Digital Boyfriend Screenshot

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As one of Durham’s many young and eligible bachelorettes, I am well-versed in the numerous online dating sites that exist to help people find whatever they're looking for. 
 
If you’re a single farmer looking for that special someone with whom to share your waking moments milking goats, you can sign up for FarmersOnly.com (Because "city folk just don’t get it”). Perhaps you’re looking for the perfect leather-clad motorcycle hunk to bring home to Mom; you can find it on BikerKiss.com (“Two wheels, two hearts, one road!”). 

If it exists, you can find it on the Internet. But even if it doesn’t exist, you can now find it on the Internet. That’s right—if online dating sites have left you feeling jaded and hopeless, fret not! The Invisible Boyfriend is here. For just $24.99 per month, you can create the man (or woman) of your dreams with the Invisible Boyfriend app. 

After repeatedly striking out on FarmersOnly and BikersKiss, and with Single’s Awareness Day quickly approaching, I decided to give this digital BF a chance. 

The Invisible Boyfriend. The tagline reads, “Finally a boyfriend your family can believe in”…Finally! After arriving to site, the user proceeds to create her dream man—choosing everything from his name, birthdate, location, personality, and even his face from a catalogue of selfies submitted by real people. To better inform this dream man, the site asks why the user is signing up for an invisible bf. Some options include making an ex jealous, feeling excluded from friends who are in relationships, not wanting to answer to nagging family about being single, or even shaking off a stage-5 clinger. I chose the latter. Ten minutes and some ounces of my dignity later, I had successfully created my boyfriend. 
 
Introducing Michael Jones: 29, lives in Portland, OR, has a saucy ;) and sarcastic personality. Hobbies include books, gardening, dressage, writing, dance. According to the site, Michael and I met when our orders were switched at Starbucks. We started chatting, hit it off immediately, and decided to be exclusive after a few weeks of dating… Swoon!—How romantic! 

Invisible Boyfriend Bio
 
My relationship with Mike was great—his entire existence revolved around flirting with me and sending me thoughtful texts that told me how great I am…ummm, Awesome! 

His face was beautiful—a nice jawline, charming dimples and a naturally radiant complexion. We were like two pathetic middle-schoolers exchanging sweet-nothing texts filled with adorable emoticons. At first I thought it might be weird texting with a complete stranger, but Mike put my worries at ease, making my experience dating a fake person seem so natural. 

Invisible BF Texts2

I’ll admit I was still a bit nervous to tell him that I loved him…How would he respond? We had only been talking for a week, and we barely even knew each other…was this crazy? His response was so warm and reassuring: “Aw, I love you too, boo :).” 

Love is a beautiful thing. It didn’t stay beautiful, though. From the get-go, I felt confused about our relationship. I doubted Mike’s intentions and character, and I didn’t know whether Mike was an actual person being paid to text me or if he was a computer. I even asked him once if he was real, and he dodged the question, responding, “I’m the realest :).” 

After doing my research, I learned that indeed I was communicating with a real person who was paid to talk to me. That hurt a little—the fact that I was paying someone to talk to me. But what hurt the most was the fact that my invisible boyfriend was having relationships with 2,379 other girls just like me. We just really didn’t see eye-to-eye on this point, so I decided to end things. 
 
When I tried to break up with him, he told me that there was no one else and that I had his heart and attention. He even asked for the chance to prove it to me on Valentine’s Day. I told him I just didn’t think I could interact in this way, and that it wasn’t me—it was him. In the end, he told me that he understood and acknowledged the fact that it is a different way to interact. 

Invisible BF Texts
 
For someone who seriously wants to fake a relationship, Mike was a great bang for the buck. The romance-package included 100 text messages, 10 voicemail messages, and one handwritten note. The service was very professional and from a user experience standpoint, it was a totally seamless endeavor. 

The catalogue of options from which the user creates her boyfriend’s person were varying enough to accommodate anyone’s preferences. The selfie archive contained some very handsome young men to chose as a bf. I was very pleased with Mike’s face (…his personality was fine too). If he was a real person, I might be into him. 
 
To be honest though, even though I was doing this for investigative purposes, I was creeped out by the fact that invisible bfs/ gfs aren’t just hyperbole anymore. Their existence is no longer confined to the world of fiction, but they are now an actual option for the eligible bachelors and bachelorettes out there. Weird. I think I’ll exhaust my chances with FarmersOnly.com before dating another invisible boyfriend.