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Girl Code: The Unwritten Rules Of Female Friendships

Surrounding yourself with honest and loyal people is imperative to maintain a happy and healthy friendship. Every girl who has had a close girl friend or group of close girl friends knows there are some things loyal friends just do not do.

How do girls have this intuition of what is acceptable or unacceptable in a friendship, you may ask?

Two words: Girl Code.

Girl code is the unwritten and often unspoken set of rules/ethics that exist between a girl and her best friends.

Simply stated, girl code are the commandments that outline the DO’s and DON’T’s of a good friendship.

Whether the rules are implicit or explicit, they are generally what can make or break a friendship.

Girl Code: The Unwritten Rules Of Female Friendships

Here are some of the DO’s and DON’T’s most commonly covered under every close friendships girl code:

DO: Support your friend’s hobbies and passions.

DON’T: Deliberately try and outshine your friends to make you look better.
Instead: Cheer her on or explore your hobbies together.

DO: Support your friends dating life.

DON’T: Let your friend date someone who treats her poorly.
Instead: Talk to her about why you think he is unfit for someone as great as her.

Girl Code: The Unwritten Rules Of Female Friendships

DO:  Confide in your friend any problems you may have or struggle with.

DON’T: Blab your friends’ problems to all your other friends.

Instead: Let your friend confide in you, she trusts you to be there for her to vent. If it is a serious issue that you are not equipped to deal with look into it more and then confide in any professional/family members necessary to get her the help she needs.

DO: Comfort your friend when she goes through a bad breakup/relationship.

DON’T: Date/Hook-up/Become best friends with the jerk who broke her heart.

Instead: FIND SOMEONE ELSE. There are plenty of fish in the sea, why go for someone who has proved to be king of the jerkoffs AND who hurt your friend?

DO: Confront your friend when you have a problem with her.

DON’T: Bash her to all your friends.

Instead: Find a way to tell her in a respectful way how you feel. Whether or not this interaction is in person is up to you.

DO: If your friend asks how her outfit/hair/makeup etc looks, BE HONEST.

DON’T: Tell her what she wants to hear and let her go out looking like a fool.

Instead: Respectfully tell her that you think she would be more comfortable in another outfit or kindly suggest a little less bronzer (bronzer is almost always the culprit of rough, clown-looking makeup).

As another example, if she asks you to “write my essay” you can be honest and tell her that you are not comfortable doing so. Gentle honesty is always the best policy.

DO: Be a wing woman for your bestie when she needs it.

DON’T: Try to attract every guy who even gives her the least bit of attention, especially if she’s interested.

Instead: Talk her up! Make her seem like a goddess and that any guy would be lucky to have her! (Then you can inquire about any of his cute friends for yourself and she can be your wing woman).

DO: If your friend is depressed or upset over anything, make a day for comforting her.

DON’T: Ignore her or dismiss her sadness.

Instead: Grab a tub of her favorite ice-cream or other comfort food, some wine, and a good movie or television series and let loose! If she’s more of a party animal, take her to her favorite club and let the first shot be on you.

DO: Trust that you’ll be friends after marriage.

DON’T: Make her pick between you and her partner. You are both important people in her life.

Girl Code: The Unwritten Rules Of Female Friendships

The Universal Girl Code Rules

Girl Code may vary from friendship to friendship or in how much each rule is valued, but there are some rules that are universally understood and should be followed by every girl regardless if they are a friend or not.

  • If a girl needs a tampon and you have a tampon—help her out. We all know how that kind of panic feels.
  • If you notice a girl is too intoxicated to even see straight, get her water and assist as necessary to keep her safe. Find if anyone she arrived with is around, or get her home safely.
  • If you see someone harassing or unwantedly touching a girl, help her out. Make sure she is all right and get her home safe or if necessary call the police.
  • If a girl is crying make sure everything is all right.
  • Do not “slut-shame” each other. Passing judgment on others does nobody justice, us girls need to stick together.

Whether it’s a best friend or a girl you just bumped into in the bathroom line at the bar, those are some universal rules that all girls should be aware of.

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Breaking The Girl Code

When girl code is broken, however, tension can rise faster than you could ever imagine.

Girl code can really stab a gaping hole in a friendship.

And depending on the circumstance — sometimes that hole is unable to be sewn back together.

Unfortunately, I recently found myself seriously hurt by one of my good friends who decided girl code did not exist within the bounds of our friendship.

I had been on and off dating a guy for just about two years—a guy who I really grew to care and appreciate.

Last year, he was at my dorm when my good friend stopped over for a bit—so naturally I introduced them.

Immediately after they both left my dorm room that night, both of my roommates expressed to me they thought she had feelings for him and I just shook it off.

Fast-forward to about a month ago, said guy and I had recently cut ties in a fairly hostile way (he did not know how to think before he spoke, especially about my good friends).

Well, my “good” friend came up to me at a party and told me she needed to talk to me.

Based on a majority of our past conversations I simply replied in a jovial manner, “About who?” She told me I would never guess, and she was correct.

The name that slipped between her lips was that of the guy I had been seeing on and off for two years. My mouth dropped alongside my heart and stomach.

Girl Code: The Unwritten Rules Of Female Friendships

She went on to ask me for permission to go on a date with him.

All I could think about was how I thought it was a universal rule that good friends do not date people their friends have had any type of relationship with, let alone a two year on and off one—that had just ended a month prior.

Not only did it break my number one girl code rule, it stunned me that they were even friends.

She met him as a guy I was seeing and was my good friend when I would cry or complain about him and how much he hurt me.

I ended up explaining to her that I was not OK with them seeing each other.

Normally if you are asking permission to date a person and the person you are asking happens to say no—you do not do it anyway.

Well in this case she decided my feelings and friendship were less meaningful to her than her newfound relationship with him and still continues to build her relationship with him.

Girl Code

This goes to show that breaking girl code can have ill-fated consequences.

To this day our relationship has dissipated significantly and it still makes me sick to think about.

It is SO important to make sure you encircle yourself with friends who value the same girl codes you do so this kind of situation does not sneak up on you too!

Whether you are best friends or just met, girl codes are put in place to help girls support one another as women and maintain happy and healthy friendships with those whom you really care about.

About the Author

Lisa Sheffler

Lisa is currently an Intern at GenTwenty. She studies communications and journalism at Ohio University in Athens, OH. She enjoys cooking, going on adventures, and planning social events for organizations she is part of. One day she hopes to work for a marketing or advertising firm coming up with new advertising techniques and ideas.