Renting boyfriend can be a solution to all those lonely nights you spent cribbing about not having a partner, but can it cure depression? Developers of RABF (short for Rent A Boy Friend) App seem to think so. Which is why they have come up with this mind-blowing idea – an app which allows you to rent a boyfriend to “cure depression”.

While psychologist saround the world just slammed their textbooks on their smartphones after reading this news, one cannot even try to process how this works.

Heaven knows men are the number one causative agents of depression in women, then how can you get out of it by adding more Y-chromosomes in the equation?

What kind of magical science is this?

Bye bye therapy. Actually no

According to an article on News18, the 29-year-old developer of this app says, “A lot of people suffer from depression induced by loneliness. Sometimes, all a person needs is a friendly ear, a supportive shoulder. We are not setting up prospective couples together. The relationship is of pure, platonic companionship and support. The men we train as ‘boyfriends’ are properly auditioned, and then groomed by a specialized team of doctors, life coaches and psychiatrists.”

SOME TAKEAWAYS-

  • A new app wants women to rent a boyfriend from them to combat loneliness and depression.
  • However, their noble yet misplaced intentions come with a hefty price and you get to pick from categories like ‘Models’ and ‘Celebrity’.
  • Depression is a serious issue, which must be resolved under guidance of trained therapists and not six-pack wielding dudes.

All this sounds very innocent, until you come to know that there are three categories from which you can rent a boyfriend ‘Celebrity’, ‘Model’ and ‘Aam-Aadmi’. An hour with a boyfriend from ‘Model’ category costs Rs 2,000- Rs 3,000. Whereas it costs a meagre Rs 1,000 for one from ‘Aam Aadmi’ category. And then there are photographs of shirtless men in the ‘Model’ category of the website, which can be misleading.

Why does a girl need her rental boyfriend to have six packs, if all she wants to do is to bawl in front of him? Also, this app claims to help women beat loneliness. But then why isn’t the basis of categories hobbies or common interests, but appeal and looks?

While the shirtlessness level on this app is disturbing, more worrying is how it tries to trivialise a serious mental health issue. Depression is a complex and deep-seated mental illness. It needs proper counselling or therapy. Such a service, despite promising to provide coached men at your service, is misguiding. It tells people that all women need to cure depression, is an hour of chit-chat with a chiselled gent.

This trivialisation could cause people to take mental health issues among women less seriously. As if we do not have enough of that happening already. What a person suffering from depression needs is therapy or counselling at hands of a trained professional. There is a place and time and way for such sessions. And none them involves shirtless dudes or billing rate as per your preference of hunky-ness.

Maybe, those who worked on this app had good intentions at their heart. Loneliness indeed is one of the biggest calamities of modern lifestyle. It often leads to depression or a yearning for companionship. But those are two separate issues, with separate solutions.

What RABF is offering is (hopefully) companionship. But can renting out companionship solve the issue of loneliness in long term? How many dates can a woman afford at such high billing rate, before she realises the temporary and fake nature of the experience?

As for claims of curing depression, some issues are better left in hands of trained professionals. If any woman ends in harm’s way due to such a half-baked solution, then is RABF willing to take the blame?

Picture Credit: CBN

Also Read: Do Consensual Relationships Affect The Work Environment?

Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section.  The views expressed are author’s own.

Get the best of SheThePeople delivered to your inbox - subscribe to Our Power Breakfast Newsletter. Follow us on Twitter , Instagram , Facebook and on YouTube, and stay in the know of women who are standing up, speaking out, and leading change.