Looking for an innovative part-time job that will put you in touch with some unique people? Well then maybe you should consider signing up to be an online dating professional.
No, that’s not a joke. Online dating has become a $1 billion a year business with tens of millions of users visiting dating sites in the U.S. every month. And as dating sites have become more popular, several online services have popped up to help users improve their chances of meeting people online.
OnlineDatingAssistants.com charges $20 an hour to coach customers on “modern tips and techniques” for online dating. Then there’s ProfileHelper.com, which promises to help you craft the perfect dating profile to make you more appear more attractive to other users.
However, each of these services seem tame in comparison to the one offered by VirtualDatingAssistants.com. This company, which launched last year, will actually provide you with a professional surrogate who will do all the legwork for you online. Your virtual dating assistant will create your profile and communicate with other users on your behalf. These employees are more than wingmen, they are essentially digital pick-up artists who woo users only to pass them off to the person footing the bill. And they charge a pretty penny.
Users can either pay $600 a month, which guarantees that you will get two dates in 30 days, or you can sign up for the Executive Package for $1,200 a month, which guarantees you five dates. According to the site, the cheaper package comes with the promise that your surrogate will work 40 hours each month on your behalf. That equates to $15 an hour.
Now, obviously this service raises a few questions. The first thing you might ask is why anyone in their right mind might sign up for this? The service is not necessarily intended for the romantically challenged, but rather for those who are just too busy working and leading their lives to spend time hunting around on dating sites. But there’s another question that might be more troubling: Isn’t all of this misleading to both you and the person your surrogate is courting on your behalf?