As today marks China’s Singles’ Day, many young Chinese women are again resorting to renting fake sweethearts as acceptable boyfriends to present to their parents, Shanghai Daily reports.
To avoid the never-ending inquiries from parents and relatives on the especially sensitive holiday, many men and women have resorted to renting a boyfriend or girlfriend to keep their parents off their back.
More than 250 results show up when the query for a phony significant other is searched on Taobao.com, with fees ranging from 500-8000 Yuan per day, excluding transport, accommodation, dining and other fees.
Services include accompanying clients back home to see their parents, chatting with parents, attending social gatherings, going shopping and taking part in various other activities.
Usually the “fake sweetheart” and the client exchange photos online and settle on services and prices. Afterwards they meet for a rehearsal where the client briefs him/her about the situation, family, background, job, salary and most importantly how they fell in love.
Sometimes situations get awkward. One 26-year-old Xu Li recalls that he impressed a woman’s parents so much that they invited him to spend the night in their daughter’s bedroom.
“I slept on the floor that night,” he says.
Rented girlfriends are not as popular as renting boyfriends, one recruiting agency told the report, as renting a girlfriend is considered more sensitive and can be “dangerous”.
Italian expat Joe Celano, 29, says he was asked by two female colleagues to be a fake boyfriend. He recalls a 27-year-old woman offered to pay him 8,000 yuan for a one-week trip to meet her parents during Spring Festival.
“That was ridiculous,” Celano says.”I’m a man of faith and I can’t accept this. It’s cheating. In addition, I think Chinese parents should bear part of the blame for their daughters’ desperation.”
[Image Credit: DCMaster]