• Other Friendship Advice

In the Media – Friends for hire (Globe and Mail)

Published: July 14, 2016 | Last Updated: July 20, 2016 By | 3 Replies Continue Reading

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Globe and Mail (screenshot)

Globe and Mail (screenshot)

A writer for the Globe and Mail recounts a first-person experience with the “friends for hire” industry.

Technology has stimulated the growth of peer-to-peer businesses in almost every domain, including friendship. Whether you want to tour with a local or hire someone to be your bridesmaid, everything seems possible.

As far back at 2010, I wrote about a then new business, Rent-a-Friend, and asked The Friendship Blog readers their opinions about the service.

In a recent article in the Globe and Mail, Friends-for-hire business-by the evening, or even the hour is booming, journalist Ellen Brait describes her own foray at a bar with a hired “wingwoman,” self-described life coach, matchmaker and dating consultant named Shannon Tebb. Brait found that during the course of that one evening, she picked up a few tips and gained some self-confidence to practice what she learned.

Brait asked me what I thought about the idea of friends for hire. I pointed out that it’s really nothing new.

She wrote:

Irene S. Levine, psychologist and author of the Friendship Blog, says that while escorts and therapists have been around for some time, the recent “explosion” of services is caused by technology, which has allowed people from across the globe to “link up and share different kinds of services with each other.”

Then she asked whether I thought it was worthwhile thing to do. She quoted me:

“While it might fulfill a short-term need, the long-term problem is to find a friend who can help,” she (Levine) says, adding, “if it’s a one-time need, I guess it’s an easy and quick solution.”

I’ll stick with my script from 2010:

“The appeal of a rented friend is that you set the terms. She’s there at your calling on your terms. But back to my question, is that paid companion really a “friend?” I don’t think so. While we all crave the intimacy of warm spontaneous friendships, real ones can’t be rented or bought. They’re nurtured over time.”

Click here to read this interesting Globe and Mail article in its entirety.

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Comments (3)

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  1. Francesca says:

    Another plus to hiring someone is that they probably won’t be rude, insulting, self-centered and disinterested. Imagine having a companion that is supportive, kind, and interested in someone beyond themselves. Even if it is fake at least it’s pleasantly fake.

  2. LauraSL says:

    Seems so sad to rent-a-friend. 🙁 I can’t imagine ever renting a friend! I would rather go somewhere alone than with a hired friend.

  3. Frisbee says:

    At least if you hire someone, there’s a chance they wont be flaky, phoney, or in a rush. ???

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