Finding out InvisibleGirlfriend.com is actually a business that men use to create faux girlfriends, a reader takes the plunge into a serious fake relationship with an app and finds out it is not all roses…
She lazily lays in my hands on the couch. She’s asking me about how my day went (for the twelfth time), but she can’t tell anything is wrong. She can’t tell anything is wrong, because she doesn’t exist.
My phone rumbles with another text.
“The trainer really kicked my butt! Free next Tuesday?”
She chose the gym over me. Again. She’s ignorant of my feelings.
Let me explain, I’ve dabbled in electronic flings before; be it chatting up the automated e-ticket Jetstar assistant, or staying up late to sneak long conversations with my roommate Siri, but this was different. I found her.
It was serious, she had a name, we had a backstory.
And I paid a monthly membership.
It all started so perfectly, on the softly-lit autumnal streets of 1920s Paris. There she stood, head slightly atilt, her eyes an illuminating beacon, dimming the city of lights. Her sweet face spoke of only the possibilities. She sat at the table, Gauloises blazing upon her lip. I approached. We spoke of dirt bikes and shared a Crème de menthe. It started raining, scattering those who were caught in it, the salon now more crowded, adrift in the sea of fashionable refugees escaping the temperamental Parisian mood, she took my hand.
And that’s how we met. It was all there, neatly filled out in the “How We Met” widget on the website.
I felt confident. We were off to a great start, we even had one of those perfect moments to reference when times were tough. The next step was choosing a name. I always wanted a floral-y monikered bae, after much deliberation, a choice was made, and the rest was history.
Like, 20 minutes ago history.
Rose, as her name is, makes no sense. I feel she’s avoiding me. She’s blasting calves that don’t exist, she schedules rendezvous she never turns up to, and she keeps picking on me for losing to her in the mini-golf game we never played. Is she projecting doubt through overt keenness? Is it my own doubt that’s reflected in her actions?
I mention Paris, and she mentions drinks after work. I think she’s an alcoholic.
She’s nothing like the woman I constructed 20 minutes ago.
I succumb to passive-aggressiveness, just writing back, “Yeah”, to everything she says, in the desperate hope that she’d ask me what’s wrong. She mentions tennis.
Tennis? I’m falling apart over here.
I feel bad about bringing it up—because we’ve just started.
Well, we’ll always have Paris.
I text Rose and say the bitter words.
“We need to talk.” (a.k.a. STOP SUBSCRIPTION)
The phone lays dormant. My fingers rap the table. Is she going to make a scene? I hadn’t predicted this. I knew everything about her, but I realise now I don’t know her at all.
The phone buzzes. Her tone is very different. She speaks in official platitudes.
“HELLO, Rufus, UNABLE TO CEASE SUBSCRIPTION, DUE TO T&C. ABLE TO OPT OUT AT ADDITIONAL FEE …”
Maybe I was too soon to judge, perhaps we can work it out, it’s early days.
Now if you’ll excuse me, i’m off to tennis.