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A date is an occasion when one meets and goes out with a potential lover or future spouse. In this sense, the purpose of a date is for the people dating to get to know each other and decide whether they want to have a relationship. However, the term is also used to mean a social evening between people who have an established relationship, particularly if the goal is to relax away from day-to-day responsibilities, such as caring for children.

Around the 1990's, a movement against dating and casual romantic relationships arose in the conservative Christian community. This movement favored a more family-oriented model of Christian "courtship," as reflected in the writings of Elisabeth Elliott (Passion and Purity) and Joshua Harris (I Kissed Dating Goodbye)

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