A farmer, his lies and his second life - Dating News


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Tuesday, 27 August 2019

A farmer, his lies and his second life

"You're beautiful."
"I could listen to you all night as you talk."
"I love the way your brain works."
The flattery flowed thick and fast from Stephanie Woods first love interest for more than a decade and she admits that she "fell for it".
Here she sat opposite a man who looked so perfect. He was smart and warm. As a former architect who had recovered from a broken marriage, he wanted to start afresh.
They talked by e-mail for a few days before meeting.
"I never really loved online dating but my last relationship ended in 2004 and I was alone for a long time," the author of the book "Fake" told news.com.au.
"In 2014, I thought I'd try again, so I went online and put on a profile. Very quickly, I received a message from this man, Joe *, who expressed an interest in me. It attracted me that he could write "
The first date was not exactly a firework, but Joe was persistent.

"When he asked me again, I thought," Why not? "I was reasonably careful, but we had a weekend that was absolutely divine.
"I was happy and I thought he was too."
The first red flag was so small that most people would not have noticed it.
"We talked about my career and he said something like," You have to be well connected. "
"It seemed like a commentary that an opportunist might make, and when he saw that I did not like it, he made that amazing backflip.
He said, 'No, no, no, no. I would not like it if it were you. I am a very private person. "
The moment would become something of a defining feature of their relationship. Since Stephanie wanted to respect Joe's privacy, she rarely photographed him and never shared pictures of him on social media.
But Joe's private nature meant he never shared parts of his life with her. She knew he was a businessman and had grown up in a suburb of Sydney Harbor.
She knew that he was divorced with two children and had a dog.
Many other things he told her were lies.
The lies escalated when Joe canceled at the last minute for planning to fly to a Stephanie girlfriend for a Townsville wedding.
"He just did not come," Stephanie said. "He just did not show up, then he disappeared for three weeks and would not talk to me or see me."
They met briefly, but the doubts were now overwhelming.
When she insisted on seeing his house, he struck. He canceled last-minute plans for two days in a row. First he said he had to be with his daughter and then he said his dog was ill.
The lie was interrupted by a picture he took of drugs given to him by the vet.
"That was a regular pattern," Stephanie said. "He once told me that his car was stuck and he could not see me, so I found out later that the image he sent me from a deadlocked Land Rover was one he found online."
Joe had cut out the people in the photo.
When Stephanie ended the relationship, the Fairfax journalist restarted her investigative skills and began to dig. What she discovered shocked her.
"The first thing I did was to reach someone he told me he knows I'm loosely connected to.
"I said," Do you know this guy? "She said," Oh my god, he's dated a friend of mine for several years.
"He was with this other woman all the time, it was always one of my biggest fears, he told me the most extraordinary stories, I thought there had to be more in it, I phoned a former business associate and he has that enormous amount of his Double track revealed. "
According to Stephanie, Joe almost ruined his former business partner's career and was not the successful, wealthy businessman he claims to be.
"He was indeed bankrupt," she says.
And the house? There was a very big reason why Joe never showed Stephanie.
"His ex-wife was still alive in it. He made me think she was crazy, but I finally met her and she turned out to be the loveliest, smartest, prudent person you could ever meet. "
Stephanie still does not know where Joe lived for the majority of the couple's relationship.
In her book she shows how easy it was to be fooled.
"If I look back now, it's all just talk," she tells news.com.au. "I let myself be told by him, but not show. The whole relationship was based on what he said to me. "
The book deals with cognitive biases that Stephanie describes as playing an important role in information at the expense of other information.
"He told me his late grandfather was a well-known businessman. I had heard of this man. There was no doubt about this relationship. I found other evidence of his involvement in the suburb of the harbor. I saw his driver's license one day. I've put a lot of emphasis on this information and ignored other signs. "

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