I Paid for a Fake Boyfriend to Text Me

Invisible boyfriends are not real boyfriends, nor is it possible to make them your boyfriend.
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Celina Tolbert
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Invisible boyfriends are not real boyfriends, nor is it possible to make them your boyfriend.

I am a perpetually single college student at a school where the ratio of girls to guys is leaning towards 70/30, and the 30 percent are mostly undateable for various reasons. My mom is always worried if I don’t find a guy in college that I’ll end up either alone or marrying a 30-year-old divorcé with two kids. 

The last holiday I spent with my family, I was asked numerous times if I had a boyfriend, and after I said no, I was asked why. I myself don’t know why. Okay, that might not be true. I’m picky when it comes to guys, and I am also an acquired taste (i.e., super awesome and unique), so I just haven’t met the guy for me yet and that’s okay. But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t love a boyfriend.

Celina Tolbert.

Me trying to be a hipster. I promise I’m super cool.

So here’s what I did: I spent $25 on a fake boyfriend (an Invisible Boyfriend to be exact). 

These were my thoughts during the first day, when I still had hopes and dreams:

First, I was able to “create” my boyfriend. I had to come up with a name, so I went with my standard fake boyfriend name, Jean-Luc (I always joke that I have a Canadian boyfriend named Jean-Luc). I googled French last names and found Dubois, a name I could totally doodle on my notebooks. I then picked his age: 22. Might as well sing some Taylor Swift during the process. 

I tried to go to the next step, but apparently a middle name is required — this process is so demanding. I googled again and found Phillipe which reminded me of the prince from Sleeping Beauty and it sounded hot, so it seemed like perfect middle name material. 

Then I was shown a set of 16 pictures showing various visible men in order to choose one to be my invisible boyfriend. I picked this guy who looked like a cross between a hipster and a skater dude. He was also the only one I could picture as a realistic 22-year-old. I chose his personality as “saucy and sarcastic,” but it was a toss-up between that and “adventurous and fun.”

Then I got to pick his interests. Why is debate club listed as an interest? Are we in high school? At first I had his interests set as theatre, video games, skateboarding, and cats. The first two were listed as interests, and the last two were all me, because he looks like he skateboards and I love cats. However, I soon deleted video games and replaced it with hockey, because what’s more Canadian than hockey?

Then they asked me why I wanted a fake — oops, I mean invisible — boyfriend. I put something about being lonely (which is not technically a lie), even though there was an option for journalists — I didn’t want him knowing this was an experiment! 

I made up a story about Jean-Luc being a crew member for a play I in was years ago and how we rekindled our relationship though Facebook. We’re in a long-distance relationship because he lives in Toronto and we never see each other because he’s really busy working in the film industry.

Jean Luc profile.

Here is his full profile.

I put in my credit card information and Jean-Luc texted me soon after.

 “Hey Celina this is Jean-Luc, how are you?”

Jean-Luc's first text.

Yes, I have a dumb phone, I apologize.

After waiting a few minutes for Jean-Luc to reply, I decided the first text was definitely computer-generated and thought I’ll have to wait a bit for an actual person to reply to my text. I got a reply eventually and it was clever! Obviously the person is researching Toronto, they knew it was cold (but isn’t it always?) and they said they would show me the CN Tower — which I guess I should google now. Then I texted him about how I’m worried about our long-distance relationship. Thinking back I have no idea why I said this.

While I waited for his reply, I decided to request a voicemail AND IT WAS GREAT. Man, if a real guy sent me that we’d probably be married. He said “Juliet, Juliet, wherefore art thou Juliet. Oh that’s supposed to be Romeo, well give me a call anyways!” 

Cute, am I right?

He finally texted back and reassured me that distance doesn’t matter. He called me “sweetheart,” which I’m not sure I like. I replied to try to get some juicy info. I decided to get deep. Start spilling guts early in the relationship! Maybe that’s why I’m single. 

Anyway, I told him about my various anxiety troubles in order to get some real info about the “real” him. This had to work, right? He replied, saying that’s why we connect so well and that he gets panic attacks while flying and driving. Hmmm. Does the person texting me actually have panic attacks? Doubtful, but I guess possible.

I asked “him” what his favorite color was, where he would like to travel to, and his favorite music/song. “He” said he liked blue, the Grand Canyon, and Katy Perry. “Does he really like Katy Perry?” I wondered.

The text that got Jean-Luc to finally open up: “Gotta tell you, this charade makes me feel pathetic. You’re being paid to text me. I don’t even have a need for an invisible boyfriend; I just can’t get a real one.” THE STRUGGLE IS REAL. 

This was a very honest text, no lying involved, and it got a good response. “He” said he hoped I found a real boyfriend if that’s what I wanted, but that he liked talking to me.

This was my journal entry when I finally got some answers: “Just had a breakthrough! My invisible boyfriend is probably a girl right now, but was also probably multiple different people. They told me it can be weird to be an invisible boyfriend, but that they like ‘making people feel important,’ which seemed too nice to be part of a script. They said this was not their full time gig and they found it on Google. My invisible BF also told me how to get a job there and that I'd do a ‘bang-up job’ of it!” Not going to lie guys, I was super excited about this breakthrough! However, after that I never really got any more answers.

Some random musings during the end of our love story:

I actually asked my invisible boyfriend for biology homework help the other day, and “he” really tried to help, but to no avail. See my sad biology snap below:

Snapchatting while in biology is probably not a good way to learn.

Snapchatting while in biology is probably not a good way to learn.

My invisible BF doesn't know what babysitting is; is that part of the "saucy and sarcastic" personality? I said, "I'm babysitting tonight holla!" and they said, "You have a baby?" Like, what? Where are you from? NOT CANADA THAT’S FOR SURE.

Jean-Luc also avoided my probing questions by asking about my pizza — very smooth.

As I’m finishing this, I’m listening to “Love Me Like You Do” by Ellie Goulding, but, sadly, I don’t think that will be our song. Jean-Luc and I just weren’t meant to be. I’m afraid of commitment and he’s not real. Also his favorite artist is Katy Perry and I like Taylor Swift so I don’t think it would’ve worked out even if he had been real.

There were three things I was sure of:

  1. I was talking to multiple people, men and women, and they were all good secret keepers.
  2. To get a job, you email the company (Invisible Boyfriend/Invisible Girlfriend) with a writing sample.
  3. Invisible boyfriends are not real boyfriends, nor is it possible to make them your boyfriend.

So I didn’t get a boyfriend . . . but maybe I’ll get a new job?