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Recently, Japanese media has coined a new term: “pro girlfriend.” While it might sound like a freshly-minted euphemism for women working for Japan’s highly specialized titillation/borderline prostitution providers, it’s actually pretty benign, as pro girlfriends are women who date or marry men from the professional entertainment or sports worlds, without being part of those industries themselves.

One reason they’ve captured the imaginations of celebrity-watchers is because of their ability to turn the heads of high-profile eligible bachelors, such as actors Hidetoshi Niishijima, Tetsuji Tamayama, Ryuta Sato, all of whom recently married their pro girlfriends. Just as compelling a question, though, is how pro girlfriends manage to meet their famous beaus?

Let’s take a look at three strategies that’ve been floating around the Japanese-language Internet for meeting athletes, musicians, and actors.

1. Bump into them where they eat, drink, and play

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The first suggestion, offered by Japan’s Excite News, is to find a place where famous people like to go for drinks, and become friends with the manager or bartender. That way, when you stop by to see your pals, there’s also the possibility of a chance encounter with a single actor or pop star.

Of course, famous people tend to have expensive tastes, and you might not have the funds to bankroll becoming a regular at a watering hole frequented by A-listers. Not a problem, says romance-themed Internet portal Hitomebore, since you can instead just get a job working in a bar or restaurant with a star-studded clientele. A-ha!

▼ And while you’re waiting for Mr. Right (first name Famous) to show up, you can look forward to long hours with no tips, since gratuities aren’t given in Japan.

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2. Meet them through your work connections

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While being a waitress is undeniably tough work, it’s at least a profession with a comparatively low barrier to entry. That’s something you can’t say about the jobs Tokyo Dokujo Style mentions in its advice.

If you’re a reporter or newscaster, the single women’s lifestyle site says, or employed by a professional sports team or athletic equipment maker, you’ll have chances for face-to-face meetings with pro athletes. Once you’ve met, your relationship can develop in a similar manner to the thousands of people who find their spouses through their work.

There’s a bit of a catch here, though. Becoming a newscaster is no mean feat. The imbalance between the many people who’d like the job versus the few positions actually available is comparable to the level of competition to become a professional actor or athlete. Landing a job with a sports team or athletic equipment company is a less daunting task, but we’re guessing you have to rise pretty high up the corporate ladder before they’re sending you out to talk with the on-field talent.

“Hey, new girl! We need you to go talk to some guy about this glove we’re making for him. I forget his last name, but call the stadium and ask for Ichiro something-or-other.”

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And should you manage to reach to a position where you’re regularly rubbing muscular shoulders with athletes (or well-moisturized elbows with actors and vocalists), odds are you got there by being intelligent, dedicated, and good with people, all of which mean you’ve probably developed a wide network of acquaintances and potential mates, with the large chance that one of them, while not famous, is a better match for you.

3. Start on the ground floor, and work your way up

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Finally, we come to the tactic laid out by women’s Internet portal Venus Tap, which is to start off as a fan, and get your crush to notice you through your admiration of how he plies his craft. Just sending fan letters isn’t enough, since popular entertainers and athletes get so many yours are likely to be buried under a pile of ones from other admirers and may not even open them themselves. It’s important to send your correspondence express, as not only will it arrive before those of your rivals, having “express mail” stamped across the envelope is sure to tell the object of your affection that you care more about him than those other girls who can’t be bothered to splurge on the postage surcharge.

Venus Tap also offers pointers for when you’re waiting for an actor to leave the venue where he’s just performed. Instead of just screaming, “Oh my God! It’s really him,” try to engage him in a conversation, taking extra care to choose words that will leave a lasting impression. Afterwards, make sure to dash off another fan letter mentioning your chat, and send it ASAP (and express, remember).

Pushy as it may seem, we have to admit this seems like the most likely plan, out of the three discussed, to lead to a connection with a famous guy. Becoming a regular or waitress at his favorite restaurant seems like a low-percentage shot at best, and making peripheral work connections is, like we said, a long and difficult process.

In contrast, inundating him with fan mail, referencing conversations you literally just had a few days ago (thanks to that speedy express delivery), seems like a pretty good way to get noticed. As a matter of fact, we can even see this rapid-fire repeat writing regimen resulting in an autographed response.

▼ They have to sign these things before they’re legal, right?

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Sources: Naver Matome, Excite News, Hitomebore, Tokyo Dokujo Style, Venus Tap
Top image: China.org
Insert images: Mery, Cookbiz, Nathan Allan, Nishizumi Sports, Your Dictionary