What is meant by the term ‘simp’ or ‘simping’?

Simp - Tikvah Lake Recovery

Countless dating trends have emerged in the last decade, such as ghosting, simmering, breadcrumbing, and the list goes on!

But have you heard of simping?

What does simping mean?

Simping is just one of the dating trends that exist within many others and was created primarily by Gen -Z culture.

A simp or simping refers to when someone obsesses over someone else who does not return their affection. 

One-sided love

Slightly more archaic terms to describe simping are one-sided affection or unrequited love; either way, not the most fun shoes to fill!

Social media influence

Social media influence - Tikvah Lake Recovery

Terms like simping mainly get used online to criticize and poke fun at a person for going to extreme lengths to make someone happy who doesn’t share the same sentiment or romantic feelings.

The term simping has been around since the mid – millennium but has increased in popularity within the last several years. 

Teenagers and adolescents mostly use the term on social media platforms like TikTok and Twitter.

Who are simps?

Primarily, simps are heterosexual males who pursue an uninterested girl hoping that she will eventually like him and give in to his romantic whims.

The simp may go against his normal behavior to please the girl he desires and may say or do things not aligned with his true nature.

Although simping is not as severe or creepy as stalking, such behaviors may get seen as weak or desperate since it is a pointless endeavor that everyone can see but the simp.

Toxic masculinity and simping

There are many problems associated with terms such as simping.

One such issue is that simping or getting labeled a simp may get seen as promoting toxic masculinity, where being kind to women without an endgame or plan gets viewed as weak or pathetic.

Of course, the above depends on how far the simp will go to show his affection to the person they idolize, but simping is a harmless act in most cases.

Risk factors

Studies show that simping mainly gets done by men; however, women can also be guilty of simping when they are hopelessly attracted to someone.

Simping Vs. being polite.

According to literature, if a man has ever complimented a woman, particularly online, he must be a simp. 

However, plenty of well-intentioned guys have gotten labeled as simps or have gotten accused of simp-related behaviors purely because they have complimented a woman or demonstrated politeness.

Popular culture

Another definition of simping that gets used quite commonly in popular culture is when:

“a man puts himself in a subservient position under women in the hopes of winning them over, without the woman ever bringing anything to the table” (Zachary Zane, Men’s Health, 2020).

Social media channels

Youtube channels such as ‘TikTok Kingdom’ have gone as far as to create a series of simping compilations through video content.

Telltale signs of a simp

If a person engages in the following behaviors, they get considered a simp:

  • When the woman takes hours to respond to a message or text, but the man takes minutes.
  • When you play a woman’s favorite song on a special occasion (such as her birthday), but the people in question aren’t dating.
  • When a man pays for dinner and the woman is “just a friend.”
  • When a man pays a woman a compliment
  • If a woman complains about her terrible relationship issues and a man comforts her

Simp culture

Communities that promote terms like simping inherently see things differently, and this divergence is likely a generational pattern of thinking and behaving that differs markedly from previous generations.

For example, a man paying for dinner in the 1940s got viewed as gentlemanly.

In some cultures, men naturally get expected to foot the bill without any questions asked.

Other factors 

Perhaps other factors play a role in the emergence of simping where feminism is often associated with independence.

Essentially, some cultures may get offended when asked to pay for dinner, or the other way around, when someone pays for them.

Moreover, those who accuse others of simping may even get seen as misogynistic, since they promote a culture where being kind to females is wrong or creepy.

Flawed perception

Studies show that people who encourage or cultivate terms such as simping have a flawed perception about dating and relationships that they project onto others. 

The above may be because of several factors, such as:

  • The belief that being kind to others is considered vulnerable or weak – particularly toward people of the opposite sex 
  • People who promote simping believe they are entitled to sex 
  • People who accuse others of simping believe that a relationship between a man and a woman is always about sex

Modern dating trends

Within the slightly younger generations, such thinking is quite clearly monumentally skewed. 

However, young people are not always to blame for this since they have been born into a world where dating trends such as breadcrumbing and gaslighting are rife.

In many ways, what was commonplace twenty or thirty years ago has drastically changed, and modern dating is no exception.

Broadly, teenagers and young adults respond to their environment and what they have been taught.


Celebrities - Tikvah Lake Recovery

Many celebrities have been at the blunt end of simp – related behaviors. 

For example, Pokimane was one of the first mainstream streamers to ascertain fame from her “reaction videos,” when she would engage with her fanbase for hours.

Pokimane has, in the past, gotten accused of encouraging simps by ‘pretending to be single’ so that sad, lonely guys continue to donate to her streams.

However, Pokimane lashed back at the accusations and commented that “calling people simps is obnoxious, and discourages men from being ‘nice’ to women on the internet.”

Mental health


When interviewed, many men accused of simping have admitted feeling lonely and depressed.

Moreover, some reported that commenting on women’s posts and donating to their streams made them feel good about themselves and enjoy complimenting women and supporting their causes.

One male admitted to donating over five hundred dollars to Amouranth, saying he couldn’t wait to contribute more funds to her channel.

Upbringing and codependency 

On the flip side, some researchers reported that some men had difficult childhoods where their mothers taught them that women are codependent and must get looked after.

Inherently, simping causes someone to become obsessive and expect perfection and will often ignore a person’s flaws until they show up.

In the above scenario, a person loses all their self-worth where they believe they are in love with someone they’ve never met or barely know, resulting in confusion, anxiety, and self-hate.

Support and guidance

Most of the research points out that simp-related behaviors result from low self-esteem, depression, and loneliness.

Researchers have reported that if people had access to proper treatment and support, this gradual trend would decrease.

Moreover, reports show that simping is a temporary phase that most people eventually come out of and that the celebrity streamers have helped them feel better in the interim.

Contact us if you think you are suffering from depression, anxiety, or loneliness, please get in touch with a specialist at Tikvah Lake Recovery who can help.

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