So, today I read an article about a fake French website called ‘loueunepetiteamie.com’ which roughly translates as ‘rent a girlfriend’.
I’m not sure exactly what the purpose of this fake was, but in one month online it got 185,000 hits, 550 women signed up to be ‘rented’ and over 5000 men signed up wanting to hire one of these women.
Now, I should be clear, this site wasn’t pretending to be an escort (read: prostitution) site, but instead supposedly offered to ‘rent’ girlfriends capable of ‘stunning relatives, friends or business partners with their charm and beauty.’ Basically, someone to pretend to be your girlfriend at a social occasion.
Now, everything I’ve read about this site has been along the lines of “Ha ha! Look how pathetic these guys are and look what whores these women are for putting themselves up for hire! What losers!”
Ok, I’ll admit that that does sound pretty damn pathetic… after all, if you’re spending hard earned cash to pay a stranger to pretend to be your girlfriend so you can impress someone, that is pathetic…but am I wrong in thinking that a real service like this might actually be useful and worthwhile in certain circumstances?
Whether you’re male or female, being single can be downright awkward. For example, when you get a ‘plus one’ invitation to a work party or you’re the one single female at a wedding, you know you’re in for a few hours of hell. If you’ve ever sat around a dinner table as the only unattached person present, you know how awkward it can be. People look at you like there’s something wrong with you, or are constantly trying to set you up, even when you tell them you’re happily single and that way by choice.
For example, in my teens late teens I was getting up at 6am and going to University until 5pm. Then I’d get home, grab a bite to eat then go to work from 6pm until 2am… then I had to find the time to do my coursework before sarting over at 6am the next day. I didn’t have the time, energy or inclination to look for a relationship. Despite the fact that I was single by choice and perfectly happy that way, it didn’t stop well meaning friends and relatives from constantly trying to set me up or make it any less awkward when I was the only single guy at a party.
Like I said, I was at university at the time and worked in a bar. I was spending the majority of my time in prime dating territory, so I turned down my fair share of dates…but telling someone you’re single by choice and could be dating if you wanted to, well, you might as well be the high school kid trying to convince everyone you’re dating a 24 year old supermodel, but she lives in Canada so that’s why no-one ever sees her.
Now, obviously, the best solution to this problem is to simply take a female friend as your ‘date’ on those sorts of occasions (which I did myself once or twice as well as being a female friend’s ‘plus one’ a few times)…but if you’re happily single and don’t have any friends of the opposite sex who can help you out, I can understand why you’d a least consider hiring someone.
Now, personally, I don’t think I’d ever actually pay someone to pretend to be my date…but on the other hand, I don’t think I’d necessarily look down on people that would.
Now, If you’re going to your high school reunion and hire a girl who looks like a supermodel just to impress your old schoolmates…yeah, that’s completely pathetic. However, if you’ve been invited to a dinner party by your boss and you know you’re going to be the only single guy there, you know you’re going to spend the whole evening talking about your lack of a love life and deflecting a bunch of people trying to set you up with their other single friends… so I can see why someone would want to hire a ‘date’ for the occasion.