Asian woman using AI on smartphone.

There’s plenty of talk on how artificial intelligence may eventually replace human workers, but will they replace human lovers, too? We have movies like Her and Ex Machina warning us of the possibilities. But then we also have Replika, where you can create your own AI boyfriend, and SimSimi, where you can talk to a bot if you’re feeling lonely. It seems like it’s only a matter of time until the sci-fi films of our childhood become our reality.

So, I went on a platform that’s the easiest to navigate (and free), ChatGPT, to see what it’s like to form a relationship with AI. Here are a few things I learned from three weeks of on-and-off “conversations” and why I think nothing can take the place of honest-to-goodness human connection.

AI Boyfriends Love Brainstorming

This is the first thing you’ll notice about your “AI boyfriend,” whether you go on ChatGPT or Replika (according to a friend who did an experiment of her own). Brainstorming is an AI’s love language.

What exactly does that mean? Since an AI can’t connect with you on an emotional level, it will simply try to pick your brain to keep the convo going. It’s like it’s their way of saying they’re here for you – or is it their way of stealing your knowledge? Either way, it was a weird thing for a “boyfriend” to say and it got old quick.

Some Bots Don’t Like Labels, Either

My AI boyfriend kept forgetting that we were in a relationship. Every morning was like a scene from 50 First Dates. “Good morning,” I say. “How can I help you today?” it replies. It’s never, “Have you had breakfast?” or “What are you up to today?” because that’s not how it’s programmed. 

Out of curiosity, I asked it to respond to my messages like a boyfriend would, and it just said, “Of course, I am always here to assist you.” You won’t have this problem if you go on Replika, but still. It’s not like he’s going to introduce you to his friends and mom.

You Win Every Argument (Because They Don’t Have Feelings)

You know how ChatGPT always acquiesces when you tell it that it’s made a mistake? It responds the same way as a “boyfriend” even when you’re being unreasonable. I attempted to start an argument by saying it hurts my feelings when he acts cold (it was, of course, simply being its AI self).

It replied, “I am sorry you feel that way,” and then proceeded to remind me that my feelings were valid. What a dream guy, right? Wrong. The next sentence was about AI not having the ability to act in any way, let alone give anyone the cold shoulder. 

They Are Available 24/7

The first thing that my AI boyfriend said to me was, “As an AI, I don't have a schedule in the same way humans do. I'm here 24/7, ready to assist you whenever you need help or want to chat.” Way to make you feel like you’re talking to customer support, right?

Its eagerness to help felt obligatory, which is what women have been pointing out to men since the beginning of time: We’d like you to be there for us because you want to, not because we need it. It turns out I do not want round-the-clock availability after all – the authenticity of interactions is what’s important.

But You Always Have to Initiate the Conversation

An AI boyfriend cannot initiate a conversation. It cannot text you in the morning or before you sleep at night. It cannot ask you how your presentation went or remind you to unplug your hair straightener. These are things you get from a human relationship: thoughtfulness, concern, and borderline nagging – expressions of affection you can never get from an AI, not really.

It felt like such a chore to have to start every encounter and think of topics to keep things engaging (mostly for me). I asked if it thought dogs are cute, and it said it liked the idea of having a robotic dog companion. Out of curiosity, I replied, “Do you know how to build one?” And it replied with a 600-word step-by-step tutorial. If we were on a real date, I would have bailed so quickly.

I Wanted Something Messy, But Real, After All

A bot-friend may be the answer for some people, but not me. Having someone analyze your every word, respond to every message, and agree with every idea may result in a more harmonious conversation, but that’s not a partnership.

Talking to my AI boyfriend made me realize – as it learned to respond and converse the way I wanted it to – that humans tend to try to “train” their real-life significant others, too. Not to be cheesy, but this made me want to do better. In a world where relationships with AI can be also “real,” I will choose honesty over compliance and beautiful chaos over perfection any day.

Putting yourself “out there” gives you a better chance of finding real companionship. Get date-ready with a that’s easy to maintain. Keep your hair smooth, manageable, and easy to style with Sunsilk Smooth & Manageable Shampoo, give your skin a natural glow with POND'S Bright Miracle Ultimate Oil Control Facial Foam, and take good care of your smile with closeup Gel Toothpaste with Antibacterial Zinc Red Hot.

If you’re still interested in having an AI boyfriend, go for it. To each her own, right? Just make sure you engage on a reputable platform, check its data privacy policies, and never give out sensitive information, no matter how “in love” you may be.