For example, if one person is introduced to another and they meet up once for coffee and once for dinner, but then decided to not continue.They would still be considered to have "dated" because they went on 2 dates., which returns in 2017."We had a lot in common from the start and it was an instant friendship.
But - at least in my environment - it can be used for all relationships that might, but do not have to, end in marriage.
A while ago, a friend told me about his mother who had died 3 years ago, and how his 82-year old father started dating his neighbor recently, and he used the words "seit kurzem gehen Sie miteinander".
It is hardly ever used for humans in the sense of "courtship", except as a derogatory expression, if you want to emphasize the animalistic part of it (e.g.
you might refer to a gang of horny teenagers trying to get some girls' attention as "balzende Kinder"), but even that is rarely done.
Hence there might not be a very literal translation. I have been searching around and this seems to be a topic that has been brought up but no real answer has been given that I could find. @unor I can say that "dating" in America is often used as a term to describe the initial phases of getting to know someone.