Imaginary Relationships Are Functional: Te’o Had The Right Idea

I don’t really know the entire story, but allegedly, some football player at Notre Dame got Catfish-ed, or something. I started to read the news articles about his dead girlfriend, who turned out to be neither dead, nor existent, but then I remembered I don’t even like sports, so I decided to move on with the rest of my life. However, I think I got the gist of it: he made up a girlfriend.

This might seem like a totally psychotic, out-of-touch, crazy, and desperate move, but trust me, I think I can understand where he’s coming from. Relationships are SO much effort. You first have to take the time to narrow your pool down to one person. Then you have to feign interest in that person’s life for enough time to score a few appearances at date functions, all the while suppressing your boredom for enough time to make it through at least one holiday. This is all necessary if you want to be rewarded with at least one expensive gift. I’m of the mindset that relationships should be mutually beneficial. The only way I actually intend on getting serious with someone is if there’s something in it for me that is otherwise unavailable while I’m single.

While I’m clearly riding the single bus, I do think there are certain situations which call for a hypothetical boyfriend, which brings me to sympathize with the football player who cried “not gay.” Are there drawbacks of imagining a boyfriend? I mean, probably, but only if you take it too far. However, there are definitely scenarios that are beneficial for dreaming up a boyfriend. These scenarios include the following.

A Creepy Guy Is Hitting On You At The Bar

No, you don’t want to do a shot, and NO, you don’t need another drink (at least not from him). So what do you do? You drop the “boyfriend” bomb, and by the time the smoke clears, so has he. “Oh, thanks, but I’m just waiting for my boyfriend to get back,” is the textbook response for “How to Avoid Creepers” in Bar Scene 101. If he’s trying hard enough (or calling your bluff) and he offers to buy your boyfriend a shot too upon his return, just pretend the cute bartender is your guy. He’s the best imaginary boyfriend because the bartender will be okay with it considering he usually has no idea what any of his customers are talking about anyway. He also serves as a great culprit because no one with a brain pisses off the person responsible for keeping their buzz going.

You’re Planning Your Wedding On Pinterest

You’re a liar if you say you’ve never fallen into a deep, downward spiral and created a secret wedding board on Pinterest, full of ideas for the day you’ll say “I do.” The only problem, of course, is that you’re so single your rabbit needs a break from you. Sometimes, when I’m on a Pinterest bender, I like to pretend I have a serious, committed, adoring boyfriend who is going to propose with the most perfect Harry Winston ring at any moment. While in the back of my mind, I know this isn’t true, the thought helps assuage any anxiety I have about having to waste my perfectly planned wedding ideas on any one of my best friends who will definitely get married years before I do.

Your Old-Fashioned Grandmother Is Interrogating You

I’m not saying that I don’t love my family, because I do, but I think sometimes they worry way too much about me. I can’t overstate that it’s 2013, and a woman is not an old maid if she is still single at *gasp* 23. My grandmother, however, is still having a difficult time grasping this concept, mainly because my rude cousin had to go and get engaged to her high school sweetheart and screw it all up for the rest of us. Every time I see her, she insists on badgering me about my love life. She never fails to worry out loud that I won’t find anyone before it’s too late. Recently, I’ve decided to conjure up a boyfriend that seems suitable and fits all of my dear grandmother’s requirements for a future grandson-in-law. “Yes, Nana, he’s great. He looks just like a young JFK, except with better hair, and a way better wardrobe. He is pre-law and pre-med. He’s planning to go to law school while he completes his residency. I know it seems impossible, but we’re so in love, I believe in him. When will you meet him? It’s tough to say, as he obviously has a very busy schedule with all his schooling.” Problem solved, bitches.

When You’re Window Shopping

There is nothing wrong with buying yourself something pretty in a little blue box. NOTHING. However, when you’re just browsing and not fully committed to purchasing yourself a gift, things can get awkward. I always feel guilty using the “oh, I’m just looking” on the sales girl who obviously works on commission. I usually end up leaving with $300 worth of merchandise because I feel bad. Enter your fake boyfriend. “I’m actually just looking so I can tell my boyfriend what to come back and purchase” works like a charm, and you can leave the store guilt-free.

So I think everyone needs to just lay off the poor little college football player who made up a girlfriend to get everyone off his back. Did he take it a little far with the whole sob story? I mean, probably, but who is anyone to judge really? As far as I’m concerned, fake boyfriends are the best boyfriends.


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