The Girl Code

While sitting around talking to family and friends the other day, the “Girl Code” came up. My younger cousin was talking about how she managed to move on after an ex-boyfriend really hurt her. Following their painful breakup they were able to talk and salvage their friendship. As friends, my cousin told her ex that she understood that he was going to date other people, but, she just wanted to be clear that he could not date any of her friends, under any circumstances. After listening to her I simply asked, “why do you care who he dates if you have moved on?” My younger cousin stared at me in disbelief while the older female sitting with us blurted out, “Are you kidding me? That’s the “Girl Code”. Friends are not supposed to date one another’s exes. You just don’t do that.” The older female also went on to boldly proclaim that she could never be friends with me, or anyone like me, because I was the type of woman that would have no problem dating her ex. Since there was a slim chance that she and I would be running in the same circle, regardless of my beliefs, I simply chuckled at her proclamation.

I do not believe it is my place, nor should it be my desire, to put parameters on who my ex dates.  Other than the awkwardness that may exist if we were to double date by some chance, I simply am not wired to feel wronged by this. This does not mean I am running around trying to hook up with my friend’s exes. Chances are, I am acutely aware of all of their “messy sides” so there is a slim chance in hell that I would entertain the thought of picking up where any my friends left off.

This “Girl Code” conversation made me think back to a situation I encountered several months ago. A friend uncomfortably shared with me that she believed my ex was trying to hit on her. He had begun calling and texting her on a fairly consistent basis trying to strike up conversation. Shocked by his boldness, she distanced herself and made it clear that she was not interested. She was adhering to the “Girl Code”.

As my friend talked, all I thought about was my exes’ current girlfriend. Some may find that to be strange but that is where my attention was. Wasn’t he her problem now? Shouldn’t my friend be sharing this with her? My years of putting up with his wandering eye and inability to be faithful were over.

Of course, I understood and could truly appreciate why my girlfriend shared this with me. We had run in the same circles for years. Socially we spent couple time together ,and, as friends we shared some of our relationship ups and downs. So, my exes decision to flirt with her put her in an awkward situation.

When my friend finished explaining, I did an internal check before commenting. I wanted to be sure my emotions were consistent with what I wanted to say. I waited for the butterflies, knots in my stomach, or warm feeling of anger to move throughout my body. I waited for my inner “Aznot” to tap me on the shoulder and say, “you know we are going to call this guy as soon as you get out of court to let him know how whack he is.” There was nothing. No butterflies, no knots, no anger, and no desire to talk to him about this issue (to this day I have never said anything to him about it). So, I simply thanked my friend and assured her that I would not be offended if she did decide to go out with him(this is the point where the rest of the “Big Panty Crew” would ask me if I had bumped my head 🙂). After a brief pause to see if I was okay, my friend respectfully declined.

Despite the fact that some women feel as though I must be placed on an island, never to be heard from again simply because I am not wired to embrace the “Girl Code”, I am sticking to my guns on this one. If you are truly over a person, you should not care who they date.  If your friend decides she wants to give your ex a go after you guys have ended things, why do you care? If you think really hard, there is probably a very good reason that your relationship ended. Focus on that instead of allowing your ego dictate your emotions. And, if by chance your friend and your ex live happily ever after (this usually doesn’t happen because he is still the same person he was when you broke up), then they were simply meant to be. You would not want to be the person that stopped a friend from meeting her soul mate. Would you? 🙂

Much love,


Okay readers, what do you think? Would you end a friendship because your friend began dating your ex? Should you care who your ex dates? 

Published by Tonza D. Ruffin

Perfectly Imperfect but VERY PROUD WOMAN, MOM, LAWYER, and AUTHOR, but most importantly...LIFE LOVER! I laugh loud, I work hard, I play hard, I am adventurous, I am curious, I am driven, I have moments of deep insecurity, I am loving, I am vulnerable, I am explosive (not one of my finer qualities), I dance around my house alone, I am an awful perfectionist which makes my insecurity worse, I sing out loud in my car without any concern for whose watching, I have trust issues, I do not live through my children, I no longer try to force my children into the mold that I created so that I could feel validated as a mother, I am a risk-taker, I am guarded in my personal life, I am kind, I am grateful. I am so excited about the rest of my life!

5 thoughts on “The Girl Code

  1. As always good perspective…… As I agree with you about NOT being wired like others, I did, years ago, appreciate TWO of my FELLA’S who called and said to me they were going to holla at two separate Exes of mine …. I told them COOL BEANS…… I was HAPPY for them…. YET, when I ran into a friends EX from HS and we were GROWN ADULTS I gave him the COURTESY call just because “treat others the way you want to be treated” even though once It’s OVER between an EX and myself, DEEP down I have LET THEM GO and only hope for happiness for them…… Even if it comes from ONE of my boyz…….

  2. Here you go again…🤔. Honestly, he is my ex for a reason. Out of respect if something of this nature happened I would be open to my friend informing me…eliminates surprises etc. Especially for me seeing as though my ex was abusive. If a friend were to date one of my exes I don’t foresee that I would be upset with my friend (maybe they were meant to be). I would have to self-assess my feelings behind closed doors to ensure I don’t “hate” on what my friend may have with my ex. If I still have feelings for this ex. I still feel that it doesn’t stop them from dating because at that point I already know what I had with my ex is final. Feelings will subside in time and more power to my friend – again he is my ex for a reason. Not my problem anymore.

  3. Great read Tonza! As a young adult put into the “millenial” category, I hear similar conversations and scenarios involving girl code a lot. I honestly can understand both sides of it. I truly get that if you are seriously over someone, who they date next shouldn’t bother you whether it is your friends. I feel the issue is that women cannot decipher whether their girlfriends and ex boyfriends/husbands were plotting this during their relationship or not. I think it is hard to conceptualize an ex sporadically beginning to date one of your close friends without any prerequisites. Then of course in this respect, loyalty and feelings of betrayal arise. I believe if it’s honest and it’s something that “just happens” because the chemistry is there, then no need to get upset. If in fact there is anger or resentment for your friend for dating your ex then I would agree, all the feelings are not gone and you are not completely over that person.

    1. I think you are spot on about the feelings that something had to be going on, or brewing, between the friend and ex during the relationship. Thank you for reading and commenting!

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