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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.
Dating may also involve two or more people who have already decided that they share romantic or sexual feelings toward each other. These people will have dates on a regular basis, and they may or may not be having sexual relations. This period of courtship is sometimes seen as a precursor to engagement. Some cultures[which?] require people to wait until a certain age to begin dating, which has been a source of controversy.
As of the census of 2000, there were 7,123 people, 2,954 households, and 2,055 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 1,473.6 people per square mile (569.4/km²). There were 3,067 housing units at an average density of 634.5 per square mile (245.2/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 94.59% White, 0.38% African American, 0.51% Native American, 1.22% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 1.47% from other races, and 1.71% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.38% of the population.
There were 2,954 households out of which 26.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.9% were married couples living together, 7.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.4% were non-families. 25.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.87.