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Apparently, a Very Different Thing from dating.

A more specific term from dating, mate selection is the process of finding a suitable partner to have a long-term relationship with, which may or may not extend to marriage and eventually starting a family. Monogamy is generally an essential aspect of mate selection.

Dating, as compared to mate selection, can involve multiple partners, in relationships that are not expected last beyond the short-term.

It should be mentioned here that the two aren't mutually exclusive: it is possible to have a long-term relationship under the area of mate selection, and to be dating other people. To give a personal example, my girlfriend and I are involved in a long-term relationship; however, we've reached the understanding that dating other people, with no pretense of wanting a long-term relationship, doesn't have a detrimental effect on our relationship.

It's really quite a liberating concept.

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