It's very rare that I hear anyone I know going to an actual date. It kind of seems that people just meet and start hanging out and relationship progresses from there.
Most Helpful Girl
Personally, while I enjoy the concept of a date, most of my relationships have started when I met a guy through friends/work/family etc., we hung out a bit, and then eventually started dating. That's not to say we never actually went on traditional dates- we did, it just wasn't how we started the relationship.
One my friends told me she and her husband make it a point to have "date night" once a week- a night where they spend actual time together as a couple, even if it's just hanging out watching a movie. And once a month, they actually go out on a traditional date. She says it keeps them from getting bogged down in the day to day and neglecting their relationship. I think it's an awesome idea and one I'd definitely try if I were living with a guy/married.1