Social Question

TexasDude's avatar

(Potentially NSFW) What would lead you to pursue or pay for an artificial relationship?

Asked by TexasDude (25199 points ) March 31st, 2011

I was dilly-dallying around on the internet earlier today when I stumbled upon this interesting website. Apparently, you can custom order a pretend girlfriend who will interact with you on Facebook, or whatever the social media network of your choice is.

This got me thinking… We live in a world that is smaller than ever, in terms of the speed of travel and communication. Access to other human beings is literally right at most of our fingertips, and yet people are apparently feeling lonelier than ever.

Why do you think that is and what does it say about modern society? What would lead you to pay for a fake boyfriend or girlfriend? Is the cliche’ true in that technology that was meant to bring us together has now torn us all apart and started to serve as a substitute for human contact? Is any of this crap even a bad thing, necessarily?

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20 Answers

math_nerd's avatar

Be a 6’ and 135 pound computer nerd that had a very attractive girlfriend. I get hit on a lot when I was out with her.

Once you break up it is like you are invisible. My hunch is pretending to have a GF at least gives the impression that you have something to offer.

creative1's avatar

Why aren’t these people taking advantage of all these dating websites they have now. If your going to pay for something pay for something that may actually yeild you some real life results instead of fake results. And actually there are alot of dating websites out there for free to use so why not find a real S/O for free instead of paying for imitation.

Take it from someone who talked with someone for over 6mths and never actually met the person there is only so much you can do with a computer. Even those hurt when you finally end them.

blueiiznh's avatar

What a great website. Is there one that bashes you too? just kidding.

It reminds me of that State Farm commercial where they pop in new people

12Oaks's avatar

This is like those phony car phone antennas you’d put on your back car window to make others think you had a car phone when you didn’t (this was a time when we called them car phones, and all they did was make and receive telephone calls for a couple bucks a minute plus monthly service). Pointless, and nobody really believed what you claimed to have, anyway. It’s been over 20 years since I last was looking for a girlfriend, but I must believe it’s a lot easier today with eHarmony.com and match.com and the such to help you right along. In the old days, you either met your mate through a blind date or chance meeting. Of course, some did claim to have a gal when they didn’t, and made up stories about their dates. Wouldn’t this just be cheaper to create a FaceBook account on your own, make a gals profile, and manage it yourself?

Seeing stuff like this in the dating world today sometimes is my number one rule to stay married and not deal with the nonsense.

josie's avatar

Sounds pretty weird. I still like the real thing.

DominicX's avatar

It’s a product of the societal pressure to be in a relationship. If you’re not in a relationship, you’re sad, pathetic, alone, and worthless (in the eyes of many). So for those who are having difficulty finding a partner in the real world, an artificial means of getting one has arrived to appeal to the truly desperate.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

The only example that comes to mind is much like in the case of Tom Hanks in Cast Away. I could see creating a friendship with a soccer ball in the midst of isolation.

Bellatrix's avatar

I can’t imagine wanting a fake bf/gf. As to whether it’s a bad thing? If it isn’t harming anyone and is meeting someone’s emotional needs, I don’t think it does any harm. I imagine it depends on how people interact with the fake gf/bf though. And what I mean there is, it could be harmful if it allowed people to play out potentially illegal or dysfunctional relationships? I don’t know though, can you behave in an abusive manner to the fake gf? Could if fulfil role playing fantasies that would be unacceptable in real life? I am probably over thinking the whole thing though and it just meets the needs of lonely people who just want to feel they are connected to someone else.

I didn’t want to register with the site and this came up when I went to look at it “Due to high demand we are only able to accommodate a limited number of users to the site. Register early to get in line.” So either a lot of fluther people are checking the site out OR there are a lot of people who do want a fake partner OR they are trying to create the illusion that the site is popular.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Because it’s a way to kind of “trick” people into liking you – no matter how bad you look, if you’ve got a gorgeous bombshell on your arm, other women will think you must have something to offer to land her, and want to date you themselves. Then, you and your gorgeous bombshell have a big fight, break up, and there are all these women that want to date you. This is a fairly common sitcom/dramady plot.

It’s just like how you’re more likely to get a job if you already have one. Or how you wanted to hang out with someone with a ton of friends more than someone with no friends. You want others to vouch for something before you try it.

ucme's avatar

Dementia?

Blackberry's avatar

I think it’s sad that someone would feel they have to turn to that, because even the ugliest people can find someone, right lol? They must feel so defeated when they’re interacting with their online mate, knowing it’s just to appease all of their ‘friends’ that doubted him/her for so long :(

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Blackberry I dunno – unless the guy in your avatar isn’t you, I don’t know that you can speak on behalf of the ugly.

Bellatrix's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs, you do have a point. :-)

Blackberry's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs Yeah, just trying to understand why someone would do this when it seems like there are a lot of other options.

TexasDude's avatar

@math_nerd well that’s an interesting way of looking at it. So do you think it’s a commonly held view that someone’s attractiveness or date-ability is based on a perception of already having dates or significant others?

@creative1, I think this may have more to do with social anxiety than with an inability to use other means to find a date. A virtual significant other designed to your specifications will never hurt you or turn you down. To me, it seems like a kind of sad feedback loop. You have trouble meeting real people to seek fulfillment from, and when you do, they let you down, so you turn to technology, which isn’t quite as psychologically fulfilling, but it still fills a void. I should mention that I don’t have any real problem with this sort of thing, but I am concerned with what this suggests about the mental health of people living in the internet age.

@blueiiznh, not bashing here. That commercial you mentioned does bring up an interesting relevant point, though. How many people use this sort of outlet because they have formed an impossible ideal or standard for a mate, as opposed to just being lonely or socially awkward?

@12Oaks, haha, thanks. Like I said with @creative1, I really think this may have to do more with some kind of social anxiety as opposed to an inability to use other means to make real human contact.

@josie, same here. I’m holding off on making an explicit value judgment about this sort of thing, though. I’ll wax poetic about what it suggests about postmodern values, or technology-aided loneliness, or whatever, but I’m trying hard to not assume too much.

@DominicX, good point. I’ve never really understood that kind of pressure… I’ve always felt happy on my own. Relationships are great, of course, when they work, but I think all people should be able to find fulfillment from within, if they need to. Sadly, many don’t, and like you suggest, it seems like a market niche has formed for those folks.

@Pied_Pfeffer, I’m glad you mentioned the word “isolation” because that, to me, is what has created the niche for this sort of thing. What I’m wondering is where that feeling of isolation came from, if the world is so much more interconnected now. It seems counter-intuitive.

@MyNewtBoobs, ...yeah, sounds like you and @math_nerd are more or less in agreement.

@ucme, lol, probably not.

@Blackberry, ...says the handsome devil. It sounds like another vote for @math_nerd and @MyNewtBoobs‘s point… that relationships, for some people, only serve as a selling point for other relationships, or as a way to validate their own existence to others.

Thanks everyone for the responses!

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

The internet is a paradox: it provides action without interaction (such as porn). Technology in general is also a culprit. A friend once told me that her daughter, who was upstairs in her bedroom, called her mother on the phone to ask her if she would bring her (the daughter) a soda. I’ve watched two people sitting next to each other in a meeting texting each other.

TexasDude's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer, that’s definitely one way of putting it. I know couples who do that sort of thing.

Symbeline's avatar

Wow that’s bizarre…I can’t think of any reason why I would want to pay for a pretend boyfriend. It’s a frightening look into just how much image and superficiality we come to accept. At least that’s what comes immediately to mind.

TexasDude's avatar

@Symbeline, yeah, I wouldn’t want to do it, myself. Thanks Symbeline.

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

I think that’s totally weird, to create a make-believe g.f. to mollify your own loneliness and lovesickness. You got to be living in a different realm, detached from reality to do that.

Why not just chase girls on the street? :3 Lol.

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