Throughout the whole Manti Te'o incident, numerous media outlets have contemplated the pressures on athletes to have publicity, on his football team’s “legacy culture” and how someone could possibly be duped into a catfish-type of situation.
While Te'o says he only lied after he found out his online girlfriend was a hoax, it seems fake partners aren't so uncommon. It got us wondering why someone would actually lie about having a significant other at all?
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When breakups get ugly, people are often unable to date new people, yet still feel frustrated when their significant others move on — especially if they were the ones broken up with. NamoroFake.com, a Brazilian website capitalizes on this, charging men $20 to create a fake girlfriend’s Facebook page. They post with it for seven days to help a man make his ex jealous. And soon, the creators plan on offering their services to women, as well.
According to psychologist and life coach Dr. Judith Tutin, Ph.D., having a fake significant other can result from feeling a bit insecure about one’s present life status. She says, “It’s kind of like saying you’re an architect when you’re really a construction worker. It’s a way to build up your image so you’ll be appealing to potential mates.” Of course, this doesn’t always stay controlled; it can become problematic and “mushroom into something that becomes difficult to control as you begin to have to keep your lies straight when you actually meet a real person.”
When you feel inadequate with yourself, it’s difficult to want to get out in the world and, but when someone boosts your confidence — even artificially — it can instantly improve your self image. As for why someone might pay to have a fake girlfriend, Tutin says that it’s like any other purchase made for image purposes. “People pay for fake boobs, cars they can’t really afford and various other things they think they need to attract the right mate.”
One of the biggest problems with fake relationships is how they affect your real ones, though. Even with the nice, quick benefits, you can get stuck very quickly when the lies begin piling up, as we’ve all seen over the past couple weeks with Te’o’s situation.
According to Tutin, “Once you start a relationship based on lies you’re in deep trouble ... even if you can keep the lies straight, you’re doomed to a nasty fall once truth comes out. And it will.” And your romantic relationships aren’t the only ones that will suffer, she says. “You put your friends in a tough position as well. Either they’re going to support your lies with your new partner, or risk losing the friendship.”
When it comes to fake relationships, it’s probably best to pass. Although they might seem like an insta-ego boost, in the long run, they lead to embarrassment, awkwardness and frustration from others. Instead, try to find other ways to make your confidence shoot up that will be genuine and longterm. Those will yield long-lasting results — and save you $20.
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Do you know anyone that had a fake boyfriend or girlfriend?
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