While it is a common practice for someone to be completely smitten by someone else. That is when you like someone, it’s only natural to work for their attention in hopes they’ll like you back. But sometimes this kind of behavior can cross the line when an innocent love interest turns into more obsessive behavior that compromises your own self. Some areas of social media, including an entire subreddit, have taken to colloquially referring to a person with a shameless crush as a “simp.”
So what exactly is a simp? In simple words, it is someone who’s overly desperate for another person. Most often, a simp is thought of as a guy enamored with a woman who possesses no interest in him—to the point he’ll do seemingly anything for her attention. The dynamic can play out in all types of relationships, and a woman who behaves this way might also be considered a simp. It basically means exhibiting fawning, groveling, or debasing behavior, possibly doing things they wouldn’t normally do or that compromise their values or make them look silly. Across social media, the term “simp” has been treated somewhat playfully—but for anyone who’s ever had a major crush, you might have wondered when that fondness starts to become unhealthy.
One hallmark of a “simp” is significantly low self-esteem. The result? A sense of subservience or submissiveness to the person they’re pursuing romantically. The lack of success at this only adds to a negative self-image. Simping often reduces romantic interactions to a scorecard where a man believes when he earns enough “points”—through doing acts of service, listening, being kind or respectful, or showing sympathy when appropriate. When the simp doesn’t get what they feel the other person owes them, they might even eventually lash out. The behavior reaches a concerning tipping point if it turns into stalking, threats, or other criminal behavior that dehumanizes the person on the other end. Friends may shame the simp, which isn’t likely to help.
That’s because simping may at times be rooted in a misogynistic belief that assumes women owe men something for basic human kindness. The question then becomes, is simping the problem, or is shaming a man for being decent to a woman regardless of whether she gives what he wants? The solution to simping and simp-shaming is for our society to normalize treating women like human beings who are inherently entitled to decency and respect.
Looking at Signs of Simping
You may not be doing anything as over-the-top as the above examples. But, there are some red flags, courtesy of our experts, that suggest you may be putting yourself into an overly submissive role in relationships.
Do you keep a mental scorecard of everything you’ve done for your crush?
Do you ever “white knight” by saving them from things, even if you’re not asked to help?
Do you feel like you are putting way more effort into the relationship than the other person?
Are their needs more important than yours?
Do you feel resentment toward the other person?
Do you do things specifically with the goal to impress them?
Do you constantly put yourself down to the other person?
Do you put the other person on a pedestal?
Do you worry a lot about being “friend-zoned”?
Do you get intensely jealous of other people in your life?
Do you feel like you should defend them no matter what they do?
Do others express worry that your relationship has become unhealthy?
How to Stop Simping!
Simping is not healthy or attractive behavior. The good news is that if you catch it before you get carried away, it’s a pretty simple fix that can be summed up in one word: Boundaries. Speak up and be direct about your wants and needs, and remain respectful of the other person’s—especially their right to say “no.” Once you’ve established clear boundaries for yourself and recognized the other person’s boundaries, the best thing you can do is take a step back and work on yourself. Instead of pushing harder to get close to that person, prioritize yourself and your friends and family first. Stop trying too hard and seeking validation for others. Have respect for yourself and your time.” It is quite simple for you to make the changes and avoid creating a horrible relationship status. Just make sure you are making these small adjustments. They ensure you have a good handle on how to manage a healthy relationship.