The intentions behind a person's urge and need to date, are a clear reflection of how he perceives the process of dating. If a person is only looking for a short-term stint and sexual pleasure, then he may approach a date keeping only these two things in mind. Love, companionship, commitment and marriage would never be his intention.
Besides the type of intentions I just mentioned, there are many other manifestations of intentions, that work at the subtle level, and influence a person's expectation from a date. Let us take a look at some major reasons why people go out together.
At The Heart of Intentions
Companionship. Although some people try to deny that, they need someone to love them, and someone who they can love back; it's true that everyone needs someone. Human interaction is normal, healthy and natural. Having a relationship with someone is an extremely meaningful experience. People who date for this reason aren't in denial about their needs as a human being.
Sex. There are people who date just for sex. Sometimes people, particularly women, desire intimacy strongly, and think sex is the way to get it. It is the very closest you can get to a person, physically and spiritually. The other realms of closeness, emotional and intellectual, may or not be there. If sex is the only intent, chances are, these important elements will not be there. Men want intimacy, too. There is something that this physical act does to men that makes them feel...more like a man, I suppose. I believe that sex addiction, or dating with intent of 'the hook up' alone is a sign of a low self-esteem, or a distorted view of what a healthy relationship is.
Experience. Many pre-teens and teens just want to know what it's like. While this is a healthy curiosity, it is important not to rush through these precious moments of life. Hanging out, holding hands, and kissing are very exciting to experience for the first time. Keeping a reserved approach is a wiser way to go with this intention. Dating just because you can or want to isn't a good reason. At least decide on a decent person to date first, which should take some time. Starting too early can either lead to a countless number of heartbreaks, or one or two incredibly, excruciatingly painful heartaches. There is no specific age that is a good time to start, but if you want it so bad that you will date almost anyone for the 'experience,' then you aren't ready for it.
Marriage. A majority of people would eventually like to settle down. Some girls dream about the perfect man for them, and hope the first 'true love' is the one they will marry. Others take their time and shop around, but then settle down later. There are many people who are afraid of this intention, and would rather just 'see where it goes.' I think it is important to consider the possibility, but not be too anxious about selecting a mate. If there is no possibility of marrying the one you are dating, and you know this for sure, it is probably better to end it early. It could save the heartache of dragging on a pointless relationship, that will just be destined to end. Otherwise, take it slowly and 'see where it goes.'
A Word to the Wise
There are many more intentions out there, some good and some bad. I think we can talk about dating intentions in general now.
Don't take dating too lightly. If you are in the dating game just for the fun of it, be careful. Make sure that your intentions are clear to the person, or people, that you are dating from the beginning. Pretending to really love someone, and claim you want to be with them forever isn't something to fake. If you just want to have fun, then say so. Don't lead anyone on. Also, to safeguard your own heart, don't get too intimate if you are dating more than one person, or aren't looking for commitment. The human heart cannot handle so much intimacy, and you could wear yourself too thin to ever have one deep, truly meaningful relationship.
Don't take dating too seriously. You can't expect, or demand, to know everything about someone in a short amount of time, so you can decide to marry them or not. Focus on developing a meaningful friendship, as well as romance. If you are happy with them, you will know it.
Another mistake some people make, particularly women, is reading into everything they say or do. For example, if they forget something that you think is special, it doesn't always mean they don't care. A fight is not the end of the world, and no one is perfect. Try not to make wedding plans after the third date. Infatuation can last up to three years, so you ought to wait until you have a genuine desire to be together, fluffy feelings aside. Warm fuzzies in your heart, doesn't mean they are the right one for you. Get to know them for real, and don't be afraid to let them go if it's not right.
Are some intentions better than others? That is up to you to decide.