Whipped: is it as bad as they say it is?

| Romance Columnist

“Can you bring me Jimmy John’s? Pleeeeease?”

It was 11 p.m., and my roommate, April, was hungry. But instead of going to the pantry, she reached for her phone and called her boyfriend, Harry.

“Please? I’m hungry.” She shot me an emphatic smile and then said, “I love you too. See you in ten minutes.” With a satisfied sigh, April returned to writing her paper, knowing that her midnight snack delivery would be there within a matter of moments. Our other roommate Louise laughed.

“God, that boy is whipped,” she said with a sigh. “He’s brought you three dinners in the past week. I wish I could get my boyfriend to do that.”

When I told Harry I was thinking of writing this column, he gave me the finger (lovingly, I’m sure). While I was a little taken aback, it brought the obvious to my attention: No one likes to think of himself as “whipped.” At the same time though, no one ever wants to be considered uncaring or insensitive to their lover’s needs. So then the question is: Where do we draw the line between being whipped and simply being a good partner?

Boys tend to get the most flack for this kind of behavior. Whenever a guy spends what his friends feel is too much time with his girlfriend, the go-to insult is that he is whipped. And while girls may not use the same word, there are certainly disparaging remarks that get passed around during gossip sessions about that girl who just does too much for her boyfriend. Essentially, no one likes to be told that they care too much.

Being whipped to the point where it interferes with your daily life is undeniably a bad thing. If it gets to a point where you start bailing on friends to help your boyfriend’s grandmother pick out flowers for her garden, you definitely need to re-evaluate a few things. But when it comes to a couple who occasionally brings each other dinner, or spends several hours thinking of the ideal gift for their significant other, maybe tagging them as whipped is a little harsh. We don’t always allow ourselves to care as deeply for other people as we should, or would, if prying eyes weren’t watching.

“I’m equally whipped,” April confided in me later. “I’m just a little more shy about it.”

It’s not a bad thing to make time for the people you love. Carving out some time to be your own person and do your own thing is good for you. But if it’s really a question of picking up a sandwich for the person you love…not doing that is just downright lazy. So show a little love to your boyfriend or girlfriend, and don’t be afraid of some slight teasing from your friends—they probably just wish their partner cared as much as you do.

Sign up for the email edition

Stay up to date with everything happening as Washington University returns to campus.

Subscribe