Generally, during much of recorded history of humans in civilization, and into the Middle Ages in Europe, weddings were seen as business arrangements between families, while romance was something that happened outside of marriage discreetly, such as covert meetings.
From about 1700 a worldwide movement perhaps described as the "empowerment of the individual" took hold, leading towards greater emancipation of women and equality of individuals.
This period of courtship is sometimes seen as a precursor to engagement or marriage.
Dating as an institution is a relatively recent phenomenon which has mainly emerged in the last few centuries.
Rule # 4 - Before you jump back into dating right away, take some time to reflect on where you have been and where you're going.