Trick Everyone Into Thinking You’re In A Relationship With Invisible Girlfriend

Above: What is this “Invisible Girlfriend?”
Above: What is this “Invisible Girlfriend?”

The pressure to be in a relationship can sometimes seem like it’s coming from all angles. Your parents are waiting for grandchildren, your coupled up friends want to go on double dates, and your coworkers are wondering if you’re bringing a date to the next work function. But just like there are plenty of reasons to want a girlfriend, there are just as many to not want one. Sometimes you just want to be single. But it would be nice if everyone would stop hounding you about when you’re going to “settle down”.

Luckily, Invisible Girlfriend is here to solve all your problems. For as low as $24.99 a month, you can “build your own girlfriend”. She’ll come with one photo, 100 texts, 10 voicemails, and one handwritten note. If you run out of texts you can always purchase more for $9.99. You’ll be able to show everyone texts from the new girl you’re seeing, without ever actually having to show up on any of the dates you plan.

Invisible Girlfriend (and it’s sister company Invisible Boyfriend) is the brainchild of Matt Homann, who was newly divorced and tired of feeling pressure to jump into another relationship. “Around Thanksgiving, my mom called me and asked if she should set an extra place for someone I’m bringing,” Matt recalls. “In that moment I realized how great it would be to have an answer for her that didn’t require me to actually be dating someone.”

Homann pitched his idea for a fake girlfriend service at St Louis’ Startup Weekend in 2013, and it won the top prize. A group of five people — web developers, writers, and designers — got together and within three days, BuzzFeed and Business Insider were reporting on the new service.

If you sign up for an Invisible Girlfriend, you’ll be able to pick out a photo of a real person (meaning they aren’t just stock photos, real girls actually submitted them to be used for this), give her a personality, and make up a story about how you two met. She only texts you if you text her first, and she’s never in a bad mood. She’ll inquire about your day, let you vent about work, and she’ll never ask you for anything in return. Perfect, right?

But what if you actually start to fall for your Invisible Girlfriend like Joaquin Phoenix in Her? One way the company is making that a slim possibility is by employing real live people to write texts, although you’ll probably never get more than one text from the same person. It makes it a lot harder to make a real connection with someone who doesn’t even exist when you aren’t actually talking to one person, but hundreds.

The weird thing about the Invisible Girlfriend is the fact that people feel that much pressure to be in a relationship that they’d rather pay for a fake one than just say to people, “look, I’m choosing to be single, and I’m fine with that. So quit your nagging.” The only person that really needs to be comfortable with your single status is you, so why spend your hard earned money to satisfy other people’s need to see you coupled up?

Invisible Girlfriend seems like it’s geared more towards the extremely lonely, than the people who are choosing to be single at this point in their lives. If you’re single by choice, you probably have no problem being upfront about it. It’s the ones that desperately want someone to talk to, to tell their friends and family about, someone to validate their worth, that are the target market for this fake girlfriend service. Instead of going out and finding something real (which probably hasn’t worked for them in the past), they can just invent their perfect mate.

These days, there’s a smorgasbord of apps to act as a stand in for various aspects of a real relationship. You can get an Invisible Girlfriend to listen to you, hire a professional cuddler to satisfy your need for human contact, and jump on Tinder if you need a little sexual release. With all these relationship short cuts, who’d actually want to put in the effort to make a real connection?

On the other hand, maybe if you have all your basic needs met, you’ll be less likely to settle for someone who isn’t right for you. Being single has never been less lonely thanks to modern technology. The only thing left is to combine all the relationship shortcuts into a life-like robot significant other who will never pick fights, always wants to have sex when you’re in the mood, and gets along with all your friends. Well, Japan is probably already on it.

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