Girls are always wondering why guys act the way they do and if they really care about anyone or anything. We all know to stick to “girl code” when finding a new man or thinking about starting something with a friend’s ex, but do guys follow any rules?

It seems that college guys do have some guidelines about whether or not they can date a friend’s ex-girlfriend, but these rules differ slightly in different circles.

“It’s kind of a case-by-case basis,” Adam Josephson, a freshman management major, said. “If you’re really good friends, it’s tacky. If you’re kind of friends, it’s fair game.”

Others also mentioned the degree of friendship when thinking about how they would deal with the situation.

Permission was also a key factor in deciding whether or not to date a friend’s ex. Guys tend to be honest and open when they communicate with each other, so not going behind each other’s backs is very important.

“It depends on the person,” Gavin Welsh, a sophomore electrical engineering major, said. “If they’re really hung up on the person, then no. You have to ask, make sure they’re cool with it.”

Junior biology major Salvatore Ingrassia agreed and added that in addition to talking to the friend beforehand, you need to consider how long it’s been since the original couple broke up.

The majority of guys seemed to think that girl code is more strict than guy code is on the issue of dating a friend’s ex.

“They take things more seriously,” Welsh said. “It’s like a bigger deal and ends friendships more often.”

Although they did say that guys will probably not talk for a while after a friend starts dating their ex, they do not believe it’s a matter worth ruining friendships over.

“I don’t see people getting into fist fights over it or losing friends,” Devin Whitford, a sophomore mechanical engineering major, said. “But it can definitely cause some drama.”

Many of the guys interviewed said that they would confront the friend about the issue, and believed that girls would most likely give the cold shoulder and gossip instead.

The “code” doesn’t always only apply to dating.

“There’s definitely rules about casual hookups,” Josephson said. “If you’re trying to get with a girl and your friend kind of swoops in, that’s definitely going to piss you off.”

However, the majority of the guys interviewed said that it is a much bigger deal if a meaningful relationship is involved.