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Is it time to get rid of the bro/girl code?


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Photo credit @theshootingbeauty

I once found myself in the very uncomfortable position of falling in love with a friend’s best friend. There had been no spoken rules but things got weird really quick when it came out. Apparently, it was an unspoken rule I broke and I think deep down, I knew it was wrong so I hid it for as long as I could. Bottom line is that, I broke a girl code that determined the course of our friendship from there. There was no friendship after that, actually. Things fell apart because I overstepped certain unspoken boundaries.


Friend groups are generally known to have unspoken and sometimes spoken rules that allows for transparency in all their dealings. This is popular among single sex groups like a male group or a female group. They are usually called the bro/girl code. These codes are mostly centred around the dating lives of the group.


There are some rules that usually cuts across but a lot of groups tailor their codes to fit the members. Some general ones for men are that they cannot sleep with their friend’s sisters, sleep with someone they are in love with etc. For women, they cannot sleep with their friend’s partner, make a move on someone they are interested in etc.


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Photo credit @blachaz3

Naa, when asked if she has a girl code with her friends said, they do. Their code is to never get involved with anybody that one of them has already had sexual relations with. They should never get to a point where a guy is causing a rift between 2 or more of them. They always have to cover for each other and nobody can text the other’s partner without letting others know.


Aren’t bro/girl codes slightly problematic though? Doesn’t it restrict the decisions of people and also hold them back from pursuing connections that could be potentially amazing? Aren’t they a bit on the selfish side? Are they absolutely necessary?

I get that rules are put in place to regulate people’s actions but can you really regulate falling in love. You’d watch your friend be miserable knowing she loves your brother or loves your ex from years ago because of a rule? I’m not totally dismissing them and the purpose they serve but maybe, just maybe, they can be flexible.


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Photo credit @donlaurent92

Edwin shared that they do not have a group bro code but personally, he has a rule not to date or sleep with any of his friend’s exes. It makes things uncomfortable for him. But there have been different instances where girls he had sexual relations with end up in committed relationships with some of his close friends and he has no issue with it.


In some cases, the bro/girl code isn’t a group effort but rather standards that some of the individuals in the group have chosen to live by to avoid getting in messy situations with their friends. I am heavily biased in favour of individual codes as opposed to having rules put down for the whole group. People end up feeling miserable because now, Anna, Naa’s friend cannot express her interest in Naa’s ex from 5 years ago even though Naa has moved on.


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Photo credit @carlosidun

Tim says he has absolutely no issues if his friend falls in love with someone he’s been with before. As long as they are happy, he can be happy for them and won’t make them feel weird about their decision.


The unrelenting code seems to come mostly from girl groups. Most guys I spoke to didn’t mind as long as they are not with the girl but almost all the girls I asked said they will never be okay with their ex dating any of their friends. They see it as a betrayal of some sort.

From that angle, can’t time frame be put into consideration? It might be raw and feel like betrayal if they decide to get together just a month after your relationship ends but if you’ve been over for a year and more, I think you can extend some form of leeway.

Some girls go to the extent of cutting off their friends when they get wind of what’s going on. Is it jealousy? Do you wish or have plans to get back with your ex? Is that why you can’t bear to see your friend be happy with them? I’ve been trying to wrap my head around it because personally, I believe in love goes where love is. I will not and I am not in the business of playing cupid but as a hater. Why can’t people fall in love with who they want? Why should it make you uncomfortable? I would really like to know the logic behind girls “not allowing” their friends date their ex partners.


Can people put love into consideration?

If you happen to find yourself in a situation similar to what I’ve spoken about my advice to you is to assess yourself and these feelings you’re having for the person. Is it worth losing your friend over? It’s wrong for them to cut you off, yes. But they are also entitled to have certain standards in their lives. If you believe starting something may lead to a greater experience, by all means, go for it. Step back if it’s just lust because honey, that ain’t worth your friend.

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