Yep, there's an app for that.
You know the scene: You’re at a bar with your gals on a Friday night and a drunken weirdo won't stop hitting on you hardcore, even though you've made it very clear you’re not interested. For many ladies, the ‘I have a boyfriend!’ white lie is an easy escape tactic. But guess what? It doesn't have to be a white lie anymore! With InvisibleBoyfriend.com, you can create a magical fake boyfriend that sends you text messages, leaves you voicemails, and gives you all the (fake) validation you could ever want. Obviously, I had to try it.
HOW IT WORKS
Once I registered for an account on their site, my first task was to create my boyfriend. That's right: you get to completely make-up your make-believe boyfriend from head to toe to heart. I started with the basics. I named my fake-beau "John Lyon" (because my last name is Tigar, get it?). He's 33, lives in New York City, and is interested in fitness, volunteering, and writing books. After that, I was prompted to select John's personality: Did I want someone who was lovingly nerdy? Saucy and sarcastic? Witty and educated? Sweet and shy?
Depending on the personality traits you choose, that's how he'll come across in texts and voicemails — sort of creepy/sort of cool. I picked 'cheerful and outgoing' and honestly, John pretty much embodied those traits for the entire month we "dated." Finally, I selected a photo, created our how-we-met story (more on that later), and voila! John and Lindsay were officially an item.
Once all of this information is complete and you’ve paid your fee, your courtship begins. For a cool $24.99 a month, you get 100 text messages, 10 voicemails and one handwritten card from your fake boyfriend. (InvisibleBoyfriend.com hires real people, not computers, to send you text messages and leave voicemails.) In less than 20 minutes after signing up, I had already shot off five text messages to my invisible boo.
Here's how it went down:
My favorite part of the Invsible Boyfriend was the ability to create how John and I met. (Like any diehard romantic, dreaming of meet-cutes is basically my part-time job.) It's a sweet story, really: John was my friend’s boyfriend’s co-worker. We met at a beer hall, he was smitten and asked my friend for my number. We lived a mere three blocks from one another. It was fate.
Another pro of having an invisible boyfriend was that John answered my texts promptly. I texted him real things I imagined myself saying in a relationship — from walking my dog to asking about what we're doing for dinner. Fun fact: nothing's off-limits with your boyfriend, according to the company website. However, how your boyfriend responds is normally, PG-13, which was a tad disappointing.
Here's a few snippets of our conversations:
I didn't wait longer than 30 minutes for any response, even late at night. (But alas, he wouldn't take the bait to sext with me — I tried twice!)
It was fun have an auto-bot boyfriend at my beck-and-call and since I knew he wasn't real, I pushed my limits with him. I got mad at him when he didn't remember my favorite wine or when he didn't have anything planned for Valentine's Day. (What kind of boyfriend is he?)
A creepy part of Invisible Boyfriend occurs in the sign-up phase, when you're asked to select a photo of said boyfriend. Apparently, the site solicits real, human men to submit selfies of themselves so women can shows photo of their "boyfriend" if anyone asks. I was given a bunch of choices: dude with a ballcap with glasses and a beard, Brooklyn-ish man with long hair, Justin Bieber look-alike, cutie prepster with sunglasses riding on a boat, etc. It's a weird realization that the photo of your fake-boyfriend is actually a real-life person living his real-life somewhere.
Also, it was odd texting a total stranger and wondering who the real person behind those texts. A 50-year dad of two? A 21-year-old female straight out college? *Shivers* I started to wonder why any normal, love-searching woman would pay for this service. (The website claims the purpose is to ward off inquisitive mothers who want you to get married and fend off creepy guys you're not interested in.) But I worry the service could also ... screw with your head. Think Joaquin Phoenix in Her.
You make plans (that won't come to fruition), talk about sexy nights (that never happened), and tell him you love him and (he'll lie and say he loves you, too.) Honestly, it's enough to make a single lady go crazy, snowed in at home with unshaven legs and desperately longing for validation, even if only through an iPhone alert. (Hey, at least you can set it to vibrate?)
WHAT I LEARNED
Personally, I wouldn't use this service but I can see how it would be beneficial for women who want to keep overly-aggressive men at bay. (Though the feminist in me says: You really need an app to do that for you?) For all the single gals out there, I'd say forget the app and invest in dating more because there's no replacement for the real thing, no matter how lonely you feel or how much your family won't get off your case. Trust the process instead of an intimate iPhone connection.
As for John and I? Well, we haven't officially broken things off, but since I've reached my max 100 text messages, I'm not sure I want to pay $10 to break up with him. Sorry, babe.
Lindsay Tigar is a 26-year-old single writer, editor, and blogger living in New York City. She started her popular dating blog, Confessions of a Love Addict, after one too many terrible dates with tall, emotionally unavailable men (her personal weakness) and is now developing a book about it, represented by the James Fitzgerald Agency.
Full disclosure: I received the free press membership for Invisible Boyfriend.