China's Fake Boyfriend-Girlfriend Business is Booming
In China, women are supposed to be married by 30-yrs. old, at the very latest. Have a husband and maybe a kid on the way or already there. Many women totally rely on their parents for support after moving away from home, so with such expectations, renting a fake boyfriend for a night to meet the parents provides income to many young men.
Chinese women not married by age 30, are called “sheng nu” or “leftover women”. Kind of a slang slap in the face for those who remain single. The fake boyfriend is a pressure relief valve for the still single woman when her parents visit. The “boyfriend” alleviates the marriage pressure for a time and makes the parents feel that “there is hope” still and soon.
The going rate is about $150 per day. Like a comedy movie, the couple then preps each other about their likes and dislikes, habits, etc., so when the parents are met, the backstory is seamless. The couple usually tests the “relationship” on unsuspecting friends etc., but as most state, it usually fails within five minutes.
Why would somebody go through the trouble of finding a fake boyfriend to deceive their parents? Just to let the parents know their son or daughter is doing well in both work and love because the parents want their kids to settle down and have kids. In China, the expectation is that marriage comes first for women and careers second, while for men, a successful career is a priority so that they can provide for their families. Of course, in the USA, there are fake relationship apps that one can give the illusion one is a relationship. The question is why? Is it not okay to be truly single and unattached with no significant other? I think the answer to that question is, yes, for awhile. But, as we all know, eventually one seeks more enduring, more meaningful because being single is lonely yet free.
But things are changing.