I believe that men and women can have amazing friendships with no romance or sexual desire involved whatsoever.
There are almost 8 billion people on planet Earth and I’m definitely not attracted to every man walking down the street — I’m lucky when I find someone who has that effect on me once in two years, if that.
Unfortunately, sometimes the odds aren’t in your favour. What you think will develop into a great friendship ends up being an unhealthy bond between you and someone who secretly wants to get into your bed. Your intention to be friends and your absolute lack of sexual attraction towards him are seen as “unfair friend-zoning”. Maybe if he does more nice things for you, you’ll end up changing your mind!
Ladies and gentlemen, let me present to you the “simp” — the Mr Nice Guy of the iGen Generation. Dictionary.com describes a simp thus:
“Simp is a slang insult for men who are seen as too attentive and submissive to women, especially out of a failed hope of winning some entitled sexual attention or activity from them. Translation? The word simp is meant to troll young men for doing anything for a girl to get some action he supposedly deserves.”
Just for the record, calling someone a simp doesn’t mean that you’re making fun of men being attentive and caring — those qualities should be cherished more than anything.
The main stress is on the “failed hope of winning some entitled sexual attention or activity.” Simps think that even after they’ve been explicitly told they’re just friends, they have some chance of getting their girl “friend” (who’s actually a romantic interest) to sleep with them if they just stick around for long enough and “bring her the blue from heaven”, as people in Czechia like to say.
This behaviour is wrong on many levels, one of them being the absolute dishonesty of the so-called friendship. If someone is friends with you only because they hope they might end up having sex with you, their intentions are never genuine, which obviously isn’t the best way to lead a friendship.
I’ve been lucky to never have had a simp (that I know of). In the past, when I sensed a man was interested in me and I didn’t return his affection, I quickly retreated and preferred not to have any friendship with him whatsoever.
Sometimes things can get a bit confusing, though. Many of my friends and relatives have had simps, and after having lengthy discussions about this with them, here are some of the signs you should watch out for in your male friends — because sometimes they might want to be more than “just friends”.
He goes out of his way to make you happy
It’s completely normal to do nice gestures for our friends. But there are nice gestures and then there are gestures that go beyond what you’d qualify as friendly.
One time, my friend went on a walk with her male friend sometime around her birthday. Her feelings towards him didn’t go beyond friendly and she thought she had established that well enough — until he suddenly gave her a very expensive necklace as a birthday gift.
As she was standing there looking at the necklace, she realised that she simply couldn’t accept it. It was too much.
If she accepted it, she would feel that she owed him something, that by accepting his gift she accepted his love and returned it in some way — which she didn’t. She didn’t fancy him at all.
She ended up convincing him to keep the necklace and she tried her best to break off the friendship altogether (which took some effort since he was so interested and kept initiating contact with her).
A similar thing happened to my sister — she kept receiving very expensive gifts from a friend who had a girlfriend, yet each time he saw my sister, I could see it in his eyes how much he fancied her. Spending literally thousands of dollars on her was his way of trying to get her to like him. It took him months to be honest about his feelings with her.
If he goes out of his way to buy you over-the-top gifts, make time for you even when he has to compartmentalise an important part of his life, and you low-key (or not so low-key) feel like the nicer he gets, the more you owe him something, he might have hidden romantic motives.
Why it’s not a real friendship:
Friends are, of course, supposed to be there for each other, help each other out and put some effort into gift-giving — but they don’t go to great lengths to suppress a part of their identity just to be nice to you.
Friends are equals. They’re two independent people who share a meaningful bond. If you feel like your friend is overly submissive and sacrifices his integrity (and money, pride, hobbies, self-respect) just to be in your good books, the dynamics might not be healthy because it’s influenced by romantic or sexual motives.
He doesn’t support you in pursuing your romantic interests
As long as you’re single, everything’s fine. He’s still got a chance (that’s what he thinks, anyway).
However, the moment you fall in love or show any interest in someone, your friendship is suddenly not what it used to be. He gets jealous, he drags you into arguments, he doesn’t show any support for your new-found love and he doesn’t shy away from criticising whoever you’re interested in.
My sister is a bit of a simp-magnet. Many of her friendships with men have fallen apart because of jealousy — in the end, it wasn’t her friendship they wanted. They were after what she was willing to offer to somebody else, even after they’d been so nice to her the entire time!
This sense of entitlement and possessiveness is a big red flag.
Why it’s not a real friendship:
We all need friends. Friendships make our lives better in so many ways, and even after we’ve found a romantic partner, they should still play an important role.
However, every true friend accepts this truth: They are not a replacement for a partner. They play their own role in your life, and once you find a partner, they accept the obvious things that come with it — the fact that you might want to live with them, maybe have a family in the future, go on dates, present yourselves as a team and so on.
True friends support you when you fall in love. They don’t make things hard, they don’t get jealous, they don’t overly criticise your partner. Of course, a good friend will express doubts if they feel like your partner isn’t treating you well — but when it’s just plain jealousy and fear of being replaced, it’s not a healthy friendship.
A friend roots for your love life. A simp hopes he will become your love life, and when he doesn’t, a disaster ensues.
His romantic life suffers
First things first — it’s completely okay to be single and happy. I was single for four years and I mostly loved it.
There’s a but, though. If both of the factors I mentioned above (he goes out of is way to make you happy and he doesn’t support you in your love-life) combine with the fact that he never tries to look for a partner, never seems to fall in love and focuses all his attention on you, it’s even more obvious that he might be a simp and not a friend. He doesn’t try to have a good love life because he spends all of his energy on trying to make you love him.
If he does find a partner or expresses any interest in somebody, he makes sure to throw it in your face more times than you can count. Basically, he wants to make you jealous. When you always only show support, he might get even more upset.
Why it’s not a real friendship:
This one is quite obvious. You don’t go out with people to make your friend jealous. Your love life shouldn’t suffer as a consequence of friendships in any way.
They end up doing weird stuff in moments of weakness
If you’re still unsure if your friendship with him is genuine, there might come a point when he simply can’t control himself anymore. That moment is a big red flag that finally puts things into a new perspective.
My mum has been going jogging with her male friend for months now. She’s been regularly jogging for about two years. Guess what? He only started jogging when he heard she did it, too.
This in itself isn’t a problem because you can always express interest in what your friends do, right? I mean, he only goes jogging when he’s with her and never on his own, but you could still give him the benefit of the doubt.
Not so much when after all the weird hints he’s thrown at her (and after she made it perfectly clear that she doesn’t fancy him), he shows up at her door with a bouquet of flowers at 10 PM, completely drunk, calling her on her phone.
My mum didn’t pick up and later told him she was at a friend’s house although she was actually home. When she asked why he was calling, he said it didn’t matter, he just needed something, nothing serious, don’t worry. The next time they went jogging, he asked her where her doorbell was “just out of curiosity, you know, if he ever needed anything.”
Why it’s not a real friendship:
A friend doesn’t turn up at your doorstep completely drunk with a bouquet of flowers after you tell him you only want to be friends.
If he ever has a moment of weakness and ends up doing such gestures, it’s a blaring sirene that he’s not a friend, he’s a simp.
Should you still talk to him?
After you realise that your friend is actually in love with you and/or wants to have sex with you, should you still keep your friendship going?
This is where many women are to blame for the mess caused. Obviously, a guy should never lead you on and promise you friendship when he secretly has a huge crush on you and loses all of his self-respect just to be in your company. It’s dishonest, it shows a lack of integrity and all in all, it just decreases his worth in your eyes.
The biggest problem lies in his entitlement. He thinks that being nice to you even though you never asked for it will grant him some sexual attention, which is just plain wrong. You don’t owe anyone anything.
However, once women realise that this has been happening, many of them just keep the friendship going because they secretly enjoy the attention. They like being admired by someone even if they’d never consider dating him, which is where the whole problem is partly the women’s fault as well.
Unrequited love hurts deeply. You can never have a genuine, supportive and healthy friendship when one of you has feelings for the other. My mum feels deeply uncomfortable when she goes jogging with her ‘friend’ now and my sister’s friendships have all fallen apart in the end because they simply couldn’t make it work.
Good friendships last because both people have the same intentions and expectations of each other. They’re not polluted by heartbreak, unrequited lust, jealousy and unequal dynamics.
When a man is in love with a woman who doesn’t reciprocate his feelings, they should both take some space from each other — or else he becomes the simp.
And from what I’ve seen, things almost never end up well for a simp.
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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