When Deadspin broke the news Wednesday that one of the nation's top NFL prospects, Manti Te'o, had a made-up dead girlfriend—a story the linebacker presumably gamed to land magazine covers and spots on ESPN sports shows—the Internet went ballistic.
Twitter had a field day: "Manti Te'o," "So Te'o," and other related terms peaked at more than 3,000 tweets a minute. Many were incredulous—and for good reason: It's not 1993. You can't tell your friends you have a girlfriend you met at camp and only see once a year. Everyone and everything has an online footprint. You can't just get away with this.
Or can you?
If there's one thing to take away from this fiasco, it's that there's hope for Forever Alones who want to trick the world into thinking they're worthy of love. On the Internet, even in 2013, there are myriad ways to conjure a seemingly real lover from zeroes and ones.
This is Allison. She isn't really your girlfriend, but she'll pretend to be for $5.
Chase Hoffberger's new girlfriend seemed perfect. Allison had a sly smile and brown eyes and texted him constantly—nice things like "You are my only man. I'm gonna be be thinking about you!"
She was into roleplaying; she could "act as anything you need me to, whether it be hispanic, asian, black, white, mixed, etc." She was also 17. Oh yeah, and Chase bought her companionship for $5.
He was testing the site GirlfriendHire.com, a virtual marketplace for "flings": For a given price, young women offer to perform nonsexual or sexual services (online) for a week. Flirt over text, critique your music taste, offer fashion advice, you name it.
Chase, of course, just wanted an interview.
This Brazilian site is the whole package: You pay for different levels of fake-girlfriend completion. For 30 days at a time, the site will create a fake Facebook profile and update it with authentic-sounding statuses and comments.
The Te'o package will set you back a cool $99.
Screenshot via HyperVocal
3) Be a Sugar Daddy
College might prepare kids for a job interview, but it leaves them crippled with debt and unable to stop mooching off their parents until their 30s. Traveling is an amazingly valuable experience that no one can have anymore because it costs thousands of dollars.
Fortunately, if you are rich and go on fun trips, you can convince broke college kids to be your fake girlfriends (or boyfriends) and even let you wiggle your genitals around their genitals. It's a win-win and not exploitative at all!
"Discretion is guaranteed," the site claims. It damn well better be. Why else would you pay a monthly fee for top-tier girlfriending? The Fake Internet Girlfriend experience specializes in revenge and family cover-ups:
Sometimes people hire a fake internet girlfriend to make an ex-girlfriend jealous. In fact, we get a lot of clients for this reason.
Sometimes people don’t want to hear it from their family, they want to avoid the drama all together of the never ending questions about dating so they simply employ a fake internet girlfriend so their family will stop hounding them about finding the right girl.
Screenshot via fakeinternetgirlfriend.com
If the fake-girlfriend experts can't invent a dead girl who will win you media adoration, whom can you trust?
Well, there's one last option.
5) Pay spammers $200,000
Photo by Trixieroxxx/Flickr
Here's an overlooked fake-girlfriend method that's foolproof until you ruin everything by telling the cops about it. You can pay Nigerian spammers a lot of money to be your Internet girlfriend. It works so well, you won't even realize they're spammers.
Just make sure to overlook the fact that your love has bank accounts in three different continents.
This poor schmuck in Illinois found out about it the hard way. Turns out he wasn't looking for a fake girlfriend at all. He was looking for a real one. And he sent "her" hundreds of thousands of dollars because he thought she was missing.
That's really sad, actually.
Don't do that.
Photo via GirlfriendHire/Daily Dot