roller coaster:
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Meat lover,all sorts,country music a must, dining out with good company,computer,camping out,cards,Shopping in other town,love spending time with my older grown children and granddaughter,got a love for old classic cars,I own a commadore,love cooking,it’s one of my passions..travelling in around Queensland,Love spending holiday time with family.gardening,keeping a tidy house,but not a clean freak.
While some of what happens on a date is guided by an understanding of basic, unspoken rules, there is considerable room to experiment, and there are numerous sources of advice available. Sources of advice include magazine articles, self-help books, dating coaches, friends, and many other sources. And the advice given can pertain to all facets of dating, including such aspects as where to go, what to say, what not to say, what to wear, how to end a date, how to flirt, and differing approaches regarding first dates versus subsequent dates. In addition, advice can apply to periods before a date, such as how to meet prospective partners, as well as after a date, such as how to break off a relationship.[excessive citations]