In the age of Facebook, online communities and people becoming ever more isolated indoors, Scott Rosenbaum saw a growing demand for one of society’s essential but oft-neglected needs: Friends. Not the digital variety. The live, in-person kind. Brick and mortar friends. Everyday, platonic, let’s-do-something-together friends.
“With fewer offline friendships being developed today, people often find themselves without a worthy companion when they need one,” says Rosenbaum. “So I created RentAFriend. You’d be surprised how quickly the concept has caught on.”
At RentAFriend.com, members can search the profiles of thousands of registered friends in the US and Canada to find those who live nearby and share their interests. When a suitable companion is found, he or she can be rented by the member at an hourly rate established by the friend.
If you’re wondering why someone would purchase the camaraderie of another for a few hours, you need only explore the website’s expansive list of suggested activities to realize how timely and convenient the service can be. One might, for example, ask a like-minded individual to accompany them to a show or sporting event they have an extra ticket for. Or perhaps the friend they choose is proficient in a skill they’re eager to learn or become better at, like skiing, dancing, bridge, cooking, photography, music, biking, a foreign language, wine tasting, golf…the possibilities are limitless. Members can also recruit friends to look in on a loved one they can’t always visit…work out with them at the gym and provide a motivational boost…impart sound, objective advice on personal or business matters…offer help and companionship when they’re traveling to an unfamiliar place…introduce them to people who have similar interests. Of course, there are times when people simply want someone to hang out with…to enjoy a meal together…shoot the breeze…exchange ideas…or just pass the time.
Whatever the reason, Rosenbaum emphasizes that RentAFriend.com is strictly a friendship-only service. “This is not a dating or matchmaking site,” he maintains. “We ensure that both our members and registered friends fully understand that an enjoyable, platonic relationship is the sole objective here.”
Those wishing to search the RentAFriend.com database can do so for free and pay a small membership fee only if they would like to obtain the contact information of prospective friends. The friends themselves can register for free, listing their skills, interests, gender, age, ethnicity, and other key information. The hourly fees friends can charge are $10 and up and are negotiable between the member and friend. To ensure their privacy, members can contact friends through the site’s anonymous messaging feature.
People of all ages, nationalities and interests are encouraged to visit RentAFriend.com, either to seek the friendship of others or to offer theirs.