The girl code is a sacred code that’s been around for centuries and is followed silently from woman to woman. It is is almost like taking an invisible oath between women. This could include those close to you, such as family members, friends, close colleagues, or any other woman that you consider a friend.

Sometimes, the girl code covers every woman, as there are some parts of the girl code which you simply do not break, regardless of your relationship to the other women, because it’s a universal understanding between all women.

For the sake of the article, we will refer to all the women in your life as “friends”. This will cover female friends and family members.

In case you forgot what, the sacred code is, here is a reminder of some of the items included:

Thou shalt not flirt with another woman’s man.

This one goes without saying. Just because you are on the hunt for Mr. Right, that doesn’t mean someone else’s Mr. Right is your Mr. Right. Yes, he may be the perfect man in every way, and he may seem like a great partner, but hands off! He is taken, and you should never, ever cross that line with another woman’s man, whether this woman is a friend or not. A man who is already in a relationship should be invisible to you! Or he should be seen as a brotherly (or fatherly, depending on your age difference) figure to you from here on out. Every woman should know this girl code, respect it, and stick to it!

Thou shalt not pursue a man that your friend is interested in.

This one should be obvious, but some women just don’t get it. If your friend is interested in a particular man in any way, then this man is off-limits to you. The respectful and right thing to do is to steer clear of him, and do not even think about considering him as a potential partner for yourself. No way!

Thou shalt not pursue a friend’s ex.

No matter what type of ex he is – whether it was a long-term relationship, a marriage, a short-term relationship, or any type of relationship – if he is considered an ex, then he should never be on your radar . You simply cannot pursue a man whom a friend of yours has been with. He should be just that – your friend’s ex, and nothing more. Even if he is the one pursuing you, then you should decline his advances and run as fast as you can.

Thou shalt check that your friend is okay when she is on a date.

Always check to see if your friend is okay when she is meeting a man (especially if it’s for the first time). Many women these days are a lot warier of their safety. A good idea for you both (if you and your friend are comfortable with it) is to share locations with each other and ensure that when either of you are meeting with a man, you should meet in public and safe places. And If you want to be an extra caring friend, then you can stay up until you know that your friend got home safely. Yes, it sounds very much like trying to be your friend’s mother, and that she has warped back into being a young girl, but you should always make sure that she got home safely, and be available in case she needs you to call her with a pretend emergency to get out of the date if she needs to.

Thou shalt not judge your friend’s choices.

The choices your friend wishes to make in life are all a part of her individual journey. Some will make the right choices, and others, not so much. In some situations, we can see a disaster a mile off, but all we can do is give advice and be a good friend throughout all of her choices. If your friend is doing something to harm herself or others (hopefully neither) or it’s a blatantly ridiculous, careless, and harmful choice, then some heavier intervention may be needed, but in general, her choices are hers to make so do not judge.

In terms of relationships – who your friend likes or doesn’t like – is up to her, too. Who she is attracted to is personal to her, and not right for you to comment on. However, if you’ve seen him do some questionable things, then bring it up with your friend, but do not be judgmental about it. If the man is right for her, but we don’t like something small about him (like his dress sense or the way he looks etc) then who are we to judge? We should fully support her and be happy for her.

Okay, if your friend is with a man who is treating her badly and affecting her in a negative way, then you could speak to her about your concerns and ensure that she is safe and away from any man who is dangerously negative for her. Some women may find themselves in abusive relationships, and others can see what they cannot or don’t have the strnghth to do anything about then as friends, we have to support them towards something more positive. Speak to a professional to seek advice on how to help your friend if you are concerned about abuse etc.

Thou shalt not judge your friend’s mistakes.

This one is kind of similar to the one above. We all make mistakes, and from time to time, your friends will, too. If your friend has made a mistake, then I’m sure she is already feeling terrible about it, so never say “I told you so”, as that never goes down well. A mistake is just that – a mistake, and it should be reflected on and learnt from. All you can do is be a good friend and support her in any way you can.

In terms of relationships, your friend, just like you, will often choose the wrong man. You might have seen it coming (and warned her), or you might not have, but never be judgemental about it. These are her mistakes to make and learn from, and all you can do is be her rock when she needs you.

Thou shalt not pursue a friend’s brother (or other male family member/male friend) without speaking to your friend first.

Sneaking around behind your friend’s back with her brother (or another close male in her life) is just not cool. You don’t know how your friend will take the news, and wouldn’t you prefer your friend to hear it from you and get to know her views on the situation before it gets out of hand? Speak to your friend and tell her how you feel. Be honest and explain your situation. You never know, she may just be the one to make the official introduction.

Thou shalt support your friend through breakups (no matter how many, until she finds the right man).

So, your friend may think she’s met the one on a regular basis, and after a few weeks of floating in the clouds, she may realize that he wasn’t what she had made him out to be at first, or it may not have worked out for whatever reason. It doesn’t matter how many frogs she has to get through before she finds the one; never judge her, and always be there for her when she is disappointed (by yet another disappointment of a man).

Thou shalt never leave your friend the minute you meet a man.

We all want to take a break from our friends sometimes, and when we are just getting to know someone, or we are newly in love, we do need to dedicate some time to him too. However, this should not mean that you completely disappear off the face of the Earth. It’s healthy to have a mix of relationships in your life. It’s good to take some time to meet up with friends and let your partner do the same. So, always remember that your friends have always been there and are also an important and healthy part of your life. Keep a balance.

Thou shalt always have your friend’s back.

Never badmouth your friend to others, and never let anyone disrespect her while you’re there. You have taken an oath to be a true team for life when you entered into that friendship. Even if you don’t agree with your friend (unless she is saying something completely outrageous and offensive then maybe take her to the side and speak to her about it privately) we must always have our friend’s back, and when they make mistakes, we mustn’t put them down about it or bring it up and use it against them… especially in front of others.

In terms of relationships, it goes without saying that you should never put your friend down in front of your partner or her partner, or someone that either of you is interested in. Other things include: never invite out someone your friend has a major issue with – this could also include her ex.

Thou shalt never argue over a man.

Never argue over a man – it’s that simple! No matter what it is, speak to each other about the issue and always remember that you are friends, not enemies. You were there for each other through good and bad times before he came along. Address what it is exactly that’s making you argue. It should be a discussion, without judgment or negativity.

Thou shalt compliment your friend and be proud of her.

When your friend is doing well in life, always be happy for her and proud of her. Women should lift each other’s spirits and never bring each other down. We have enough other things to contend with, so why should we push each other down? If your friend is looking lovely in her new outfit, then tell her, and be proud that she’s your friend. If she got that promotion at work, then celebrate and support her, and in terms of relationships, if she’s found a guy that most women could only dream of, then be happy for her, make the effort to get to know him, and pray that all works out for the best in all that she does.

Though shalt never give your friend’s secrets away.

Yes, women can get a bit gossipy sometimes, and often we get carried away, but never gossip about your friend or give her secrets away. Those secrets were told to you in strict confidence and are never to leave your lips. In terms of a relationship, often our friend’s partner may ask in jest, “What was she like?” or “Tell me about her past”. This isn’t an opportunity for you to tell him about all her past relationships, intimate secrets and all the mistakes shes made over the years. Don’t ever give away your friend’s secrets to anyone. She will disclose to others what she wishes.

Thou shalt encourage your friend to be happy and healthy.

Be a positive force in your friend’s life. Whether it’s by just being there for her, or by encouraging her to eat healthy, exercise, quite smoking or any other positive helth goals she may have. Or it could be helping her with her new business idea and other dreams - always be encouraging, supportive, and happy for your friend. Friends are there to encourage one another and have a positive impact on one another . They are a support network for each other So be a positive force in your friend’s life because true friends are hard to find.