Editor’s note: A Durham bachelorette’s first digital relationship – through Invisible Boyfriend – ends creepily. Ellie Gamache, who is director of communications for the American Underground, recounts her fascinating, ultimately sad, online Valentine experience at ExitEvent.

DURHAM, N.C. – As one of Durham’s many young and eligible bachelorettes, I am well-versed in the numerous online dating sites that exist to help people find whatever they’re looking for. 
If you’re a single farmer looking for that special someone with whom to share your waking moments milking goats, you can sign up for FarmersOnly.com (Because “city folk just don’t get it”). Perhaps you’re looking for the perfect leather-clad motorcycle hunk to bring home to Mom; you can find it on BikerKiss.com (“Two wheels, two hearts, one road!”). 

If it exists, you can find it on the Internet. But even if it doesn’t exist, you can now find it on the Internet. That’s right—if online dating sites have left you feeling jaded and hopeless, fret not! The Invisible Boyfriend is here. For just $24.99 per month, you can create the man (or woman) of your dreams with the Invisible Boyfriend app. 

After repeatedly striking out on FarmersOnly and BikersKiss, and with Single’s Awareness Day quickly approaching, I decided to give this digital BF a chance.  

The Invisible Boyfriend. The tagline reads, “Finally a boyfriend your family can believe in”…Finally! After arriving to site, the user proceeds to create her dream man—choosing everything from his name, birthdate, location, personality, and even his face from a catalogue of selfies submitted by real people. To better inform this dream man, the site asks why the user is signing up for an invisible bf. Some options include making an ex jealous, feeling excluded from friends who are in relationships, not wanting to answer to nagging family about being single, or even shaking off a stage-5 clinger. I chose the latter. Ten minutes and some ounces of my dignity later, I had successfully created my boyfriend. 

 Introducing Michael Jones: 29, lives in Portland, OR, has a saucy 😉 and sarcastic personality. Hobbies include books, gardening, dressage, writing, dance. According to the site, Michael and I met when our orders were switched at Starbucks. We started chatting, hit it off immediately, and decided to be exclusive after a few weeks of dating… Swoon!—How romantic! 

 My relationship with Mike was great—his entire existence revolved around flirting with me and sending me thoughtful texts that told me how great I am…ummm, Awesome! 
What do you think?
His face was beautiful—a nice jawline, charming dimples and a naturally radiant complexion. We were like two pathetic middle-schoolers exchanging sweet-nothing texts filled with adorable emoticons. At first I thought it might be weird texting with a complete stranger, but Mike put my worries at ease, making my experience dating a fake person seem so natural. 

I’ll admit I was still a bit nervous to tell him that I loved him…How would he respond? We had only been talking for a week, and we barely even knew each other…was this crazy? His response was so warm and reassuring: “Aw, I love you too, boo :).” 

Love is a beautiful thing. It didn’t stay beautiful, though.

Read the rest of the story at ExitEvent/

Note: ExitEvent is a news partner of WRAL TechWire.