PSA: You Can Respect Women Without Being A Simp

Calling men who treat women with respect “simps” seems to be the new trend, and it needs to stop.

By Meghan Dillon4 min read
friends ross rachel You Can Respect Women Without Being A Simp

What’s a simp? Don’t worry, you don’t live under a rock, even I had to look it up on Urban Dictionary. A “simp” is defined as “someone who puts the hoes before the bros, simps will do or say anything to please someone, particularly a girl, in the hopes that they will be in gain favor with that person.” [sic]

Another good way to describe it is a guy who suffers from a serious case of nice guy syndrome. Though these men claim to love and respect the women they “simp” for, their actions speak otherwise.

Why Simps Don’t Actually Respect Women

The idea that a man is a simp for loving and respecting a woman is wrong because it vilifies men who truly show love and respect towards the women they love. 

Chandni Bhatt of Her Campus says it perfectly when she writes, “Many individuals believe that ‘simping’ is just a basic level of respect between a man and a woman. However, there is a definite difference between showing respect and being a simp. While showing respect and caring are basic attitudes every individual should have in a relationship, a simp is a bit different. A simp doesn’t treat themselves or men/women with respect, as they are manipulatively trying to impress them by bending over backwards for their approval.”

Simps do “nice” things with a transactional mindset — they expect something in return.

The problem with this phenomenon is that it fails to recognize that love and respect are synonymous. Simps can be manipulative, often believing that they’re entitled to love and sex (again, think of nice guy syndrome), and that’s far from being loving and respectful.

Simps do “respectful” or “nice” things with a transactional mindset — they expect something in return. “You owe me sex because I did X, Y, and Z for you.” Truly respectful men are genuinely thoughtful and kind, and aren’t expecting any kind of payback. One is manipulative and selfish, and the other respects the woman’s autonomy and choices.

Some Men Who Get It Right

Now that we’ve acknowledged the difference between a simp and a man who respects women, here are some examples in pop-culture of men who respect women without simping.

Boyfriend Country

For those unfamiliar with country music, “boyfriend country” is a term referring to a country love song from a male perspective. Songs like “Die A Happy Man” by Thomas Rhett, “Yours” by Russell Dickerson, and “Forever After All” by Luke Combs are all beautiful and popular examples of country love songs, but that hasn’t stopped fans from calling it "simp country."

Those who call it “simp country” clearly haven’t looked closely at these lyrics. All three of these songs were written for the wife of the artist, and they perfectly capture the love and respect they have for them.

In “Forever After All,” Luke Combs sings, “I know there’ll be that moment /  the good Lord calls one of us home / and one won’t have the other by their side / but Heaven knows it, that won’t last too long / maybe some things last forever after all.”

These lyrics are far from a man coming from simp territory. These lyrics are sung by a man deeply in love with his wife who can’t wait to spend the rest of his life with her, and it’s beautiful.

Though many of these songs come from the perspective of a boyfriend or husband, these also extend to songs about the early stages of dating. A perfect example is “One Step Ahead” by Restless Road, which is essentially about being thoughtful and chivalrous.

I can’t help but think of when the Jonas Brothers released "Sucker" two years ago. There’s something amazing about men singing about how much they love their wives and girlfriends, and having them star in the video. 

All three women featured in the Jonas Brothers video are their wives in real life, and two of the three women in the Restless Road video aren’t actresses — they're the wife and the girlfriend of the band members, and it’s so refreshing to see. This isn’t simping, these are men respecting the women they love.

Jim Halpert from “The Office”

Jim and Pam from The Office are one of my all-time favorite couples, and one of the many reasons why I love them is the mutual love and respect they have for each other. Jim recognizes that Pam is her own person with her own interests and needs, and is even willing to let her go if it meant that she was happy marrying Roy (some would claim that it was simp-like for him to transfer to Stamford, but I’d prefer him doing that to sabotaging her relationship with Roy).

They find their way back to each other and get married, remaining #relationshipgoals throughout the rest of the show’s run. Jim’s traditionally masculine traits complement Pam’s traditionally feminine traits, making them a great match. Neither of them are perfect, and they’re not the perfect couple, but their love and respect for each other helps them through the tough times. Love and respect are synonymous in their relationship, as it should be in any healthy relationship.

Some Men Who Miss the Mark

Despite there being guys who can love and respect women without entering simp territory, there are some who have crossed the line.

“Hello” by Lionel Richie

I discovered several songs that have simp energy while researching for this article, but nothing stuck out quite like the 1983 Lionel Richie classic “Hello.” Don’t get me wrong, I adore Lionel Richie (and this song) as much as the next gal, but these lyrics are bizarre. It represents everything wrong with simping and it’s downright creepy. 

Some lyrics seem sweet, like when he sings, “I long to see the sunlight in your hair / and tell you time and time again how much I care / sometimes I feel my heart will overflow / hello, I’ve just got to let you know.”

However, a romantic Shakespearean sonnet couldn’t absolve the creepiness of this music video in general, but especially in the first verse where he sings, “I’ve been alone with you inside my mind / and in my dreams I’ve kissed your lips a thousand times / I sometimes see you pass outside my door / hello, is it me you’re looking for?”

Love and respect go hand-in-hand. If you truly loved and respected someone, you wouldn’t stalk them (especially one of your students, ewww). I can’t help but feel like this song reeks of "nice guy" energy and comes across like a man who just feels entitled to sex.

Speaking of guys who feel like they’re entitled to sex because they’re a “nice guy”...

Ross Geller from “Friends”

Though many men from tv shows and movies fall into this category, nobody personifies simp energy quite like Ross from Friends. Despite claiming to love and respect Rachel, he treated her like garbage. He believes he’s entitled to love and sex because he’s a “nice guy” (let’s admit it: Ross is the epitome of nice guy syndrome), but he doesn’t take the time to consider what Rachel (or any of the other women he dates throughout the show) wants. 

He gets jealous when Rachel’s career takes off, talks down to her, and doesn’t treat her like his equal. He treats her like his inferior, which he wouldn’t do if he truly loved her. He claims to love her by dedicating so much time to her, but we all know that’s BS. If he really loved her, he would have let her go a long time ago (and would have never cheated on her). In short, Ross doesn’t seem to know what love, or a healthy relationship, looks like.

Closing Thoughts

There’s a difference between treating the woman you love with respect and being a simp, and it’s an important lesson for all men to learn. 

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