‘I Rented a Friend to See If I Could Cure My Loneliness’ (article)

Oct 26, 2017
12,767
#55
People don't want to invest in friendships anymore sadly. It takes effort. It just doesn't happen.

Not bagging on these services or the writer, but it's just a sad commentary of modern society.
 
Jan 25, 2018
3,745
#56
As someone who occasionally struggles with loneliness this is a weird concept to me.

You know the person is just there because you're paying them.
 
Oct 27, 2017
20
#58
The site was set up in 2009 after CEO Scott Rosenbaum found himself wondering why there were so many dating websites, but none for platonic relationships.
You don't pay people to go on dates with you on dating sites????? They haven't made a platonic relationship site; they've made a platonic brothel.

Is there any aspect of the human experience that won't be corrupted by capitalism?!
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,503
Washington
#62
I would like to offer my “friendship”, about time to get paid for behaving friendly! Didn’t know they had such services for Europeans. Always thought was more of a Japanese society niche.
This is how I feel. Hell I work retail and am already expected to be friendly with everyone except I’m not paid as much. Even had a customer complain I was too friendly (she didn’t like that I was making small talk while I worked with the people in front as she assumed that it was slowing me down and not me waiting for the til which is slow to do stuff). Except honestly I’d be worried about eventually ending up with a stalker that way.
 
Oct 25, 2017
8,118
#64
I mean, if you think about it if you buy each other dinner and what not you're already paying a monthly fee right? Indirectly but if they act the same as a real friend would do its better than not having anyone at all.
I think the issue is that nagging thought in the back of your mind that people don't want to be around you of their own free will so you have to buy them.
 
Oct 25, 2017
470
#65
That's expensive, I'll be your friend and all you have to do is buy me a beer occasionally.

If I really like you, I might even buy you one.
 
Oct 27, 2017
552
#68
I have no issue with this in theory, however I can easily see the more socially incapable folks out there getting obsessed or stalkerish with their new paid friends. Potentially dangerous
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,225
#69
I know right, lonely, depressed people looking for non-medical solutions for their borderline suicidal thoughts and feelings... ewww!! so cringe!!
Looking at it that way makes it even worse, because you're essentially hiring someone with the responsibility of making sure you don't commit suicide. That's dire.
As someone who occasionally struggles with loneliness this is a weird concept to me.

You know the person is just there because you're paying them.
Given the number of "well obviously she was an escort, but we had such a connection"-type talk, I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of people deluded themselves into believing that the rented friends really care about them too.
I think the hourly rate would beat my suspension of disbelief.
In a post-Fiverr and gig economy world nothing surprises me.
 
#73
As someone with crippling social anxiety, I feel like this could be usefull to practice how to actually have friends. Like, how to act around them, how friendship works, etc. Sometimes, the thing holding you back is the inertia. it's been so long you've been with actual friends that you sort of feel like you don't need them, or that you can't make them, and this could be a good way to break this inertia.
 
Jan 25, 2018
3,745
#74
Looking at it that way makes it even worse, because you're essentially hiring someone with the responsibility of making sure you don't commit suicide. That's dire.
Good point, imagine of someone starts to rely upon on of these "friends" and they quit the job or their schedule becomes too full.
 
Jan 25, 2018
3,745
#76
How does loneliness even exist in the Internet age
I struggle to connect with others, and a combination of anxiety and depression doesn't help in maintaining contact.

Loneliness is still very much a thing across all age groups.

If anything internet makes it worse since it's easier to see qhat you're missing out on.
 
Feb 1, 2019
115
Spain
#78
As someone with crippling social anxiety, I feel like this could be usefull to practice how to actually have friends. Like, how to act around them, how friendship works, etc. Sometimes, the thing holding you back is the inertia. it's been so long you've been with actual friends that you sort of feel like you don't need them, or that you can't make them, and this could be a good way to break this inertia.
Yeah, the only positive side I see on this is for people to be able to practice friendship and be able to get proper feedback on what you might be doing right or wrong.

Aside from that it's just sad and will only make things worse for everyone.
 

Heh

Member
Dec 12, 2017
100
#81
I thought this was a Japanese thing. Since many people there have a harsh work-life they might not be able make normal friendships/relationships and would maybe rely on these services. Is it the same in Europe?
 
Oct 5, 2018
1,096
#83
This is like when House paid that PI to spy on Cuddy and also basically be his friend and the guy ended up dating Cuddy.
 
Oct 30, 2017
1,998
#85
For people who are incredible shy, this could be a good option. You know sometimes you wish you could speak with someone outside your circle and making new friends is kind of hard for some people. Having someone to eat and pay them an extra doesn't sound like a good deal to me, but if it makes someone happy, then by all means.
 
Oct 25, 2017
893
#88
I really need a squad for Apex. $50/hour and they can pump my tires the whole time

“Dude! Awesome work living for 2:15 this round!”


But seriously. Let people spend their money how they want. It’s kinda be nice to see a charity organization like this though, like just to give lonely folks someone to talk to or go for coffee or whatever.
 
Oct 25, 2017
564
#90
I can see why someone suffering from mental health issues could really use this.

That being said, it does seem like some people just use it to get a friend who never disagrees with them and that is just unhealthy
When you have a finance worker's salary you can pay to get what you want, but maybe that stops you from getting what you need. Someone to tell you to stop logging onto other people's Instagram accounts just to stalk your ex's spa day in Budapest. Someone to tell you that the way your spit smacks around your mouth while you chew is revolting. Someone to tell you that a Manchester United-themed room featuring a single bed and that poster of a tennis player scratching her arse is not a room fit to bring a lady back to. Friends set you straight, rent-a-friends can’t.
I mean, something like that makes me think these other rent a friend clients this Kay lady has are just paying for validation
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,188
#92
Is there a site for finding friends who do not require payment? Where you just post your interests and what you'd like from a friendship? Maybe Meetup.com is the thing for that.
 
Oct 26, 2017
10,752
Los Angeles, CA
#94
I’m not sure how this really differs from gfe. Isn’t that considered prostitution even if there is no sex involved since money is exchanged?

I’d probably feel worse after.
 
Dec 4, 2017
420
#95
I mean, if you think about it if you buy each other dinner and what not you're already paying a monthly fee right? Indirectly but if they act the same as a real friend would do its better than not having anyone at all.
And what if we split our pay checks and the only thing we spend on each other is our time?
 
Oct 27, 2017
56
#96
I'm curious, does the US not have something like Meetup? - it's free and seems to do a lot of similar stuff (meet up, hang out for drinks etc).

https://www.meetup.com

I use it, it's great when you have no friends and just want to hang out with people.
Yeah, but meetup is for group activities.

It actually is curious that there's never been a matching service for (non-paid) casual hang-outs/friendships.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,189
#98
I thought this was a Japanese thing. Since many people there have a harsh work-life they might not be able make normal friendships/relationships and would maybe rely on these services. Is it the same in Europe?
Well... From the article

all three of her regular Rent-a-Friend clients are middle-aged men who work in finance.

It's also unsurprising that investment bankers are paying for Kay's time. Busy work schedules see them leaving the office at 11PM and back in again at 7AM, leaving little time for socialising.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,339
#99
I wouldn't do it for the same reason I wouldn't go to a prostitute or strip club. I want someone to genuinely like me. I don't judge people that do pay for this service though.
 
Oct 28, 2017
623
This seams like a terrible solution to the problem.

The idea of having a website encouraging people to make friends with each other is great, but putting a price on that friendship means it will never be authentic, making the whole thing meaningless and a complete waste of time.