What You Really Need To Know About The Bro Code

What You Really Need To Know About The Bro Code ©iStock/Wavebreakmedia

The bro code – is it fact or fiction? For most men (at least decent ones), it’s a real thing. They might not admit it to you. I guess it’s kind of like a secret fraternity book of guy etiquette or something. Yet, you’re still expected to understand when you’re making a tragic mistake or why your man’s acting a certain way.

While I’m sure there’s an ancient book that’s been passed down for generations, I’ll just give you an abbreviated version of the top rules you need to know. If you want to see these in action, you could always binge How I Met Your Mother, just avoid the finale.

  1. No dating an ex without approval. Who knew guys actually cared, right? If things were ever serious or it was a bad breakup, guys are supposed to get permission before dating their friend’s ex. It’s kind of respectful actually and something many women do too.
  2. No dating an ex-wife – at all. I think this is pretty straight-forward. I should say this also goes for baby mamas as well, though if this occurs from a casual or friends with benefits kind of situation, the ex rule above applies.
  3. Guys will tell if you cheat. Were you sneaking around with another guy and your boyfriend’s best friend saw you? Go ahead and tell your man now. Your secret is out. The bro code doesn’t approve of women who step out on their friends. Now if only the guys themselves wouldn’t cheat, everything would be fine.
  4. They’re not cheating on their bros. Got a thing for one of your man’s friends? Don’t even think about it. If he’s a real friend, he’s not going to act on your advances. Odds are, he’ll just tell your boyfriend what you’ve been up to. And yes, he’ll believe his friend over you.
  5. He’s not going to choose. As crude as it sounds, it really is bros before hoes. Don’t ask your man to choose between you and his friends. He’s had those friends in his life far longer than you. The moment you make that ultimatum, the relationship is as good as over.
  6. Bros embellish for each other. You might not want to believe everything a guy’s friends say about him. When you first meet a guy, his friends will greatly embellish for him. Does he do maintenance at a community college? His friends will have him as next in line for college president.It’s not that they’re trying to lie. They just want to help their man score a first date with you.
  7. One always backs up another. Forget trying to catch your man heading to a sports bar versus working late. You could call any of his friends and they’ll happily tell you that your boyfriend was indeed working late and it was a shame he missed such a great game.
  8. Some secrets go to the grave, so don’t ask. Want to know what him and the guys really did during their weekend getaway? You’ll hear some stories, but it’s kind of like Las Vegas – what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. This is especially true for bachelor parties.
  9. They always get their stories straight. You could be the CIA’s top interrogator, but get two close male friends together and they’ll have identical stories about what happened. If they have even a few minutes to talk to each other, they’ll repeat the exact same story almost verbatim to ensure neither gets in trouble.
  10. It’s better to say “nothing” than get it wrong. On those rare times when bros can’t talk to each other before a girlfriend starts asking questions, you’ll likely get the guy version of “I plead the fifth” – “nothing.” This might also be “I don’t know.” You know they do know, but they don’t want to accidentally say the wrong thing.
  11. Double dates with bros require prep work. Despite some of the really stupid stuff men tend to do, they’re not actually stupid. They know if they’re double dating with one of their friends, they need to talk things out first. They know women talk and they want to make sure they’re both prepared to answer any tricky or awkward questions you might try to ask. Basically, it’s their way of not getting caught with their pants down. The last thing they want is you asking their friend a question that ends up getting both of them in trouble.
  12. Sisters are usually off the menu. I’ve been told this is a pretty hard and fast rule with only one exception – the sister has to be insanely hot. The blinding hotness has a way of causing temporary amnesia of the bro code. Still, most guys at least ask before pursuing their friends’ sisters.
  13. Hookups are okay, in most cases. Guys are kind of lax when it comes to hookups. They tease each other, but they know their fellow man has needs. In most cases, they’re actually nicer to each other about hookups than women are.

The bro code isn’t anything new and it’s important to know the basics. Think of it as the male version of the girl code. Much of it works the same way.

Crystal Crowder is a freelance writer and blogger. She's a tech geek at heart, but loves telling it like it is when it comes to love, beauty and style. She's enjoys writing music, poetry and fiction and curling up with a great book. You can find her on Twitter @ccrowderwrites or check out her other writing on Medium.