Sisters before misters. by Chiara Atik for HowAboutWe
We sent a bunch of women a series of questions pertaining to the etiquette of female friendships, as it pertains to dating. (Like: Can you date a friend's ex?)
The answers we got back were surprisingly universal, and nearly unanimous. "Girl Code," whether or not you want to refer to it by that somewhat cloying moniker, definitely exists as a standardized code of conduct among women.
Sure, all relationships and friendships are different, but when it comes to navigating dating and female friendships, some rules apply in all situations.
See the full Girl Code: Official Rules for Dating
Is it okay to date...
A) Your friend's ex?
No. Never. Not ever, in any circumstance.
Unless you fall madly, passionately, permanently in love, in which case, you're in a pretty tight spot. You'll probably have to choose between the two, and if you choose the ex, assume this means the end of your friendship. (Maybe she'll be surprisingly cool about it? Maybe somewhere down the line you two will be able to move past this? But, until that proves to be the case, operate under the assumption that dating her ex means it's over between the two of you.)
Related: Let's Stop Letting Every Conversation Devolve Into a Complaint About Being Single
B) Someone she dated only casually, a long time ago?
Not without asking her first. And then, if she says it's fine, ask her again, because you know all too well that sometimes when we say something is fine, we don't really mean it.
"If you met him through her, there is always going to be a little weirdness in the situation, and if this is your girl, what guy is ever worth that?" Asks one woman we spoke to. "Also do you really want to be linked that closely in degrees of sexual separation to a good friend? I don't."
Related: Are You Dating Your Friend's Ex-Girlfriend (Like Jim Carrey Is)? 4 Tips for Everyone Involved
C) Someone she went on one or two dates with, and it didn't work out.
If your friend went on a few lackluster dates with someone, that's hardly reason to make someone off-limits forever. Still, it's imperative that you have a conversation with your friend before going ahead with the date.
"If there wasn't enough interest or a spark, your friends should have a fair crack at him, too." Wrote one respondent.
But if he (or she) is the one who didn't call her back, then think twice before dating. It's not cool to go out with someone who rejected your friend.
What do you think? Is it ever OK to date a friend's ex?
See also: Ex Etiquette: When It Is And Isn't OK To Contact Them