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Historically, marriages in most societies were arranged by parents and older relatives with the goal not being love but legacy and "economic stability and political alliances", according to anthropologists.Accordingly, there was little need for a temporary trial period such as dating before a permanent community-recognized union was formed between a man and a woman.These species-particular behavior patterns provide a context for aspects of human reproduction, including dating.However, one particularity of the human species is that pair bonds are often formed without necessarily having the intention of reproduction.Then we looked for adjectives that were often used together: did “romantic” lovers also tend to be “passionate”? In the picture below, adjectives that are placed close together are often used together.The colored clusters of adjectives correspond to 5 types of lovers.While pair-bonds of varying forms were recognized by most societies as acceptable social arrangements, marriage was reserved for heterosexual pairings and had a transactional nature, where wives were in many cases a form of property being exchanged between father and husband, and who would have to serve the function of reproduction.Communities exerted pressure on people to form pair-bonds in places such as Europe; in China, society "demanded people get married before having a sexual relationship" and many societies found that some formally recognized bond between a man and a woman was the best way of rearing and educating children as well as helping to avoid conflicts and misunderstandings regarding competition for mates.
Which begs another interesting question: how do these adjectives influence which whom we choose to contact?
This period of courtship is sometimes seen as a precursor to engagement.
Dating as an institution is a relatively recent phenomenon which has mainly emerged in the last few centuries.
“There are as many forms of love,” Jane Austen wrote, “as there are moments in time.” But are there as many forms of lovers?
To answer this question, we looked at the adjectives with which e Harmony users describe themselves in their profiles, “intelligent” and “funny” being the most common.