When coming face to face with familial expectations (you know, because that’s a thing adults do), we understand the periodic calm a fake virtual boyfriend can bring. All your folks really just want is some assurance that you’re taking steps toward settling down with some person who intends to be good to you, see your needs answered, and hopefully not break your heart. Us grown-ups, on the other hand, just want to survive Life and the scrutiny of family with our dignities and the perceived health of our social or “love” lives intact.
But what about for those inevitable, inescapable awkwardly family moments during, say, Chinese New Year?
If you’re East Asian, then you’re in luck — the Internet is chockful of potential boyfriends and girlfriends for rent, if you know the places to look.
In countries like China and Singapore, folks are putting up their availabilities for hire just in time for the lunar new year to save anxious singles from the dreaded questions all the while making a quick (and possibly enjoyable) buck. In a culture that is quick to attach unflattering or pitiable labels on the unmarried, this special need has given rise to this unique kind of service. The singles-for-rent set their rules, and make it clear to potential renters that this transaction is not a euphemism for a sexual service.
The above user has a special canned response reserved for the nosiest of aunts and uncles: “Happy New Year Uncles and Aunties, my exam results are average; I’m not hungry; I don’t have a boyfriend; I’m on vacation for a week; yes I have a lot of work to do; I’m going into the house now.”
This guy certainly knows how to market himself and target his potential client’s needs: “The New Year is coming! Are you still worried about your relatives asking questions? Still worried about being laughed at for being single? Do you want to rent a boyfriend? My schedule is open, and we can discuss my services!”
Alas, some people don’t seem to agree with this. Taobao, China’s equivalent to Ebay, has decided to shutter these main-squeeze-for-hire services. However, the listings on QQ, another online marketplace, still do thrive, much to he relief of many a desperate single.
Can you buy or rent boyfriend on Amazon web? U can do so on Alibaba’s Taobao. Freedom of love? Price by hour or day! pic.twitter.com/WIfrjOzLp5
— George Chen (@george_chen) January 14, 2014
Can’t quite find the right boyfriend- or girlfriend-for-hire? Not to worry; if you’re willing to tough it out with your relatives, here are some handy ways to either dodge, block, or parry those nosy questions at your next family gathering.