Don’t judge single people for renting brief app partners

By Little Jelly Source:Global Times Published: 2016-1-25 18:43:01

I read a story in your newspaper about fake partners the other day. The author argues that renting a temporary boyfriend/girlfriend home harms parents' feelings and that the rental apps "have only worsened the notoriety of China's 'marry early or you die alone' culture." Chinese singletons are facing heavy pressure from their pushy parents. I don't think it is a big deal to hire a fake partner to take home.

First of all, the popularity of the rental apps reflects market demand. It is often regarded as de rigueur for Chinese, especially women, to get married by 30. Otherwise, single Chinese will be referred to as "leftovers." No one wants to get weird looks when interrogated about the relationship status. These "lonely dogs," a sarcastic nickname for single people, have done nothing wrong by turning to the rental apps for help.

The national holidays, during which "When will you get married" haunts every single singleton, are the "golden week" for rental business. The upcoming Spring Festival, as expected, will see a surge of hired partners. The market never lies. The online rental apps are just catering to the increasing market demand. It is a social trend that drives the rental business. It is unfair to blame the apps for China's culture of marrying early.

In addition, although the apps are initially designed to rent temporary partners, they can function as dating apps as   well. Many single people may be using the apps to hunt for ideal girlfriends or boyfriends. The likelihood of a pretending girlfriend or boyfriend becoming a real partner exists. The apps serve as a platform for single Chinese, who may have limited chances to mix socially, to make friends online.

Admittedly, the rental apps "bring a number of safety risks," just as the author argues. Making friends on apps is not reliable sometimes. However, online services are an irreversible trend in the 21st century. It would be unwise to abandon the apps just because of their potential shortcomings.

Instead, people should learn to overcome the safety risks of the online services. A stricter supervision system will help screen out frauds on the blind-date websites. A much more secure environment can be created if users are ordered to register with their real names online.

The whole of society ought to show more sympathy and understanding to singletons. While many Chinese are forbidden from puppy love in their adolescence, they are pushed to get married once they start to work. It seems their marriage is controlled by their over-caring parents, rather than by themselves, and they only have a few short years to find a partner.

For single people, hiring a fake partner home is an effective "countermeasure" against their families who have not shown them enough respects. It is not an exaggeration to say that the rental apps are a revolutionary tool to liberate single Chinese from their relatives and parents. The media and public opinion should not deprive the "lonely dogs" of their last resort.

Therefore, it is not a big deal to rent a fake partner. The boom of the rental apps is just answering the market's call. Instead of criticizing this irreversible social trend, more efforts should be put into directing the apps to be a more reliable tool.

Little Jelly, a loyal reader of the Global Times

Posted in: Letters

blog comments powered by Disqus