Internet dating is just the modern version of the first "matrimonial" agencies of the 1700s, which helped lonely bachelors search for wives through printed ads, said author H. Cocks, a history lecturer at the University of Nottingham, UK.
In between, the social acceptance of personals has waxed and waned with the times.
For this reason, the history of dating tends to be quite different for the LGBT population.
In the first decade of the twentieth century, men "called upon" young women whom they fancied by (with the permission of her parents) visiting her home.
Taboo or not, the practice certainly isn't new.
However, in today's society, dating can be seen as its own social relationship, with no ending point or specific destination (such as marriage) required.
It is important to note that many of these mainstream rituals were strictly confined to heterosexual dating.
In the early days of dating, many LGBT couples had to keep their relationships a secret for fear of being public stigmatized.
Since lower-class families did not have the resources to entertain potential suitors in their home, many couples began leaving the house to spend time together.
Thus, the phrase "going out on a date" became popularized.