Social norms emerge, crowd-sourced and shaped by society as a whole. How our friends behave when they date impacts how we behave.
If your friends say that it’s wrong to cheat on a boy you’re seeing, you’ll probably absorb that as a rule of romance.
Partly, they believe that dating is too personal for government agents to get involved. One’s relationship with a significant other reflects unique and private aspects of one’s life, and is no business of the government.
But this argument falls flat, because dating is not the only element of one’s life that is personal.
To defenders of the state, “anarchy” is a scary concept.
They claim that we need government intervention to protect us or all hell will break loose.
Instead, individuals take action to mitigate the damages above.Single straight men, for instance, seek mutually enjoyable relationships with available straight women.If two people want a relationship with the same person, they’ll often fight for him; think . Straight white women aren’t legally obligated to only date straight white men.There are no laws around what restaurants are “appropriate” for a first date; no burdensome rules around how many hours a date can last or how many drinks one party can imbibe.And in the absence of government rules, unofficial codes of behavior spring up. Dating someone else on the side — cheating — is immoral and is generally cause for break-up. No Department of Safe and Responsible Dating set these codes down in law. Culture, from television shows like to love songs, shape our social mores.
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For instance, the Roman empire’s adoption of Christianity in the fourth and fifth centuries CE contributed enormously to that religion's spread; and Christianity has obviously shaped our codes around marriage and, by extension, dating. I would only point out in defense that few modern governments are theocracies, and so they no longer bear this role in shaping our dating mores.