My name is Mary. I am a 30-year-old woman who is perpetually single.
I’m about to unapologetically become a single 31 year-old, and not only is my biological clock screaming, but so is my pushy extended family. In my culture if you aren’t a mother,wife or doctor by the age of 30, there’s something seriously wrong with you.
But here I am single, a writer, and did I mention single? So when my friend invited me to his wedding, I hesitated at first, knowing I’d be mainly among couples.
I wanted to bring a guy with me to spite my friend, but being single, I had no-one and I currently am not dating anyone seriously.
And then I had a stroke of genius: I would hire someone to pose as my boyfriend for the night.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: this Mary chick must be A) high, B) hideous or C) hands-down the most desperate single woman in London to have entertained such an idea. I’m none of those things. The correct answer is D) i’m tired.
I’m seriously tired of hearing, “Why are you still single” Society condones asking women questions like this without stopping to consider how they feel.
Well, I wanted to change the rules. I reached a point where I was so bored with my love life that I was willing to try anything once.
I could have gone on Tinder, I could have even asked my gay friend to accompany me and fake being a straight dude for the night — but those options were too easy.
If I was going to do this, I was going to do this right. So, on my own volition, I hire a boyfriend for the night from Alpha Escorts. Yes, you read that correctly. I hired a male escort.
Alpha Escorts is a male escort service that “rents out” attractive men across the UK. There are old men, young men, black men, white men – all kinds of men!! My first choice was a hot, brown-haired guy with a man bun, but he was unavailable. So Alpha Escorts sent me my runner-up, accommodating my demands quite nicely:
He met me a few roads from the wedding venue in London, giving me just a minute to get him up to speed on my life. I told him I’m a journalist determined to get a good story, and fortunately, he didn’t run for the London Bridge. He was mine for an hour.
“You’re gorgeous,” he said. “You shouldn’t have to do this.”
“I don’t have to,” I said. “But I want to.”
We approached the pavement outside the church where my friend and his friends were already standing. I went down the line and introduced my date. They shook his hand in awe and approval.
“See that guy over there?” I whispered to Alec, pointing to my cousin’s friend. “We’ve had crushes on each other forever, but he won’t make a move.”
“Got it,” he said. He began massaging my neck and calling me “babe” in an obnoxiously loud voice. I giggled. I didn’t even have to look at my cousin’s friend to feel his jealousy; I felt it like a heat wave. I know that it was all so childish of me — but it was also pretty damn brilliant.
After taking our seats in the church, I scanned the room in search of clues that might have threatened my credibility: a snicker here, maybe a weird stare there. There were none. And then I realised something: My plan was actually working.
I’ll never know if he was genuinely a good guy — or just a great actor — but it was still nice to be treated like a lady.
When the reception party died down, my friend pulled me aside. “I’m proud of you,” he said. “You found someone who deserves you.”
There it was: the validation I’d always craved. It was ear candy. It was a kind of acceptance I’d never felt before, and its impermanence didn’t detract from my satisfaction.
I waved goodbye to my cousin’s friends and grabbed my date’s hand. He locked his fingers into mine; it felt nice. And though I didn’t look back, I knew everyone watched us go.
As midnight crept up, we prepared goodbyes.
“So… Wanna come to my apartment? I’m just gonna drink on the rooftop,” he asked.
For a second, I actually considered it. I mean, I was drunk, and he was hot. But something told me that if I went home with him, I wouldn’t forgive myself for the rest of eternity.
I respectfully declined.
“Oh,” he went on, “and I won’t charge you for those extra two hours.”
Sh*t. He had stayed for a total of three hours; I didn’t realise until he said it. Phew, I thought, wiping dribbles of sweat from my forehead.
I wouldn’t have been able to afford him any longer than an hour, anyway. I’d be stuck doing Operation Wash-A-Dish to pay off Alpha Escorts for the foreseeable future.
All in all, I had a fantastic evening. I ate good food, fooled a party of 16 and learned that my heart is resilient even after enduring insufferable heartbreak.
Now, a week later, I find myself missing the idea of the man more than I miss the actual man. Y’know, those little things — calling me “babe,” eating off my plate.
Was it nice having a pretend boyfriend for the night? You betcha. Will I ever hire a male escort from Alpha Escorts again? Probably not.
…Then again, never say “never.”
– Mary, London.