Best Friend For Hire? It’s A Real Thing, And Participants Say, Don’t Judge

By Cheryl Stritzel McCarthy
Chicago Tribune

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) In this day and age of people sharing things, hiring employees and meeting/dating online it is actually no surprise that there is actually a website for friendship or rather companionship.

Chicago Tribune

He was 67, a former race-car driver living in a retirement community. She was 23, vibrant and attractive, happy to listen to stories of past glory.

It’s not what you think. Her name is Tara, she lives in Los Angeles and she’s available to be your best friend, in a strictly platonic sense, for $20 an hour through RentAFriend.com. She met the retired race-car driver in an LA coffee shop and conversed for three hours.

Don’t judge, says Tara, who’s first name is being used for privacy reasons. “You don’t know what it would be like for you, in their shoes.”

Ever needed a best friend but didn’t have one handy? Ever thought of hiring one?

You probably already have, says Rebecca Perlman Coniglio, a licensed clinical social worker with a practice in the New York City area.

Consider your hairdresser, the bartender, your housecleaner. The concept of hiring someone for a task but interacting with him or her as a friend has been going on for decades but is more prevalent now, she says.

In an ever more electronic world, people are increasingly hungry for contact in person.

Suppliers who work one-on-one with clients in a personal setting know this well. Mary Carlomagno is an organizer who writes and speaks on the topic and just published her novel “Best Friend for Hire” (Post Hill Press, 2017).

“Most of the people I work with tell me a lot more than they need to for the job,” Carlomagno says, who adds she sometimes feels like a therapist.

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