Need a Date? Try an Imaginary Girlfriend
October 14, 2004
Kate Murray, Pasadena City College Courier
New website offers all the fun of a real girlfriend without any of reality's hassles
"Real girls, imaginary relationships." This is the slogan of imaginarygirlfriends.com, an internet service which provides men or women with the "girlfriend" of their choice.
Is this for real?
I assure you it is. For a bimonthly fee, this online service will put a customer in contact with a real girl who will pretend to be his girlfriend. In exchange, the girl will send personal love letters, emails, pictures, and even leave phone messages.
To make the relationship seem real, the website urges customers to come up with stories about how they met their "girlfriends." They can pretend to have met her while traveling, on the internet, or something equally plausible to set up the scheme. After that, they can relax and let the imaginary "long-distance relationship" unfold.
Every "girlfriend" has something different to offer. Jennifer in London, England, promises to send a "sexy gift" to her customers. Nineteen-year-old Melissa from Florida says, "I'll tell you how wonderful you are, and make your friends jealous of our wonderful relationship." Lauren, a pretty blonde from Texas, tells her customers they can simulate a breakup with her a week before their time is up, and she will spend the next seven days begging them to take her back.
Most of these girls are college students, making a little extra cash on the side. Each girl charges a different amount, depending on their individual services and how desirable they appear to be. As "girlfriends", they can make $30 to $100 per client every two months.
The website invites all kinds of girls to become imaginary girlfriends. Potential girlfriends are lured with crafty persuasion: "All ages, races, shapes, sizes and manner of personal tastes are welcome. Whether you're naughty or nice, love romance or adventure, there's sure to be someone who would love to have you as an imaginary girlfriend!" By making the girlfriend job seem fun, easy and exciting, the website attracts young women fr om all over the United States, Canada and Europe.
Why would someone pay money for an imaginary girlfriend? According to the website, it can be any number of things. A potential customer may be tired of friends and family telling him to get a girlfriend. He may want to make someone else jealous of the "relationship." Or he may just need a little confidence boost.
When asked for their opinions of the website, PCC students differed in their reactions. Lili Wei, a psychology major, didn't see anything wrong with it.
"There's nothing impossible in this world," Wei said. "I think it's good for guys who feel they need that."
Engineering major Mark Williams agreed. "If it's a service people want to pay money for, there's no problem with it," Williams said.
Others, however, found plenty of fault in the website's intentions.
"I think it's ridiculous," said Ismael Trenco, a fire technology major. "It's not really a girlfriend, so there's no point to it."
History student Carina Castaneda found the website sexist.
"It's like giving women a bad name," Castenada said. "It's offensive."
Any way you look at it, this website will attract people who don't want to commit or contribute to a real relationship - even if it means resorting to an imaginary one.