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

Jan 17, 2019
54
At the moment I can say I don't have any friend, however I seldom feel lonely. Don't know what is like feeling so lonely that you have to pay someone to be with you.
Like Annie Wilkes said, "if you are not good company to yourself then you are not good company to anyone", or something along these lines.
 
Oct 27, 2017
354
There is some merit in the idea but it seems quite telling that Kay’s regulars are rich Rolex wearing Middle Aged men and she can pay her months rent on the back of a session with one of them.

I wonder if they are paying for the arm candy in the restaurants etc rather than wanting a ‘friend’
 
Oct 30, 2017
5,387
To me the whole point of friendship is authentic life-affirming connection. It's good that the desperately lonely have this option, I guess--hopefully as a kind of rehabilitative tool to take the first step toward a social life--but it's no substitute for the real thing.

You can rent companionship, but you can't rent friendship.
Yeah, this.
 
Oct 25, 2017
200
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.
It does have meetup, but unless you’re in a major city, it’s slim pickings and a lot of the groups are abandoned.
 
Dec 30, 2018
59
I was curious, so I spent some time looking at some of the local "friends" available and was surprised by the range.

One of them is proficient in multiple languages. If I wanted to learn another language, it might be nice to have a practice partner. Others offer tutoring or assistance in various other things - workout partners, social skill development and whatnot. One is a paranormal researcher.

Stuck with an extra ticket to a game, concert, etc? I guess you can get someone to go with you. Want to try some new exotic restaurant but all of your friends are busy or not interested? Maybe a rented friend would go with you.

Traveling alone and would like to hang out / tour the area with a local? There you go.

I can certainly see some uses for the site - so long as people remember they're hiring companionship rather than real friendship.
 
Oct 25, 2017
517
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.
Meetup in my area is full of things I'm not interested in, or for people who are not in my social circle. Or it's too far. Not a perfect solution by any means
 
Jan 8, 2018
1,302
earth
I was curious, so I spent some time looking at some of the local "friends" available and was surprised by the range.

One of them is proficient in multiple languages. If I wanted to learn another language, it might be nice to have a practice partner. Others offer tutoring or assistance in various other things - workout partners, social skill development and whatnot. One is a paranormal researcher.

Stuck with an extra ticket to a game, concert, etc? I guess you can get someone to go with you. Want to try some new exotic restaurant but all of your friends are busy or not interested? Maybe a rented friend would go with you.

Traveling alone and would like to hang out / tour the area with a local? There you go.

I can certainly see some uses for the site - so long as people remember they're hiring companionship rather than real friendship.
I mean....sure, but it seems these are things you could find people for without paying them $25/hour to spend time with you.
 
Dec 30, 2018
59
I mean....sure, but it seems these are things you could find people for without paying them $25/hour to spend time with you.
From what I read, the fees vary. It costs $25 to join the site, but apparently each "friend" sets their own rates - it said some were as low as $10/hour, and some don't charge anything for some activities.

Shrug.
 
Oct 26, 2017
3,272
I never understand how people can be lonely with so much to do. It's not like I'm loaded with friends too, but life is just so hectic and full of things to do. Some of them are obligations, but I have too much to do to feel lonely. This is coming from someone who hasn't had a real girlfriend in several years.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,836
New York
...how do I sign up to get paid to be a random person’s friend? Because I need money and a source of good stories to tell my other friends, and this sounds like a job that would provide a ready supply of both...
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,497
I never understand how people can be lonely with so much to do. It's not like I'm loaded with friends too, but life is just so hectic and full of things to do. Some of them are obligations, but I have too much to do to feel lonely. This is coming from someone who hasn't had a real girlfriend in several years.
Simply put, life isn't hectic for everyone, for a variety of reasons.
 
Oct 29, 2017
1,554
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.
Agreed. It's so hard to make friends and retain them, especially when it feels overwhelmingly on sided on who is trying to keep the other engaged.

Even meeting people through through shared interests via apps like Meetup doesn't guarantee acquaintances or friends.
 
Oct 26, 2017
3,272
Simply put, life isn't hectic for everyone, for a variety of reasons.
Why is that? I'm not being sarcastic. I honestly don't understand. I have to bust my behind 5 days a week in a 9-5 job. I'm actually lucky now. Other people work even more days/hours than me. Rest of my free time I spend it by doing things that I enjoy. That includes playing video games. I'm not a social butterfly and I don't party on the weekends either. I don't have a huge group of friends that I hangout with, but I see them if I have the time. I don't mind interacting with them through text either.

I'm honestly curious about how these people spend their lives. Maybe it's because I live in a big city like NYC? But again, it's not like I go out everyday.
 
Oct 26, 2017
628
Yeah, I can't square that. Better to pay a professional therapist that isn't going to put on a show and give you real advice. There is no way I could pay someone to be my friend and just forget that they're there for the money.

Also, I'm not convinced it's healthy either. If you are paying for a friend, there might be some larger issues that need to be addressed.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,265
🤷🏽‍♂️ I feel like people are overthinking this shit. If anything there’s even more opportunity and tools available to meet new people of similar interests for free.
 
I'll rent someone to play videogames with me
Now I wonder if there are websites (or if not, an audience) for paid offline co-ops buddies.
Makes me think of a Kotaku article from 2017. In this case, it seems to be specifically for online play though.

https://kotaku.com/i-paid-women-to-play-overwatch-with-me-and-it-was-fant-1795144088

Earlier this week, on Fiverr.com, I selected Biu’s “Basic” package which, in exchange for $5, granted me her company for five Overwatch games. In her profile’s image, a helicopter selfie, Biu is wearing a t-shirt with Zelda’s Link and sticking out her tongue. “If you want a good healer,” her gig page reads, “I’m a Mercy main.” A few hours later, my new, paid Overwatch companion and I queued up for a Quick Play match.

Biu, 25, is a student in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. For extra cash, she charges for her time playing Overwatch, typically as a healer. She and four other women I interviewed or paid to play Overwatch with me supplement their income by putting a price on sharpened skills, good-humored commentary or, in Overwatch terms, “pocket” healing. It’s an increasingly popular gig. There are more than 200 listings on Fiverr for paid Overwatchcompanions. Dozens of those listings are fronted by pictures of women. Companions charge for graduated packages ranging from $5 to $15 for five, ten or fifteen games.


 
Oct 25, 2017
2,255
I have lots of friends and a spouse but I can still see the use in this. Sometimes I wanna do something that nobody else is interested in and I could use some company. An example could be a movie or a hobby. Maybe I want someone to watch me play Kingdom Hearts 3 and at least pretend to be interested in the series. My friends don’t know KH and my husband falls asleep during the cutscenes.
 
Feb 11, 2019
38
Utah
It’s understandable that busy professionals in high pressure jobs don’t have time to make friends. The work/life balance for them is completely out of whack.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,497
Why is that? I'm not being sarcastic. I honestly don't understand. I have to bust my behind 5 days a week in a 9-5 job. I'm actually lucky now. Other people work even more days/hours than me. Rest of my free time I spend it by doing things that I enjoy. That includes playing video games. I'm not a social butterfly and I don't party on the weekends either. I don't have a huge group of friends that I hangout with, but I see them if I have the time. I don't mind interacting with them through text either.

I'm honestly curious about how these people spend their lives. Maybe it's because I live in a big city like NYC? But again, it's not like I go out everyday.
Not everyone can work. Others are retired. I can speak personally to how loneliness when you have a lot of time on your hands can be very destructive.
 
Oct 28, 2017
340
It's just like online/blind dating. Some people are just bad at pursuing romance or friendship by "normal means".

Maybe real friendship can be made through this, who knows
 

Fat4all

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
15,685
bork land
If you've had best friends for a long ass time. I've bought my mate food multi times. He done the same thing too
sure, but im not buying my friend dinner every time we hang out

that’s like an occasional “hey, im a little strapped right now” situation, where you don’t expect anything in return
 
Oct 25, 2017
10,226
At the moment I can say I don't have any friend, however I seldom feel lonely. Don't know what is like feeling so lonely that you have to pay someone to be with you.
Like Annie Wilkes said, "if you are not good company to yourself then you are not good company to anyone", or something along these lines.
There are lots of legit reasons why a person might feel lonely, or not have many active friends at any given time. That quote is a nice idea, and it's good advice, but it's not something that everyone can comprehend.

For instance, I have a chronic illness. It used to flare all the time and prevent me from socialising, my friends started dropping of the radar one by one over time as I turned down their offers to meet up. As much as I can enjoy my own company, this felt incredibly isolating. And after a while it becomes harder and harder to reconnect with people.

Of course, true friends would stick by you, but your closest friends aren't always your nearest friends....
 
Jan 17, 2019
54
There are lots of legit reasons why a person might feel lonely, or not have many active friends at any given time. That quote is a nice idea, and it's good advice, but it's not something that everyone can comprehend.

For instance, I have a chronic illness. It used to flare all the time and prevent me from socialising, my friends started dropping of the radar one by one over time as I turned down their offers to meet up. As much as I can enjoy my own company, this felt incredibly isolating. And after a while it becomes harder and harder to reconnect with people.

Of course, true friends would stick by you, but your closest friends aren't always your nearest friends....
Oh yes, I understand each person is different and can be affected in different ways. I was just pointing out that in my case I feel "lucky" in a sad way that not having any friend at the moment doesn't bother me that much. But if my loneliness started hurting me I would at least consider something like what this threat is about.
Hope you can overcome your difficult situation.
 

DavidDesu

Banned
Member
Oct 29, 2017
1,839
Glasgow, Scotland
There's a film here in this. Bought for friendship and they both end up bonding (there's a mix up and they fallout half way through) and the person who's being paid for ends up needing their friendship the most and grows from the experience.

Hollywood just send me a cheque now.
 
Oct 25, 2017
783
There's a film here in this. Bought for friendship and they both end up bonding (there's a mix up and they fallout half way through) and the person who's being paid for ends up needing their friendship the most and grows from the experience.

Hollywood just send me a cheque now.
pretty woman, walking down the street!
 

MrH

Member
Nov 3, 2017
1,822
Super depressing but also not a bad idea, I suffer with social anxiety and avoid a lot of situations like the plague, but having someone with the right personality pushing me forward would definitely help.