What happens when you need a boyfriend for the day? There’s a site that’s got you covered. Melanie Lee, a blogger for Alibaba gave Taobao, a Chinese online marketplace with a Rent-A-Boyfriend section, a whirl. And, lucky for us, she spilled her story (with photos!) to Business Insider.
Here’s what you must know about how her daylong “date” went down.
When she met her BF for the day she described the 30-year-old as average. “To me he looked like he could be the world’s nicest guy, or canniest serial killer.” Which in the world of fake companions, sounds about right.
How much would you pay for a temporary boyfriend? Of course, that depends what you need him for. For many women in China, the pressure to have a significant other is so great that they use this service to find men to accompany them when they visit their families. Depending on the family, I could see women spending a fortune on fake beaus to quiet overbearing parents and nosy cousins around the holidays. While Melanie and her rented guy didn’t visit her family, she paid “more than the average monthly income for a Chinese family” for her date.
What Did He Come With?
For $264 (1,500 yuan), the hired BF came with his undivided attention for a day. However, kissing, hand-holding and “other dodgy physical contact” were not included.
The faux duo started off sitting as far apart from each other as two people possibly could in a taxi to eventually coming close together for a photo. (He put his arm around Melanie!) Though, he wasn’t too chatty. Melanie says when the conversation slowed down, they both pulled out their phones and texted friends.
What Did They Do?
During their daytime date, the “couple” toured the city of Hangzhou. They took a boat tour, ate and visited Lingyin Temple, a Buddhist temple.
Melanie described her day-long BF as distant — not the charming lad she had expected. As the date went on and the ice cream fondue was flowing, he opened up about his dating history, and even the pressures he faces in China to find love. “Men are expected to have a lot of money before they start the search for a wife and women face a lot of pressure to get married young. If you are like me, nearly 30 with not a lot of money, your chances to marry soon are low, “ he told his fake date. He mentioned his only long term relationship ended after he lost his savings in the Shanghai stock market.
Even though the BF for hire doesn’t think he’ll find love on the job because no one would ever take him seriously, his job pays the bills and lets him travel. Normally, he’s hired by single women to fend off family members but he’s even played the role of entertaining mistresses when their men are out of town.
Melanie says he wasn’t too chatty but he did shed some more light on the pressures men also face in China to find The One.
And, if you ask us, this first date was filled with “don’ts”. The hired BF mentioned his ex, texted on the date and brought up money issues. But hey, he’s fake — the rules are may be different for rented dates.