Beyond Bravo

Feeling Lonely? Don't Worry, You Can Now Rent a Friend

Where'd all your real friends go? Who cares, just pay someone by the hour. 

Feeling lonely? Got $24.95? No, not that, get your mind out of the gutter. 

Part sad, part helpful, RentAFriend is a website that allows you to rent a friend if you’re in need. The “friends” are up for all kinds of activities (they take $10 an hour in addition to the $24.95 membership fee) and you can rent what you need by category, like a friend for a movie, for dinner, for a party, even a wedding. 

But you can also rent a friend to teach you a new skill, or to show you around an unfamiliar town. Also, seniors can rent friends for company if they don’t have any family who visits, which is nice. 

How it works: 

No matter where you live, or are visiting, just enter the location where you need a friend and pictures of friends in the area come up, much like a dating site. You can view their photos, read their profiles and see what they are interested in without paying the fee, but if you would like to contact the friend, you have to cough up the $24.95 membership fee. Then you can contact anyone you want, in any city you want. 

Scared—or thrilled—you’re getting an escort? Rent a Friend’s site includes a disclaimer that it is not a dating website, and is definitely not an escort agency. “Services on RentAFriend.com are strictly for friendship purposes only,” it states.

Common activities for friend renting include people who travel to a new city hiring a local to show them around town.  A friend for a two hour movie, a friend to tutor you in a new language, or go to art or dance classes are all popular requests. Much like real life, there are friends whose expertise is going to a bar or a sporting event, while some renters are looking for a gym buddy. 

Once you become a member you can contact any of the friends by phone or message the friend through an anonymous messaging system to negotiate plans, price, and time. Billing is also not listed as Rent a Friend, so don’t worry. 

It’s pretty popular too. There are over 531,434 friends available for rent worldwide. 

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