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New Career Path – Rental Friend

by Marc Luber

Two people at cafe

A new career is out there that I guess shouldn’t shock me: you can now sign up to be a platonic friend for rent via a new site called RentAFriend! You can be the person who keeps someone company for an hourly fee that you negotiate, typically between $20-$50/hour. For those who don’t want to see movies or go to the gym or attend weddings alone, for travelers who want a tour guide, or business travelers who don’t want to eat alone, they can now rent a friend.

My first thought was that RentAFriend must be an escort site, in which case I would not allow its name on Careers Out There. However, founder Scott Rosenbaum of New Jersey says he has a zero-tolerance policy for sexual solicitations. He reviews every profile before it goes live and will take the profile down if he hears about any sexual solicitations.

RentAFriend receives 100,000 unique views every month and has around 2,000 members who pay $24.95 a month, or $69.95 a year to look at the photos and profiles of over 168,000 potential friends.

I have no affiliate relationship with RentAFriend and am not endorsing it. I’m simply fascinated by it. Has our society become so lonely, disconnected and isolated that renting friends is necessary? Is a temporary friend for hire really going to solve a disconnected person’s issues? This concept is already popular in Japan and China. Maybe the U.S. is next!

The reality is that it’s probably a fun way to get paid a decent hourly rate to meet new people and participate in the activities that you said you enjoy in your profile. In these challenging economic times, I’m sure there are worse ways to earn a living (assuming your “friend” isn’t a cannibal or something). Based on the number of people using the site, it sounds like it would be tough to get enough rental friend requests to build a full career as a rental friend, but who knows! You just might be the most popular rental friend around…

Would you ever rent a friend? Would you be a rental friend?

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Image courtesy of Jfgornet