The Code

101-relationship-tips_v1Image via Style Caster

When I was 14, I learnt how to graph a polynomial function. When I was 15, I was sending out business proposals to sponsoring companies. Yet, the most enlightening thing I got out of my $15,000 high school education was on how to be an expert at handling drama.

And this is what i’ve learnt:

We are all aware that every relationship is mandated by a set of rules. These rules are not rigid. But rather, they are regulated because they differ from individuals. However, it is safe to assume that in most relationships, couples are expected to abide by the norm. And that includes no cheating, no flirting, no lying etc.

But did you know that a similar set of rules also extend beyond the ‘couple zone?’

That’s right! If you are friends with someone who is in a relationship, you might be surprised to find out that there is also a set of unwritten rules specifically designed for you.

And to start, these rules are more formally known as The Code; given which if you are a guy or a girl, you would follow The Bro Code or The Girlfriend Code, respectively.

But first, I would like to avoid any confusion by first clearing up a few terms:

The Bro Code and The Girlfriend Code should not be confused with The Guy Code and The Girl Code.

  1. The former refers to rules that outline the relationship you share with your friends of same sex.
  2. The latter refers to standards that are written for individuals to adhere.

An example of The Girlfriend Code would be: never ditch the friendship of your girlfriends for a guy.

An example of The Girl Code would be: you are beautiful and you don’t need to rely on a man.


The Code is a non-exhaustive set of rules. They can range from anything as meaningful as ‘always be sure to have your bros’ back’, or from anything as trivial as ‘never fart in front of your bros’.

And I’m not sure if what I have mentioned thus far seems silly to you. But I know what you’re thinking:

Why on earth do we need a set of rules? 

It might sound bizarre that friendships should be guided by a long list of words, but the type of ‘friendship’ that qualifies for The Code is anything but ordinary. And why? You might ask. Well…i’m saving my explanation for later on. But first, let me answer your question:

Rules are an innate part of our system; it’s everywhere and in every country that you travel to. But they’re there because they help guide us in times of uncertainty and lack or order. And that’s basically the same reason as why The Code is in existence; we require a set of rules because as with anything else, the relationship with your friends require a certain standard. The Code is an established system. And it is compiled of rules that aim to be fair and to help us differentiate what we should or should not do to our friends.

Okay…but does anyone even follow the rules mentioned in The Code?

I regret to inform you that I do not have a full-proof answer. This is because we all know that ‘rules are meant to be broken’. And as much as there are people who swear by The Code, there are many others who choose not to follow it. However, as with breaking any rule, usually some sort of consequence is likely to ensue.

And this is where I find it most appropriate to introduce you to: The Ultimatum.

But if you can’t already guess by its name, The Ultimatum is the most important rule in The Code. That’s why it’s called ultimatum—it is the first, and only (if you must) rule that demands to be fulfilled.

And what makes up The Ultimatum? Well, you would assume that the names you are going to read next would sound half as serious as the word ‘ultimatum’. But I can promise you that is not the case.

For low and behold, it’s Bros before Hoes and Chicks before Dicks. Ain’t that a classic? I’m sure you’ve heard of this before somewhere.

The Girlfriend Code
The Bro Code
Fun fact:
whilst the code ‘bros before hoes’ has been taken quite seriously, There are many versions that parody ‘chicks before dicks’.
these include: Hoes before Bros, Ovaries before Brovaries, Sisters before Misters and Gynaecology before Guy-naecology ☺

Essentially, Bros before Hoes and Chicks before Dicks both mean the same thing. Only…the former is the guy version and the latter is the girl version.

So what makes them the most important rule? Here are a few reasons:

1.  Anything that has a sexual connotation is always at the top of the list. Bros before Hoes and Chicks before Dicks simply means that you will put your friends first. And when I mean first, I mean before anything else — including sex. 


2. This code is usually the one that either makes or breaks a relationship. Your bro will get very mad if he ever finds out that you have been flirting with his girl. And he will come after you regardless of who started the flirting. That’s not a threat…it’s a fact. So remember: Bros before Hoes. You should respect your bro enough to respect his relationship with his girl. Basically, you shouldn’t act like the male version of a ‘hoe’. Even if she is smoking hot, she’s taken so keep your hands off!

3. Privacy is not an option. If you’ve always been an introvert, you might want to start practising on your social skills. Because to be a Bro or a Girlfriend, you’d have to tell them EVERYTHING. But don’t look at it as an invasion of privacy. Look at is as a pact of trust. I mean…you would be insulted if your best friend hid any secrets from you, right? So…did you lose your virginity for the first time last night? You’ve got to tell your girlfriends. Did you cheat on your boyfriend with some random guy? You’ve still got to tell your girlfriends. Because Chicks before Dicks. Your girlfriends will be there to listen to you, and support you. And that means that they demand the first update. So, before you confess to your boyfriend that you’ve cheated on him, you’d better consult your girls!

4. Bros before Hoes. Chicks before Dicks. The Ultimatum. Whichever code you wish to use, just remember that they are commitment bonds. And by that, I mean they are sacred. Why? Because Bros before Hoes are exclusively for brothers, and Chicks before Dicks are exclusively for girlfriends. This code is a commitment bond because it is made from a community of close-knit personnels who have earned it. As with anyone you meet, you wouldn’t simply invite them to share the most personal aspects of your life, without first getting to know them. This privilege goes to your best friend…your girlfriends. And they have qualified for this position by passing a certain number of tests, including: being there for you when you passed out drunk on the kitchen floor, listening to you weep about your love life for months without any resolution, offering you advice when you told them you cheated on your boyfriend etc. In short, they have been there for you. Just like you have, and would be there for them, too.

The Code is not a restraining order. It is not even a legal, written constitution. But it has been created as a social standard for people to meet. And it has been carried out by those who value their friendship with the people who have stood by them.

So what’s the importance of The Code, as a whole? 

There is no importance, and there never was. The Code simply consists of words that people give meaning to. But it is the act of carrying it out with pride and loyalty, that gives The Code its unapologetic value. And that’s when even the weirdest of friends become your brothers and sisters

Blood is secondary. Your best friend may not always be the person who carries your DNA, but he/she will always be the closest thing you have to family. 




Additional References:

  1. The Bro Code (official website)
  2. The Girlfriend Code (website)
  3. Bro Tips (official website)
The Code

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