Time was that all you had to do to explain away the idea that you can't find love was to tell a person two things: 1) you indeed have a girlfriend you've been dating for x-amount of years (not too long, mind you), and 2) the reason no one has met her is because she moved to Canada. Easy, right? If you wanted, you could provide a little more backstory about how hard you're both trying to make it work and maybe show off that stock photo of a lovely young woman that came with your new wallet to back you up, but it wasn't necessary. With enough planning, even the most hard-up loser could weave a heart-wrenching tale of hard-fought romance and brutal separation that could make even the most skeptical stranger shed a tear.
Of course, now you tell people you're dating someone they've never met and they're all "Oh, really? Does she have a Facebook page? Does she follow you on Twitter? Can I friend her on Ping?" That last bit's a trap, by the way. No one actually uses Ping. But still, without some social networking evidence of your "girlfriend", no one's going to believe you, dude. And if you try hastily putting something up yourself, the results can be disastrous.
Luckily, there's the Internet's latest "I Can't Believe It Took Someone This Long To Think Of This" startup, Cloud Girlfriend.
Cloud Girlfriend claims to be able to create the perfect girlfriend out of thin air, or at least perfect in a way that doesn't require her actually existing. According to the very small amount of info on their website, all you have to do is "define" her, then connect with her, and presto! Instant public long distance relationship that isn't real at all. They aren't quite open yet, but one can sign up to be notified when they are. I guess that's to give you that authentic "waiting all night by the phone"-type experience.
There are still some questions about how they'll get around Facebook's TOS, but I'm a little more interested in how the annual cost of having a fake girlfriend compares to the real thing. And hey, if it pays well, I may have to think about how much I might be able to charge as a freelance virtual boyfriend.
[photo credit: alexdingo]