Dating may also involve two or more people who have already decided that they share romantic or sexual feelings toward each other.
Women eventually won the right to vote in many countries and own property and receive equal treatment by the law, and these changes had profound impacts on the relationships between men and women. In many societies, individuals could decide—on their own—whether they should marry, whom they should marry, and when they should marry.
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.
Dating reverently from its era, as the Moslem from his Hegira.
I have now found Anthony Wood's authority for dating his birth in 1545.