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There’s no doubt that the internet has had a major impact on how we conduct our relationships. With social media platforms like Facebook just a click away, keeping contact with relatives and those we love has never been easier.
It has also opened up endless possibilities of having entirely virtual relationships with people you may never actually meet. Online romance is much more popular than ever and it actually now offers some interesting ways to make money.
As the name suggests, a Facebook girlfriend is someone who conducts a relationship with a significant other entirely via the internet. However, unlike traditional online dating, the whole idea is to keep the relationship purely virtual, without the promise of ever meeting in person.
But this is now provided as a service. Some people pay to have an online significant other, knowing full well they will never meet them in person.
The term girlfriend is actually misleading in many ways: this is a companionship service. Many online girlfriends (and boyfriends) provide this service to multiple people at once. They may also have their own real-life significant other and family which is separate. To some this is simply a job.
Also, it doesn’t necessarily need to be salacious. In fact, a lot of people making money as Facebook girlfriends/boyfriends have focused their business on providing emotional support services rather than sexual satisfaction. They provide the companionship and kindness of a significant other and can even form deep relationships, but without anything overtly sexual.
Cat-fishing is the practice of appearing as one thing on social media but in reality being something and someone completely different. Many people are ‘cat-fished’ and can fall for someone who isn’t real. Sometimes the cat-fish has malicious intent and has caused the other person harm or even stole the identity of someone else.
This isn’t that, it’s a legitimate and established service. One that’s providing companionship to those who need it and are happy to pay for company, even if it’s only through their computer. Also in many cases, the person providing the service is an actual representation of themselves.
Here’s a quote from a working online girlfriend:
“My job is to provide my clients with all of the resources I have to offer. This could be help with emotional issues, personal problems, developing social skills, practice flirting, or just be a plain friend/girlfriend. I even post on my clients social media walls, if requested, for no extra charge,” a woman who calls herself Hayley recently shared on Reddit.
As with most businesses, your first step is to get all the groundwork laid before advertising your services. In Hayley’s case, she created a number of social media profiles that aren’t connected to her name, which she uses to look for clients.
“When someone inquired about my service I send them a couple of photos of myself, my Snapchat, my interests, my bio, and my number,” she explains.
This also ensures that she is being completely transparent with her clients and that they know she’s a real woman and not some sort of bot created for phishing.
Hayley only connects with people online and makes it clear from the start that meeting in-person is absolutely impossible.
She says, “I am paid by PayPal, and I charge just for phone calls, or chatting. Some of them have embarrassing thoughts or stuff they just want to get off their chest. While others are going through tough times”.
While being a Facebook girlfriend or boyfriend is one way of going about this, there are a number of websites that have been created for the purpose of cultivating virtual relationships for money.
If you’re a natural flirt, you could be making some money by being one of MyGirlFund’s ‘sexy girls next door’.
The site is basically geared toward men who don’t have the time or confidence to have a real-life relationship. So, they turn to the internet instead to interact with women via text or video chat. For some of them it can be a great way of build up their social skills.
If you’re not entirely comfortable with appearing on video to a strange man, you can stick to texting. MyGirlFund is serious about girls setting their own boundaries and being in control of their own earning potential. So you never have to do anything you’re uncomfortable with.
The site also strictly prohibits users from sharing personal information, which keeps things pretty safe and private.
Members buy credits worth $1 and spend it on whatever they’re looking for within the site’s rules. The ‘sexy girls next door’ receive 1 credit for every message reply you send to members.
If they take chats to “the next level”, as the website subtly puts it, they can charge the member they’re chatting to whatever they like.
The concept behind Invisible Girlfriend is for men (and women) to gain confidence in their real-life dating scenarios by practicing conversations online.
You can create your ideal girlfriend, customising their personality and even how you met. You can then interact with them via text message. And yes, they have real humans playing them on the other side! So it can actually be a lot of fun.
The only difference here is that the real people playing the part change every five minutes.
Kashmir Hill from Splinter News signed up as a girlfriend, for the purpose of writing an article about her experience afterwards.
What she shared has been very illuminating:
“I’d get the story of how we met and the last 10 messages we’d exchanged. This setup is designed to create the illusion of continuity; ideally, an Invisible Girlfriend/Boyfriend seems like a steady, stable presence in a user’s life, instead of what it really is: a rotating cast of men and women,” she explains.
The site has 3 primary rules:
According to Hill, the site does not pay very well. It unfortunately only offers 5 US cents on each lovingly constructed text message.
Read more her whole story for a few more interesting insights.
In most cases, this really depends on how much effort you put into your role as a Facebook girlfriend.
From all three scenarios mentioned above, it’s clear that running your own business in a similar way to Hayley is an effective way of making money.
This is what she charges:
Daily: $15 (recommended if you just want to chat for a day)
Weekly: $40 (recommended for those who want to chat on and off)
Monthly: $130 (recommended for those want to chat consecutively)
Now imagine having several monthly clients, this can be a lucrative side project to consider.
She requires first time clients to pay upfront to ensure that she doesn’t lose out. All payments go through PayPal. Hayley also mentions that she juggles up to seven (but no more) clients at a time, which makes for a solid monthly income.