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#27 The Fever


This week, producer Stephanie Foo tells a story about dating online that is unlike any we've ever heard before.


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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This episode is brought to you by better for him a new podcast from eighty people. In each episode Francesca Ramsay talks to visionaries in business leaders about mistakes. They ve made how they work their way through them and came out better for it. Listen on Spotify wherever you get. Your pot casts. From gimlet visit reply. I am sure that the amounts and I'm hegemony and one of the things about doing it, showed that the internet is that people are often suggesting that you do stories about online dating and we often choose not to and then, a few weeks ago, our friend seventy FU, whose normally appreciate this american life, came to us with a story that unlike any online, dating story that either of us had ever heard? Stephanie I'll take it from here so a couple years ago, I interviewed this girl, her name issues
She lives in San Francisco and she'd met this really cute guy on Okcupid and ever knows that when it comes to online dating people can be really. Non committal unwilling to settle down, but this guy she met once COM John right from the beginning. John was really while he just had a way of taking really ordinary little situations and just making them fine and playful, and was very, thoughtful would like making breakfast would like hide like my favorite snap, my person which severely So we really was we loyal person John, scandinavian muscular attractive. He said, unreal like a dream boyfriend, he offered her the keys. His apartment really early on in their relationship, which surprised her He gave her a little shelf for her stuff in his apartment and he told them. She had to go to the de envy. Not only did he offered a come, he made a date out of it. He made it fun, took her to lunch
even included her and a bunch of his domestic decision making John renovating his apartment, so we went to see me too, and he was looking for the perfect cow. And a one point we had to spoon on various couches to see if they were wide enough for us food on and if you know, hence they would be appropriate for his apartment. Cells, girls kind of laughing. It said you know I was Thank you my mind. Like does she hit us, now, but at the same time as having so much fun, I didn't really care so one day she and John are the park and he leaves ago go climbing for a couple hours. Then she gets a text from him say Did he hurt himself of the Jem and had to go to the hospital, but it's not that bad and she should just go to part men and wait for him. Suzanne lets herself in and to kill time. She goes on. His computer starts working on a reservation been touching up.
And she sees this folder labelled Elizabeth. That's just been updated and at first she feels bad like oh. I shouldn't snoop on my amazing boyfriend, but her curiosity gets the best ever so she clicks on the folder inside their bunch of pictures. And I see him with this woman firms telling myself, you know, don't freak out he's allowed to have you know, female friends you're who are attractive, does not a big deal, going through the album icy photos of them, kissing I am just completely Guardsman Suzanne is furious, but more than any she feels it. She just needs to know more shit have to wait long minutes later. She sees his, He chat flashing. She said That right now at this moment, he's lost
in somewhere else and he's chatting up another girl. Let's call her Serena, it looks like they ve, never meant, but he's making plans with hurt that weak and then another box pops up with a girl named Tracy. Another rocks hops. With a girl, Elizabeth and I'm wondering. Is this the same Elizabeth from the photos, and I see that he says the kind of things to her that he says to me like very sweet, like boyfriend, the kind of things Just if you met John, you just sing was one of the sweetest guys and then to just suddenly very quickly all of a sudden. Fine. Now that their cheating on you in real time that was allotted taken and text on to get the hell back to his apartment step, but when he showed up she thought wait. I don't know anything about who this guy really is what, if he's a serial killer, what if he has a knife? So
while he standing outside the door, she makes him take up all his clothes and strip naked to prove he doesn't have a weapon. Finally, she let them in and they have a huge He tells her that she's, the only one he truly loves, but nobody men, anything to him. She tells him she needs to know the whole truth this goes on for hours, then the doorbell rain. So when the door and am greeted by a pretty korean woman- and I say who are you and she looks angry and she She says who are you and I say I am sad. I have been dating John for the past six months- she says her name is terror. She has been dating John for the past
two years. At this point, all she knew was that the guys thing had been cheating on her with at least or other people, and now he was binding with one of them outside his apartment. She watched them from the window and actually took a picture of the two them fighting. Just to prove that this was all really happening? She sent me the picture. Tears looking up at him, hurt her hands on our heads. You can't see John Space Suzanne is exhausted. She leaves goes home, she decides she wants to warn other women. Johnny knows in case he said, Lee dating them too, but when she tries to go to his facebook page, she finds out he's blocked. Her But she remembers the names of a bunch of women she'd seen on his friends list and she sends a mass message to all of them. Saying watch out if he's data all of these women at the same time, you may be a victim of Johns too
and I got the emails. I emailed them back and say: hey it's not just you guys if you want to talk to me and give me a call, this is Phoebe, which is not her real name. Phoebe had data John two years before they met online. This is Phoebe story. She was at his apartment, he wasn't there. She sent him a text, saying hey honey. Where are you and he says: oh, I'm just watching tv sitting around doing nothing. I have to do homework, that's it. Exports you get while he was sitting on his gowns ray, So I wait until he comes back in and of course, he's gotta go with them. And away three of us get in the huge fight. An underhand about it, happened about three different,
agents wow. Phoebe love on, but after watching him betray her over and over again, she broke up with him. In their time together, though, should actually seen John accumulate to cycles of women in each cycle. He dated up to ten women at once. Three to four serious friends and several casual relationships on the side. Each time one woman would find out when the whole group and the harem would implode it's kind of lake when a spider, meticulous we creates its web after a storm blows. It away. The spider unfazed simply begins again. The email Suzanne sent Phoebe was actually the third. He everyone boyfriend, Johns Cheater email that Phoebe had gone he. Three generations, I've seen so
generations. Oh my god. I like that you describe it as generations. It's sick beyond! it all on so well These were all these girls, Oh and every single one of them. They were all asian corals and handed that make you feel it was. Grows. It was very grows and his quite shocking and he doesn't have to be there be intelligent. They run up to a pretty. They don't have to be skinny; they don't have to be anything just. Oh, your age girl, please bleep this later anything yellow with three holes. Coming up after the break. How does
of the problem like John. This episode is brought few by better for it, a new podcast from eighty peed hosted by Francesca Ramsay. We all make mistakes better for it how mistakes have shaped the lives and careers of visionaries and business leaders and helps them think differently about what their working for you'll hear from an entrepreneur who ventured out on his own, and so I went out. I took seven hundred dollars. I had in the bank, but my own pickup truck took some flyers, business cards and Later I had a business and in each hour, rule breaker whose learn While we all care about work in the first place, you proud of the work, do you want to be able to tell your friends about it? You want to be able to feel like you're, making a different you'll hear how they work their way through their mistakes and came out better for listen on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts
so the First Avenue show producer Stephanie Food was telling a story of a wildly prolific cheater who exclusively targeted asian women, Stephanie PICS story from here, one other thing: struck me reporting. The story is that the women, the John tricked they're, all really smart, really successful and in general, most asian women already go into online dating with their guard up? refer to men who only date asian women as having yellow fever, but nobody had been prepared for Johns version. The scale of it And so the women started talking to each other Susie and Elizabeth and Phoebe got together over some wine They realise that they really liked each other. Here's a Beth, the woman who is on the photos and Johns Computer, I think, were able to and over a shared experience thoroughly poor experience. They were able to help me here. A lot better than a lot of my friends, because they knew
exactly what I was going through. We spent a lot of time preparing text messages, timelines. We compare notes, we compared photos. I was telling them yeah, that's what we are here. It was on a girls with me how about this so yeah. You did that to us too. We notice here copy and paste in some of the same emails to us and remember adorable couch date at C B to John, took multiple girls to that store, made them all spoon on all the same couches and when the generations of girls blew up, he told each girl that she was the only one, he really loved the more they learned about the depth of his deceptions, more pissed off. They got they wanted to warn people keep other girls from falling into his trap, so they made a fake okcupid profile, with this picture and a slight variation on his username, but the whole profile was filled out with warnings cheater. If you see me on here, don't hate me a couple of guys.
Actually emailed them. Saying hey thanks. I was actually about deep, the sky, but Okcupid took down their fake profile. They said it was a violation of their policies. So do you know what happened to John, like what became of this guy. Now he disappeared into the either. Actually I how John a bunch of times over the past couple of years is not available he's in there. Return any of my calls or emails, but he's a website. With his name and only thing on the website is a quote that says it's to be hated for who you are then to be loved, for who you are not he's like the Like he's like an actual villain, he also speaks unlike dumb supervillain platitudes has yeah he's like ice cream.
Locking up asian girls and his eyes. A while ago, I also looked at Johns Okcupid account you still on their his profile said. He was interested in a relationship that is a crazy story that person is beyond evil yeah. I'm freaking me out a terrified me as an asian woman and if I hadn't known, if I hadn't talk to these girls, it could have in me I mean I was in a relationship when I first met Suzanne, so lake the threat was still kind of theoretical. Last year. I am actually became single for the first time in a long time and I went on dating sites, and I realize that states like Okcupid and much dot com make it super easy for and with yellow fever to target their prey, because all you do is click on the asian bar,
the search engine and then been there. It is asian girl theme park. I get that also like justified levels advocate here, a lot of people, then people one race, like most people have a deep right right and people are always telling me like what's the problem, but if I have a preference for jewish girls Ok, Google, image search, jewish girl and Google search asian girl do it he was girls, there's a lot of pictures. If there's like pictures of Anne Frank, Julia, Louie, Dreyfuss there's like orthodox Jewish remain there's like children there there, like it's, a total diversity of options of people, friend Rapture, when you go to asian women, it's mostly women standing in Fields Heather, I almost all standing in fields. Bikini
I give you never met an asian woman in your life an alien and yet down from Google image search engines like sometimes they are toddlers, but they quickly mature in two innocent sexy woman in fields and that's how they spend arrives that's always been my morning, but I was beginning to feel this morning. My leg now. Do you have weak preferred field that you fields in the lion. Big fans began, allows alike to traipse, then that doesn't help asian women very much plague. Look all these girls are seen as really submissive and just sort of solely. Therefore, your sexual gratification, so like this physical expectation is coupled with this really problematic cultural expectation that Henderson
in your case, you're like I like girls, but I can pray on because they're so easy to pray on like that station. For that yeah precisely I mean I get that not every guy was dated. An asian girl is a jerk right. Not every guy is dating, like a flock of us at I am but take resemble my Okcupid inbox, like like a huge poor, and of my messages are from guy's going on about my race, and my exotic looks in my. Almond eyes and then, on top of that, there Actually, all these strangers messaging me trying to warn me about other guys with yellow fever. Just leg. Suzanne and those other girls dead a few months ago, a woman I didn't know saw and innocuous interaction I had with the guy on Twitter. She wrote mean to tell me to watch out the guy and yellow fever and would try to hit on me and he did
and really soon after I matched with another, do on a updating website. Such me, but he had a warn me about something and will mean a com. So I did. He asked me to modify his voice for the story. High. So yeah hi hello gap, I'm I'm a! I don't know you tell me I'm cars, for person are you? Yes, I am yeah so You're not reason I ask of you gotTA stated, is just the sort of like suffer. Gettin random, good deeds. What's self preservation aspect of it, and you know it better for me the lesser but less girls, all around the city spreading Euro Herbie, thus far.
So, this caller tells me this elaborate story of a guy with calm Adam who, apparently, dated only asian women men. Asian women at the same time, an appeal to them. Abuse them gave him Herpes and, as other guy was calling to warn me, but I didn't know whether it be grateful or terrified It was scary enough if he was telling the truth, but what if he was one of those guys what if he was making up, story, so he could take advantage of my fears about yellow fever and try to be a hero, so he could hit on me too. What am I supposed to believe but sounds pretty awful, Mean online dating in general, is terrible. It sounds like online data. As an asian woman, is like pretty hazardous. How do you deal with? How do you have you decide who to trust? Well, when I asked Phoebe that question she said this thing, that's
me. She said that if your and even woman, it's your response ready to already know that this is going to happen to you and just be educated about this stuff, the yellow fever, Cyril Data Cheaters, manipulators, there are everywhere you go on. One stopping one guys, just like the tip of the iceberg It's it's way too many of them to catch on, to the point that it's just like well, either figured it out We don't need a one. You like you should. In our view, it is our prima. It says weeds. We just have to learn how to spot this guy and let me night sad that say that our union takes a couple practice, do it but figure it out. Now, how do you approach updating dating now to prevent being getting involved with a guy who praise on asian women. The first thing
We asked the list of export refunds the last five all girlfriends are all asian. Then we stir ask more questions I totally used the same method. Phoebe does because, in my experience of confronting guys yellow fever and I want to date guys hoof data. To asian girls before me, oh yes little over weird by so girlfriend his Chinese. I feel like. I have to also say that she is the first asian woman who have dated but relatively early in our relationship. She asked This question where she was like do the women you date normally look like as like wild. I don't know they, don't they they can be short or they can have a dark hair or whatever and like I
idea, and I think that this was what that question was yeah da. So it's like how How do you date? Knowing all of this do still go on and don't you dont date or you don't go on online dating site, well, I dont go on online dating sites and because of the way the world works now, and I really don't want to take it, and I haven't been on a date since I believe that all my dating apps I was at a couple months, it just seems. Dangerous, too full of Skis balls, and it seems like it's too easy, for for people who would use me to find me. So told Phoebe about not going on any dates. She said: that's not a solution. Now a year that everything, those things it's scary, that's why we have to be careful by your letter
control your future, and I have I refused to do it yeah? I know it's hard to be bigger than my fear. It's hard it is at. I think it's okay, I mean you know it's the same thing with any kind of a heartbreak right. You get hurt. You can't stop looking for the person that you can't stop loving someone, because of that one person, If your heart, you it's been a couple months since I deleted on maintaining apps and the fear, subsided since then, on the internet It was so easy for men to look at my picture and see a dough in a field of dandelions choose to meet men in real life. Now where they, have to come out from behind their screens the actual to look into my eyes and hold out their hands, and that when they find out that I have teeth and they are sharp
Stephanie, is a producer for this american life requires hosted by Pga Vote and me Alex Goldman. We were produced we'd by TIM, Howard Treaty of eliminating the abandoned and edited by Alex Buber protectionist since by Sylvie Douglas Matt Labour is the free, like not with your pizza our show was mixed by required. Our language advisory is by Matt Farley and his record company motor media is celebrating World MO turn day today with an eight hour, three hundred song playlist at its website motor media Duncan special thanks, Week to Emma Jacobs and actually incurred bomb or themes, it is by the mysterious break, master cylinder and are add music is by build buildings.
You can find more episodes in Itunes, darkens last reply. All in the dvd extra for this episode are available at big outcome or website his reply, all that limo, which was designed in partnership with athletics,.
Transcript generated on 2020-02-13.