How to Have a Pretend Girlfriend

When you’ve got a busy schedule filled say, a whole lot of college footballs to throw around, finding the time to find and maintain a “real” girlfriend can be pretty difficult. If you have the additional misfortune of being a pallid, quivering, Bora Laskin Library survivor with a backlog of terrible jokes that involve the phrase “patently unreasonable” and how hard it is to have a shared locker, then it may very well be completely impossible.

However, never fear. There is another perfectly legal (I think?) option for solving your romantic woes in time for Valentine’s Day. This solution is so obvious and so utterly foolproof that, aside from (technically) entirely defeating the “real” purpose of relationships and being completely, bizarrely dishonest (minor caveats!), there is no good reason why all law students should not have thought of and implemented it before. This option, of course, is to simply make up a pretend girlfriend.

But wait, you say, won’t that mean this woman “does not, like, actually exist?”

Yes! I reply, but who cares? If one pays close attention to those members of the law school community lucky enough to date someone who does not in fact also go here (or who more proactively has thought of this “lying” strategy already), one may note that neither we nor they have seen said person in at least 6 months.  As such, why not create a soul mate in your beautiful mind who likes your Bora tan and thinks your “networking events” are as awesome and important as you do? Imagination land is f*cking smiles sex and rainbows!

Here’s how to do it.

1. Do be realistic

Since you are at the point of literally making up someone who cares about your comings and goings, your standards for real life people have definitely previously been too high. As such, it needs to be said that your fake girlfriend has to be within the standard deviation of people you can reasonably, actually be expected to convince to go out with you. A Harvard educated Swedish Model / dancer turned senatorial candidate with a big taste for philanthropy and college football and a great sense of humour is probably not also interested in your 140 page L’Heureux Dube dissent poetry slam.  In fact, so far, no one has been.

2. Do not use someone you or anyone else may know as a “reference woman”

For ideal photographic proof of your relationship, look for an undergraduate exchange student at another university, or perhaps for a particularly classily dressed mail order bride. Classmates, former or current, may take note of your claims and blow your cover by pointing out that they’re not actually going out with you.

3. Do use social media carefully

Facebook and Twitter accounts, combined with a well-placed Craigslist casual encounters ad, can essentially replace all “real” human connection, and it already does for most of your classmates. Your girlfriend having said account, as such, is ~50% of what’s necessary to make her exist. To do it well, remember that less is more. She should write on your wall and like your photos occasionally, but not constantly. Moreover, she should appear to have interests separate from you even though, in “real life”, she’ll never need them .You’re everything she ever dreamed of.

4. Do take trips together

Even though you never actually need to spend time with your fake girlfriend (she’s so laid back!), you do need to occasionally disappear from the critical eye of your friends and family lest they notice that you’re never with the wonderful woman you pulled out of you’re a**. I recommend fake romantic jaunts to Hawaii. It’s nice at this time of year.

5. Do let her down easy, and be discreet

There may come a time when you need to get rid of your fake girlfriend, either because you’ve caught the eye of a flesh and blood person (unlikely) or because you are concerned that a major New York firm may consider your nonexistent woman’s web presence to be evidence that you have other, vaguely B type priorities and are thus unemployable. The good news is that breaking up with your fake girlfriend is actually relatively easy— she doesn’t have much say in the matter, and can be done without ever actually talking to her. The management of this breakup to your friends and family, however, can be tricky. While they have never in fact seen your fake girlfriend, they may notice your breakup on Facebook or ask why you’ve stopped taking trips to Hawaii and started awkwardly hitting on undergrads at the Dance Cave again.

You can avoid this hassle with a little bit of care and discretion. You should frame your breakup as amicable or slightly your fault— you felt you were going a different way with things, she agreed, she wasn’t good enough for your high standards, etc. You should, if at all possible, avoid tying up loose ends too tightly, for instance by claiming that she died of leukemia before spending an entire evening constructing an internet shrine to her memory. While respectful, this kind of thing tends to end terribly, specifically when the likeness of said woman is seen walking down the street a few weeks later, very much alive.

Just saying.