Single During the Holidays? Pretend You’re Not!


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Besides “What do you plan on doing with your life,” few questions are as annoying as, “So, are you seeing anybody?” In preparation of the latter query and the upcoming holiday, we came up with a solution: The Rent-a-Relationship Store.

Oh my goodness, HELLO! It is so great to meet you. So glad you could make the drive. I know my directions were utterly unhelpful, but I thought the treacherous back roads, dead ends, red flags and misleading signs would simulate a romantic journey to find The One — not that you needed simulation in that field, dear! Not at all!

Let me go and fetch your file. Have a seat while you wait or feel free to have a look around. Ah, yes. That’s the certificate that guarantees that our operation is legal, humane (this isn’t a Significant Other mill, I assure you) and recognized by the American Psychological Association. They don’t endorse us. Don’t make me laugh! But they do recognize our organization as a figment of your imagination-slash-temporary coping mechanism.

Alright…I see here that you live in a bustling metropolitan city where no one dates monogamously and everyone runs around with their dicks and hoo-has a-flyin’ — not that there’s anything wrong with that dear, just be safe! — but I do understand you cite it (along with “too much choice; dating apps; social media; millennials”) as the reason that you’re still single, but you don’t feel like explaining all of this to your well-intentioned prodding grandma over the holidays.

Completely understood! You’ve come to the right place. We have plenty of options for all sexual preferences. What are you in the market for today? Boyfriends? Excellent! We’re having a pre-Black Friday sale.


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Might I interest you in the classic All-American? He’s guaranteed to get along with both sides of the family thanks to his diplomatic conversation skills and ability to blend into nearly every situation. He has nice teeth, a great hairline and a loving relationship with his mother. He will watch football following the meal not so much because he loves the game but because he knows you need time in the kitchen to conduct a round table of “So, what do we think of him?”


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Too clean-cut, eh? Not a problem! Not a problem at all. We have bad boys in a few varieties: those for blatant rebellion against your parents (although note that this can backfire if he reminds your parents fondly of their youth), a few with motorcycles. Two are in bands that tour from time to time. Plenty of piercings — we can arrange for their hair to be dyed green, if you need. Neck tattoos. It’s hard to choose because they’re all just so lovely. Such sweet guys.


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I saw your eyes light up when I said musician, so do note that we have the singer/songwriter/sensitive type. Here’s the thing: he might bring his guitar, which…I don’t know, it’s 50/50. Some people want to be serenaded while others get sick from second-hand embarrassment. You run the risk of an acoustic version of an O.A.R. song. Anything’s better than “Wonderwall” or “Jumper,” though, no?

Hmm. You’re stumping me a bit, I must admit. You’re a complex woman with complex demands. How about an athlete? A poet?


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A teacher? Ooh, I do love a teacher for you: smart, a good listener, empathetic…could be a bit of a lecturer and you may need to come to some sort of agreement about where you both stand on corduroys, but come on — he’s good with kids! Does it get any better?


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A coffee-shop-with-mini-cacti-in-the-window owner?  The post-hipster hipster who hangs out there with his laptop, charger and excellent socks and only orders water? A foreigner?


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You could bring home someone “in between jobs,” of course. It says “entrepreneur” in his bio. I’m not sure if that’s incorrect, old information or just what he tells people. Honestly, I don’t think he’s preneured anything since his 4th grade lemonade stand, but it’s the thought that counts. And I love his smile.

Speaking of, what are you thinking? Any of these catching your fancy? We can wrap them up in one of those festive holiday sweaters hanging over there. They’re ugly on purpose, you see. It’s ironic, dear!

OH — you didn’t actually mean to bring them home with you to introduce to the family, you just needed someone to white lie about? Well, why didn’t you say so? That’s a much easier and less expensive (not to mention less emotionally taxing) process. We simply provide you with their dossiers, load your phone with a few photos for the showing and grant you access to a private archive of “how we met” back stories. We can help with the “why it ended” excuse, too, should anyone follow up after New Year’s. That’s extra, but I’m sure we can work out a deal on account of your “broken heart,” wink, wink.

By all means, select more than one. Tell them you’re playing the field. But you know, if you’d rather not discuss your love life at all, you could always bring up your future career. Or politics!

Excellent choice, dear. Here’s your log-in to get set up. Enjoy the holidays — see you next year!

Thinking about trying dating apps? Here’s what swiping left is like in Trump’s America. Scary, especially since no one meets in bars anymore. Prince Harry, what do you think?

Collage by Emily Zirimis; photos via Getty Images.

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