Please note: While my books were translated by professionals, this blog post got a little help from AI, meaning it may not be a perfect translation.

A few men in my book, not entirely coincidentally men with whom I once shared a bed, were given pseudonyms. I thought long and hard about these names and sometimes even consulted with the man in question, because the new name obviously had to exude the same vibe as the original. You’re not gonna replace William with Kevin, you understand.

The blog you’re reading now is about, uh…. Jean-Jacques. New pseudonym, new man in Toeps’ life. “But, but… What about Riemer?”

“Ha!”, the envious reader might think. “I knew that would go wrong! You can’t just go and live in Japan, that won’t work!” But that’s where the internet hater is wrong, because Riemer was here just a few weeks ago, and we had a great time. The day before Riemer arrived I met Jean-Jacques (I can’t keep typing this, from now on his name is JJ) at the Starbucks around here. After Riemer returned to the Netherlands, I invited JJ to my house. I wasn’t murdered, so that went well.

You may have read this blogpost from a few years back. It was public for a while, then I put it back on private because yes, it is very private, but since today it has been public again because it saves me a lot of explaining. For those who don’t feel like clicking: we’re in an open relationship. We didn’t do anything with it for a long time, then for a few years we did, then that ended and we were back to just the two of us, and now a few weeks ago I have started seeing someone again. Because yes, I did feel a bit lonely here in Japan.

Earlier I told you about the app Bumble, where you can meet people. Initially I used the BFF feature, which actually turned up some new friends. But after a slightly disappointing visit to the Netherlands last month, I was fed up and decided to venture into the dating department.

I wrote an incredibly honest profile, in which I made it clear that I was looking for someone who had no problems with an open relationship. I posted some photos and also included a picture of my book. I saw profiles with INFJ and such, and added the phrase “Myers-Briggs is pseudoscience” to mine – that would scare off the woo-woo believers. I matched with about six men, talked to two, and went on a date with one: Jean-Jacques. A Frenchman living in Tokyo.

JJ’s profile was pretty brief, but somehow I always have a knack for picking out just the right nerds. I don’t know how I manage it, but as soon as the guy in front of me starts worrying about the fact that the Yurikamome, contrary to popular belief, is not a monorail, I know it’s going well. JJ also has an open relationship, with slightly different conditions than mine, so this blog is under a password for now. By the way, he could be lying about this. Not because I think he’s lying, but because he can, you know? And because I can’t verify it. Well, we’ll see about that later.

Since that date at my house, things have been, well, fun. Last week I smuggled him into my single hotel room, yesterday I just booked for two. In a high tower in Yokohama with a fantastic view, because I thought I deserved a reward after a whole afternoon of taking JLPT exams. Plus it was a last minute, so it was relatively cheap. Only a few tens of euros more expensive than a love hotel, the fantastic yet somewhat sleazy Japanese concept for couples who want to have some fun undisturbed.

When I was recently in the Netherlands, I complained to a friend (who just stopped short of laughing in my face) that as a 38-year-old senior citizen, perhaps the exciting times were already behind me. I was wrong. The advantage of dating as a 38-year-old senior citizen is that you know who you are and you’re much less insecure about your body. And otherwise there is always the other person’s balding head, which reminds you that no one is perfect.

Next week JJ is going back to France for a month, so it’s back to building websites and writing books for me. But at least I can move on now; my “I moved to Japan” book may not have an ending – insert lame happy ending joke here – but it does have a view of a bigger picture. Making friends, meeting new people… I didn’t feel like it, I thought I would be really bad at it, or that I would meet people who wouldn’t suit me at all. But apparently I know quite well who I am and what I want, and I therefore unconsciously make the right choices.

Myers-Briggs: “Great, that makes you an ISFJ!”

Update, March 2024

We are now more than a year later, so the password has been removed from this post. Jean-Jacques was so well chosen that it also turned out to be his uncle’s name. Oops! Therefore, Jean-Jacques has since regained his real name: François.