Over on Lars' blog, I've responded to a non sequitur comments question about dating.
Anyway, it's interesting to me that dating is such a phenomenon to most Europeans. It's not uncommon for people to ask just what we (Americans) are doing when we date. And there are explanations for our mysterious and strange mating behavior. We move around a lot. We don't tend to have friend groups in the way that people do here. It isn't uncommon for someone in Holland to have their friends from growing up, high school friends, university friends, sports group friends, and so forth. These aren't groups that mix well or easily, either. However, they are resilient. Going from friends to relationship is a smaller step than stranger or acquaintance to relationship.
Besides, dating in the United States has provided plenty of fodder for gossip magazines, movies, and sitcoms. Not to mention all the forms of dating - the speed date, the blind date, and even double dating! Someone should research this. Someone probably already has - and gotten a degree. Maybe even written a book. Probably someone who does Cultural Theory or Sociology. Imagine the dating dissertation. Would one rely on field research or questionnaires? What kinds of ethical issues would come into play? Can you date a study subject?