The Engaged Life #1: The Code – Brothers Before Babes

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By: Drey

Pursuant to our latest episode at the time of writing this, S2E4: Brothers Before Babes, I promised to make a Wikipedia-esque entry as a sort of reference guide for people. I feel like making it into law form would be much more appropriate since it’s to be considered a code. Of course, there will be some of my commentary in this. This is probably going to be an exercise in futility but having it in writing puts my mind at ease a little. So, if you’re willing to follow me on my catharsis, read on.

Simply put, Brothers Before Babes (better known as Bros before Hos) is the idea that your friends should come before someone you date. Although simple, this idea can be construed many ways. For the purposes of readability, “friends” herewith will be defined as long standing people in your life who have proven reliability and shown care for your well-being. I’m using “friends” rather than “brothers/bros” as as this can be applied across gender identification and/or familial relation.

With that out of the way, here are the general tenets:

  1. A friend in need is a friend indeed.
    • a. In an instance where a friend needs something that falls within reasonable expectation, which includes company or help with something, you should tend to that before trying to get laid. I know leaving it at “reasonable expectation” is unbecoming of something that is meant to be reference material, but that’s the best way I can describe it. Here are a few examples that I think best clarify this ambiguity.
      • If your friend really needs your help to move and has a deadline, and you potentially can make a date happen that night, sorry, you’re carrying the couch.
      • If your friend just broke up with their partner or dealing with something distressing (i.e. death, layoff, or borderline clinical depression), you should choose to help with that rather than spend time with your partner.
      • See item 4(a) for exclusions.
  2. Back the people who have your back.
    • a. When irresolvable conflict arises between your friend(s) and your partner, and you must make the difficult decision to choose between the two, you take the side of your friends.
      • This only applies if there is no wrongdoing or malice on the part of your friend(s).
    • b. If your friend(s) disapprove of your choice in partner, listen to their reasoning. Hearing “you can do better” should be a red flag in your mind. This usually means that they’re not trying to drive a wedge for selfish reasons, but potentially saving you from unnecessary heartache.
  3. Your friend’s exes are off limits.
    • a. Spare your friend’s feelings. If he/she comes on to you, respectfully decline.
    • b. If you holler at your friend’s ex, you’re a dick. Not much else to say about this. I can’t think of a single example of where this is a good idea. I don’t think it matters if it works out in the end.
  4. Don’t “cockblock” others unless you want it done to yourself.
    • a. If your friend is legitimately trying to date someone, don’t get in his/her way just to do it. If you don’t need help with something, there isn’t a legitimate reason from stifling his/her development of emotional relationships.
    • b. Don’t be a cockblock, be a cockguider. That’s what real friends do. If you can’t help, at least allow your friends fulfill their needs, whether it be professionally or emotionally.
    • c. While the term cockblock is a misnomer for taking someone away from their spouse, it still shouldn’t be done to someone who’s married. Married people have a responsibility to their spouse as they are considered a family (both legally and emotionally). Don’t get in between people and their families.
    • d. See item 5.
  5. Respect the Dibs.
    • a. When 2 or more friends are attracted to the same person, the dibs system goes into effect. As I mentioned in the episode, it’s much like calling “shotgun” upon the sighting of the car you’re riding in.
    • b. Dibs are decided by chronology. Whoever calls it first, gets the dibs. Intent must be expressed explicitly to avoid confusion. Failure to do so results in dib disqualification.
    • c. Dibs are finite. The dib will expire no later than rejection unless otherwise agreed upon.
    • d. For rules of engagement, see item 4.
    • e. If dib turns into relationship, see item 3.
  6. Don’t violate the code.
    • a. Violation of any of these statutes constitutes any previously-made mutual agreements null and void. If you break the code, you open the door for people to break it on you.
    • b. Breaking the code makes you a dick. Don’t do it.

That’s all I really have for now. If you’ve made it this far, thank you for letting me vent! If you agree, disagree, or have anything to contribute, be sure to write a comment below!

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