Trying to find the perfect mate is hard enough without the world chiming in about your solo status. Single people, you know what I mean: it can be exhausting to field constant questions from well-meaning friends and family about who you're seeing (or not seeing). That's where the new service Invisible Boyfriend (or Invisible Girlfriend) comes in.
The online service that launched last week promises to match users with a fake romantic partner, who will send 100 text messages, 10 voice mails, and one postcard over 4 weeks—all this for just $24.99!
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If this sounds crazy, it gets crazier: you also get to choose your faux-boo's photo, name, age, even hobbies, and you get to concoct a simple story of how you two met.
While this all sounds eerily similar to the movie Her, in which Joaquin Pheonix plays a guy who falls in love with his operating system, Invisible Boyfriend at least doesn't rely on robots. All the communications come from human responders based at a tech company in St. Louis, so the conversations appear more natural, USAToday.com reports.
"We want to help those in want of a tailored, accessible boyfriend to avoid awkward social situations and questions," the makers say on the site.
So just how psychologically unhealthy is this? Turns out, it's not so bad, as long as you're honest about why you're really using it. "It's not unhealthy unless you start spending more time fantasizing and [less time] looking for real relationships," says Gail Saltz, MD, Health's contributing psychology editor.
As long as you know it's not real and it's just for fun, who cares? It may even be a useful tool for some people, Dr. Saltz adds. "Someone with a lot of social anxiety might practice with something like this as a method of making themselves more comfortable for the real thing."
Plus: when else in life will you get the chance to make Leonardo Dicaprio your boyfriend?