The Price of Faking Being Single

If you’re like us and you pay attention to things like time, you know the holidays are fast approaching. Which means next month a lot of us will be heading home (or somewhere) for the holidays, and the only thing we find worse than facing our family for a week that often feels more like the Spanish Inquisition than a holiday, is facing them alone. It doesn’t matter how much you are ‘totally fine’ not being in a relationship. It doesn’t matter that you’re ‘too busy’ to find love. All your parents see is a lack of grandchildren coming their way. Well, we can’t help in the baby department, but thanks to an idea imported from China (where else), at least the ability to present the appearance of love has just become a lot easier.

Apparently many young professional (YP) Chinese women are tired of feeling relationship pressure from their parents. And with demand comes supply. So a few different online shopping sites have started offering rentable boyfriends. That’s right, instead of being happy with who you are, you can dodge uncomfortable family prodding by simply paying to bring a boy-toy home for the holiday gathering. The price range for these bachelors can be a little bit baffling though. Chinese women are apparently doling out anywhere from $100 to $1400 CDN per day for this guaranteed arm candy. Which begs us to ask the question: what the hell is the difference between a $100 a day man and a $100 an hour man?! Unexcitingly, it might not be what you think – apparently the ‘boyfriends’ are limited to hand-holding and kisses on the cheek when necessary in order to convince ma and pa that everything’s above board. There’s no suggestion that this is anything other than what it says it is (i.e. this ain’t no sleepover service).

Just like any good business, this one also offers a chance for customers to see the product they’re buying (or renting) into before purchase. Before any money changes hands, the future fake couple can share photos online and come to an agreement about the ‘terms of service’. Kinda sounds a lot like online dating to us, but hey, if you can convince someone to cover the cost of transportation as well as the meal, all the power to you.

Although the sites we’re talking about seem to focus exclusively on offering men for women, we can’t see the opposite being too far off if it isn’t already out there somewhere (get your mind out of the gutter; we mean a legitimate service). Remember, this isn’t just an escort service, this is bringing someone into a carefully orchestrated lie to in order to convince your loved ones that you have a loved one all of your own. This isn’t about making you happy – it’s about making your family shut up. So what do you think? Know any YPs who’d love to have this option available come holiday season?