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July 20, 2010

Rent A Friend website comes to the UK

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by Darren Allan

Money can certainly buy you friends, but now you can rent them too, thanks to a new website which has freshly launched in the UK.

Rent A Friend allows you to hire yourself a mate for the night, so if you’ve got no one to go see the latest film at the cinema with, or need a pal to join you on that outing to the museum, you can hire someone.

Yes. Really. Rent A Friend stresses that it isn’t a dating or escort agency in any shape or form, and is for people too busy with their lives to take time out and actually, you know, make real friends for themselves. Or people too odious to manage to make any real friends.

Okay, so perhaps that’s a bit harsh, and there are some instances where Rent A Friend makes a case for itself. For example, if you’re visiting a new city and want someone to show you around. Though you could still try the traditional tried and tested methods such as going to a pub and having a chat with the barman and locals.

Apparently this is pretty popular in the States and even more so in Japan. Friends can be hired for as little as £6.50 per hour (although if you’re paying them barely more than minimum wage, don’t expect them to laugh at all of your terrible jokes).

Currently there aren’t many chums available for hire in the UK, but as more folks sign up for this rather literal pay-pal scheme, you can expect numbers to increase.

Whatever next – rent an enemy perhaps? A gangster type who turns up and threatens you in public to make you look like a much more shady and interesting character…

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2 Comments »
  1. What a great idea. It’s a pity the author of this article has been so judgemental but I’m pleased he has never suffered from crippling loneliness.

    Modern society often leaves people miles away from family and any support network and whilst they may be sucessful and fun loving, haven’t found a partner to share life with.

    I was sent this by someone in such a position only yesterday. She found it on the internet and said it could have been written about her. I challenge anyone to read it and not think Rent a Friend is a good idea…if only as one more thing (as exhausting as it may be) for someone like her to try…

    I am so lonely and unhappy I don’t know what to do. I have been single for 4 years and all my friends are married/engaged/in a long term relationship. I have lots of interests and don’t sit around doing nothing all the time, but I still come back to and empty house, I go to bed alone, wake up alone, cook alone, have nobody to make weekend plans with. It’s even got to the point where seeing my friends upsets me because they are so happy in their relationships.

    I have tried lots of things over the years - speed dating, asking friends to set me up (they don’t have any more single friends), moving house, changing flat mates,taking up new hobbies,I’ve taken antidepressants, I’ve more recently moved jobs and moved cities in an attempt to meet new people. But nothing has worked. I cry myself to sleep most nights because I’m so unhappy and I don’t know how to stop the unhappiness.

    Comment by Jane — July 20, 2010 @ 12:28 pm

  2. Very sorry to hear about your friend’s troubles, Jane.

    As I said in the article, I can see the point of visiting a new city and having someone to show you around via Rent A Friend.

    Ultimately though, I don’t think paying people to be in your company is going to do much for anyone’s self-esteem long term.

    In my humble opinion, there are better ways of meeting new friends online – chat rooms, social networks, hobby message boards, etc. But that’s all it is, my opinion…

    Comment by Darren Allan — July 22, 2010 @ 9:13 am

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