ST. LOUIS - The question "Are you dating anyone?" can make a single person cringe.
So a local entrepreneur was inspired to create a new company called Invisible Girlfriend.
That's right, Invisible Girlfriend. Some of you are laughing, already, but Matt Homann believes he'll have the last laugh when his company is up and running later this year.
Winning a local contest for best startup idea meant a $3, 000 prize and buzz he never imagined, from Time magazine to national talk shows.
"So Queen Latifah actually made fun of us. She thought this was the dumbest idea ever," said Homann.
The idea is InvisibleGirlfriend.com. For a monthly fee Matt Homann's company would create a virtual girlfriend, a solution for single males scrutinized for not being in a relationship.
"People will have an opportunity to build their invisible girlfriend, to pick a photo, to build a background story," said Homann.
So why would a believable fake relationship appeal to someone? Apparently there are a lot of people tired of family and friends getting in their personal business.
"It's a soldier stationed overseas without a girlfriend, it's someone living a lifestyle that parents may not approve of, it could be someone who just wants to be focused on work and gets tired of mom and dad asking every thanksgiving if they're seeing anyone," said Homann.
When asked about InvisibleGirlfriend.com, bartender and bachelor Juan Carlos Lightle said big brother is watching, literally.
"Mostly my oldest brother gives me the most grief. He's always asking when he's going to be the godfather to one of my daughters. I go you've got plenty of time. I'm in no rush," said Lightle.
There are three Invisible Girlfriend packages. Depending on cost, Homann says the company will create everything from fake text messages to getting live phone calls from a virtual girlfriend.
"Voices mails for example, there's a service that we're using and integrating with it allows you to automatically get someone's voice mail on their phone," said Homann.
Not everyone is convinced.
"I think it's ridiculous. Really ridiculous," said Theresa Patterson.
"It might be a way to keep the parents off your back during the holiday visits and all that good stuff," said Lightle.
If you use Craigslist, you may have noticed Homann's company is asking for real women 18 to 45-years-old, all ethnicities, willing to have their photos used as invisible girlfriends. He says having enough photos when the website launches in August, is one of his biggest challenges.