Reality Steve

Reader Emails

“Reader Emails” & Joey Jones Exes Speak Out

Photo Credit: ABC

“When I first found out Joey was going on the show I was blindsided and very confused. At the time I didn’t even realize the extent of all his manipulation but based on how things ended with us and what I knew about him I knew things didn’t add up. Everything snowballed quickly and before I knew it his ex-girlfriend and I found each other and were putting together the pieces of all his lies. There are plenty of screenshots, timestamps, and photos that verified our story to the producers. If this were any other situation I probably would have let it go. However, my story was relevant to the producers because of the extreme extent of his lies and manipulation.

Joey applied for the Bachelorette in January 2018. He had been dating this woman, Ashley, for about 6 months at that point. When they broke up in July, he got a new girlfriend in August, hit up Ashley while he was still with his new girlfriend and cheated on the new girlfriend with Ashley. Eventually, he and the second girlfriend broke up. Since their break up in July, him and Ashley have had a consistent on/off relationship every couple weeks or so. (Fun fact: All 3 of us are Asian)

Back in December of last year we matched on Hinge and quickly hit it off. He asked me out to drinks the following weekend but I was upfront and told him that I was actually not from the area. I was on my way home from visiting a friend and was only on the app for sh**s and giggles while I waiting for my flight. By the time I got home I had already deleted the app, his number and our conversation. The next morning he texted me and I told him I was not expecting us to still continue with the conversation. Seeing as we were both from completely different states it was not even a viable prospect to begin with. But he and I both enjoyed talking to each other so I kept up the conversation with him.

He kept joking and tried to convince me to come back to NYC that following weekend and stay with him in his hotel since he was up there for work. (I found out later from producers that confirmed with their calendars that he was actually in NYC during those dates for Bachelorette stuff) Since I couldn’t and wouldn’t fly back up to NYC that following weekend he then brought up the option of flying me out to DC to visit him. I figured it would be best to kill our friendship before things got any more serious. There were some things I was hesitant about but ultimately I felt like it wasn’t worth starting up anything especially since we were from different states. I kindly turned down his offer which he then rebutted with a long text about how he is not interested in playing games and he was serious about wanting to get to know me more and begged me to give him a chance and let him fly me out to DC for a date.

He seemed kind and genuine which unfortunately is very rare to find. At the time I was truly not looking to date so we had a lot of candid discussions about some serious topics. We had discussed earlier how I hate dating apps and the modern dating culture. I was a bit discouraged after being hurt before and seeing others try to use me to hurt others. Multiple times I had married men try to hit on me. I had been previously cheated and lied to plenty and had heard of many other horror stories of what seemed to be sound and happy relationships/marriages damaged by infidelity. It made really sad to see how rampant and unfortunately normalized these behaviors were and that the modernization of the dating culture has unfortunately made it much easier and conducive to these behaviors. He knew what he knew about me, what I had been through before and used that hurt to gain my trust. He was good at pretending to be this good guy with morals and a sweet sensitive mush who wears his heart on his sleeve. He backed his words with huge romantic gestures and that was when I started letting my guard down and decided to give him a chance and consider his offer. In my short life, I had been through a lot but I also was not going to let my past prevent me from allowing myself to give my future a chance.

Originally I wanted to wait to talk more. But with the holidays coming up, him going out of the country for the rest of December to visit his father, and half of January for a wedding in Australia, the following weekend was the only option that really worked with our schedules. It was a very seize the moment and strike before it sizzled situation. I took a leap of faith and gave him that chance he begged for.

I addressed a few things prior to agreeing to visit him. Initially I noticed he was following a lot of Asian women on his Instagram. I brought it up to him and he said that a lot of them were friends from when he studied, traveled, and worked abroad in Hong Kong and San Francisco. He told me he did not exclusively date Asians but his past exes have all been ethnic, such as Armenian, Asian, etc because he finds them more interesting than the typical white girl. I thought fair enough, I know a lot of guys aren’t into basic white girls. I can’t fault him for that.

It’s hard to explain but those who have experienced it know it is undeniably creepy. When someone exclusively dates a specific ethnic group due to their physical features, that would be a fetish. I have a type but I actually have never exclusively dated that type since personality matters more than just physical appearances. When I date someone I would like to think they are dating me more than just my appearance because of my ethnicity. Another rant for another time but google “Asian fetish mail order bride,” if you are not a minority and have never been subjected to fetishization then don’t @ me. It’s an old world rooted objectification of Asian women and there is a stereotype that Asian women are passive and subservient and will put up with a lot of sh**. I for one am not one of those women and regardless of race, I hope more women will realize their worth and remember they are worth so much more than the toxic and half-assed relationship they allow to drag on.

After he booked my flight I saw he posted a headshot on his Instagram. It was a lot different than the rest of his photos so I asked him about it. At first he was coy and avoided answering until I pressed the question. He finally told me that he applied for the Bachelorette back in January (2018) because his mom loved the show and he did it as a joke. He was embarrassed and none of his friends knew and he didn’t want them to know. Fair enough. I’ve heard plenty of people apply for stuff like this as a joke but wouldn’t actually seriously consider doing it. I’m not familiar with how the Bachelor/ette world works but considering it was 11 months ago it seemed to have been a long enough time for casting that it didn’t even matter anyway. Him being the genuine guy he pretended to be who didn’t play games, it didn’t seem like he was actually the type of person to go on national television for a dating competition. Had I genuinely thought he was that type of guy I would have immediately backed out and not gone through with the weekend.

It sounds cheesy as f**k but that weekend in DC felt like an utter fairytale. I know relationships take a lot of work and I know the honeymoon doesn’t last forever. But it genuinely felt like I maybe met my match. I had never been with someone where we were in sync and clicked so naturally and immediately. I was under the impression that we had the same values, opinions, and outlook on life. He was incredibly easy to communicate with and we were honest and open with each other, or so I thought. He displayed this amazing character that blew me away and part of me made me think he was too good to be true. Guess I should have listened to my intuition. But for some reason it felt like maybe my luck in love was changing and I finally found someone genuinely worth getting to know and who I felt like I wanted in my life. Obviously I was not expecting a proposal in 8 short weeks. I wasn’t picturing or hoping for a wedding or a ring anytime soon even though as a joke he brought up what kind of engagement ring I would want when we were walking around the rare gemstone exhibit in the Natural History Museum. It sounds crazy but it was like those times when you talk to your grandparents and asked how they knew their partner was the one, and they tell you they just knew in their hearts from the very first time. That was exactly how I felt that weekend and my God I couldn’t have been any more wrong.

Ashley told me that she reached out to Joey the day I flew in. While I was in DC spending every waking moment with him, he knew she called and was thinking about her in the back of his mind. I get it, I was already there and there was no backing out. We could have still had a great time but he didn’t have to lead me on so excessively as he did. He didn’t need to do the things he did, and say the things he said to me that weekend. He didn’t need to pretend we were a couple celebrating our anniversary, he didn’t need to take me to fancy Michelin star restaurants for dinner. He didn’t need to blow as much money as he and go above and beyond overtipping the waitstaff to try to impress me (which is odd because Ashley said he’s not a generous tipper so for some reason beyond me he was truly trying to impress me at that moment). I had especially made it a point that I didn’t want to be made a fool and meet his friends if he is the kind of guy that always brings many different girls around. But he assured me otherwise and pranced me around town, had me meet two groups of his friends that weekend and gushed to them about how smitten he was with me. He didn’t need to tell me he basically already considered me his girlfriend because of how perfect and comfortable I was with his friends. He didn’t need to cry in bed and tell me how amazing of a person I was and how he could have never expected this weekend or me to be so wonderful and that he didn’t deserve me.

After he dropped me off the airport he immediately reached out to his ex Ashley and they reconnected. They talked and he told her how much he missed her and invited her to Christmas Eve dinner at his mom’s the next day. She ended up staying the night at his place after dinner. So to put it bluntly. He f***ed me the morning I left, hit up his ex right after he dropped me off at the airport, got back with her that same day and then f***ed her literally the next day in the same bed I was in all weekend. The funny part was he was still texting me and sending me selfies up until Christmas Day.

He was the one that initiated all the affection and he set the pace for everything. He blew up my phone constantly and wanted to facetime every chance he got. He was so adamant about taking pictures and documenting our weekend together which I thought was cute at the time. When I got home I posted on Instagram about our weekend. That was when I realized something was off. It sounds stupid knowing something was wrong based on the fact that he didn’t like an Instagram photo but I specifically knew how much he wanted to take pictures together and him mentioning how his ex was never appreciative of him when they did things. I didn’t post on Instagram for that specific reason but because of that and everything else he had said and done for me that weekend I felt it was an appropriate gesture. Even though it was the holidays I knew something was off since he had drastically slowed down with texting. I knew it was unusual for him so I asked if something was wrong. He first told me an excuse about needing to take a step back which I knew was bullshit because he initiated everything and was 500% more into me than I was into him. When he realized that it wasn’t a good enough excuse he fessed up to another lie. That his ex gf (Ashley) reached out to him out of the blue and he realized he was confused and felt like he needed to work on himself and not date. I got upset at him for getting me involved with him when he was clearly not over his ex.

It’s one thing to go on a casual date and dip your toes in the pond to get yourself back out there after a breakup. I told him a weekend together was going to be A LOT. It was something he wanted from the very first day and he put in a lot of time and effort to pursue me excessively. Flying a girl out, spending the weekend together, dropping a lot of money on fancy dinners, overtipping the wait staff to try to impress her, having her meet your friends is not casual. It was the f***ing deep end of an Olympic diving pool.

He gaslighted me for being upset. He told me it was unreasonable for me to be upset at him and that I needed to understand that this was all out of the blue (lies) for him and it was something that he could not control. My point was that it was unfair for him to pursue me and put me in this position when he clearly still had something with his ex. He said he needed to work on himself and not date which was fair enough but I knew he wasn’t worth sticking around for. I wished him the best but I wasn’t going to wait around for him to be “ready” for me. At the time I thought he was still a good guy. It just wasn’t meant to be and he wasn’t the one for me. We created a great foundation for what could have become an amazing relationship but made it clear I wasn’t the type of girl to be strung along. I wanted to be with someone who has no doubt in their mind about me and wouldn’t risk losing me, especially after working so hard and putting so much effort into the chance he begged me for. Up until that point, based on everything he said and did for me, I thought that was how he felt.

While he was lying and gaslighting me (on Christmas of all days) he was back sleeping with his ex. She said they were together from Christmas Eve up until end of February. Mid-January before he went to Australia for his best friend’s wedding he hit me up on Instagram. I asked him what he wanted and he said nothing, he just wanted to say hi and see how I was doing. I asked why was he keeping tabs on me? If all he wanted was nothing then it was really unnecessary because we aren’t in the same area and we don’t have mutual friends. We are never going to see each other again. He again made it seem like I was being unreasonable. Maybe it was harsh but I knew my worth and wasn’t going to let him string me around since clearly he wasn’t coming back around to apologize or tell me he realizes he made a mistake.

Days after I left DC he was texting her all these things about how he can’t live without her and she was the one and he was serious about wanting to marry her one day. He was still texting me that his feelings for me were genuine. He was still with Ashley when he reached out to me again on Instagram in January, probably in attempts to reopen doors with me for when he decided he was tired of her and want to jump back with me. When he came back from Australia, instead of flying back home he flew to LA to do the final testings for the show. He knew he was basically guaranteed on the show if he passed his psych, STD and background checks. He came back from LA and spent Valentine’s day with her. They ended up breaking up a couple of weeks after Valentine’s Day. Even though it was on again off again toxic relationship she was just as blindsided as I was when she found out he was going on the show.

Before she knew I existed Ashley had already contacted the show to tell them what she knew of Joey. Before I knew about her I shared my story of what I knew of Joey in a private facebook group. It was taken without my knowledge and re-posted on reddit where it was taken out of context. I was mocked for my story because we weren’t “official” and it was “just a first date”, “he just wasn’t that into you”, and “you’re doing this for attention.” But I knew something was off as things felt weird and it all didn’t add up. When Ashley and I got in touch we realized just how disgusting and manipulative he really was. Everything that didn’t make sense started to add up as we pieced together our experiences and how our timelines collided. She knew in a heartbeat that my story was real because the manipulation and gaslighting was everything she had experienced before.

Another girl in the group had the personal contact of a producer and reached out to me to see if I wanted it. At that point (before finding out the ex) I was just trying to figure out the timeline of things. Things didn’t add up and it was my morbid way of trying to figure out why he did what he did. I was told to reach out to Reality Steve as he would know the insides of how this world works. At first I didn’t want to tell him who it was. I didn’t want to talk to the producers because I was told they would probably withhold information unless I agreed to go on the show which was far from what I wanted. But once I found out about Ashley, it validated a lot of things that I knew didn’t add up. The cheating, him lying to both of us, f***ing us back to back while still talking to both of us, the emotional manipulation. It all validated the feelings of how I knew something was very off about him and at that point it was important for production to have this information.

Ashley was on a warpath to make sure the producers knew about him. Since she already contacted the show I figured it wouldn’t hurt to give her a little push so I gave her the direct number to a producer. She contacted him immediately and after she told her story and told him about me he wanted to talk to me to confirm my story. There were so many details to the story he knew it was not something they could ignore. He said, “where there’s smoke there’s a fire, and there’s a lot of smoke here”. He asked us to send him everything we had just to confirm the dates and confirm our story. He didn’t doubt our story but he needed to see the receipts himself before decided if they needed to boot him. At this point filming already started. The producer was mad. He knows people think the show is a joke but at the end of the day there are real weddings and babies that come out of this franchise and they have to protect the integrity of the show and the lead. If he truly isn’t a good guy he needed to be off the show. He was also pissed because he was the one that interviewed him in LA and fell for his bullsh**. He wasted their time and their resources and took up a spot that could have gone to someone else.

They were exploring options on what to do and it was very touch and go for a bit. Clearly, he was good at manipulating and putting on a show to get his way. When they realized he could very well fake everything and play the game for attention they wanted to address the issue and cut him out before he got too far. As producers, they wanted to milk this for all it was worth. He wanted to make an example out of Joey and make it clear that men like him are not welcomed on the show and that this behavior is not acceptable to begin with. He’d seen a lot of sh** over the years as a producer and even he was blown away and disgusted by our story. He wanted us to fly out to Rhode Island to confront Joey. Honestly, my only intention at first was to just share a sh***y story about a guy I dated that “just so happened” to go on the bachelorette shortly after I dated him. After I found out about the ex and found out how extreme and f***ed up all this was it was important for producers to know what kind of guy he was because he also lied and manipulated them to get on to the show.

The problem was, I didn’t want to go on the show at all. Honestly, if it were any other situation I would have been so down to kick his ass and rip him a new one. I am all for standing up for myself but in this particular situation it just wasn’t worth it to put myself on national tv. The story is so long and there are so many nuances to it that I feel needed to be included to give context as to how bad this all was. It wasn’t something I could explain in 5 minutes. We explored other ideas but it all came down to the point that if I was not there in person to stand up to him and tell my story it wouldn’t be as effective. He could easily manipulate and twist the story if someone else confronted him because they wouldn’t have all the facts to back up the story.

So because I didn’t agree to go on the show, Ashley didn’t want to go either. Because there was no ~dramatic~ confrontational scene to play up there was no storyline to create. So they sent him home at the 3nd rose ceremony and just chalked it up to it not working out.

When I first found out he was going on the show, as a knee jerk reaction, I messaged him on Instagram and said “congrats, hope it all works out for you”. At the time I didn’t even know HALF of what really happened. It was kind of my petty way of letting him know that I knew he was shady. When he got off the show he immediately blocked me and went out of his way to also block the ex gf and her brother. The producer texted me and told me Joey contacted one of the producers trying to find out who talked to us. F***boy knew he got caught and knew that we knew everything. Instead of owning up to his sh** admit he f***ed up he went around trying to figure out how we blew his spot.

I don’t even know why I bothered wasting my time but after he got off the show I emailed him to reach out to him. Even after everything I was still hoping there was an ounce of the man he showed me that weekend and that he really wasn’t all that bad and it was all some horrible misunderstanding. I always try to give people the benefit of the doubt and try to see the good in them. Even with all the facts I still can’t help but try. I truly feel sorry for him because he must be a really miserable person inside to treat people the way he does. I don’t feel bad for talking to the producers because it needed to be done but I felt bad for him because maybe in some f***ed up bizarre way it all massively spiraled out of control in a twisted fucked up way. Not sure why I was making excuses for him but I thought maybe if I could show that I’m not trying to attack him he could at least open up and be honest with me for once. He never responded. Not that I really actually expected any response but at least I did my due diligence and offered him a chance, even when I shouldn’t have, to own up to his mistakes.

As far as romantic feelings go I was over him back in January. I’m not really sure what his end game was. After lying and manipulating two women so recently before going on the show how did he really expect to go on national tv and pretend like he was this true and genuine guy and that neither of us would find out?

Joey knows what he did. He knows we know everything yet he still pretends he did nothing wrong. I can see how someone who lies so much starts believing their lies as the truth and deludes themselves into believing they are a good guy. But he knows exactly what he did and why it was wrong. When a normal person behaves a certain way and is made aware that their actions were egregiously wrong and know got caught they usually show remorse and attempt to make the right steps to remedy the situation. Maybe it’s because he grew up in a life of privilege and he doesn’t understand or realize his actions have consequences but he made very conscious effort and deliberate choices that no genuine and honest person would do.

It speaks volumes that a 34 yr old man has to play manipulative mind games to get with someone 10 years younger than him. He knew what he knew about me, my past experiences and the shit I’ve been through and he still felt it was necessary to pursue me. He begged me to give him a chance even after I turned him down and told him I wasn’t looking to date. I’ve dealt with my fair share of f***boys and can usually spot them miles away. They’ve all told me plenty of sweet little lies but the difference with Joey was that he did more than just talk his bulls***. He backed up his bulls*** words with plenty of actions that made me believe he was a truly genuine person.

He played the good guy card and acted like he was a man of values and morals. He made me believe he was someone “not interested in playing around/juggling multiple women.” He put a lot of time and effort to court me with these huge romantic gestures but ultimately it was the tiny little attentive details that made me believe him. I realize in hindsight it was naive of me to put my trust in him but a big part of dating is putting your trust out there and allowing yourself to be vulnerable. I didn’t want to close myself off and miss an opportunity with someone that could be worth it because of what I had gone through in the past. But he preyed exactly on that. The crazy thing about manipulators like him is that they are so good at selling their lies and the image of who they want people to believe they are. It’s only when their covers are blown you truly realize the full extent of how f***ed up it all was.

Had he not gone on the show, neither Ashley nor I would have ever known how much of a disgusting and pathetic manipulative fuckboy he actually is. Had he actually been honest and not gone to the extreme lengths to lie about everything and manipulate me with his actions there wouldn’t have even been anything for us to inform the producers in the first place.

Knowing what they know about Joey is probably a big reason as to why he is getting an invisible edit. If they had been able to get us on the show for a dramatic confrontation scene they would have given Joey a much bigger edit to lay the groundwork for what we are seeing with Luke. The term “love-bombing” has been brought to my attention and that is probably how best to describe Joey. Unlike Luke, there were no cameras around us. We were not in a competitive setting like this dating show where I was the prize to be won. He was not competing with other men over me to get national air time and increase his exposure for social media attention. He did not have producers egging him on to do something in exchange for more time with me. He did everything on his own free will like some sick twisted game of his design.

I am not speaking on this to be petty or vindictive. I didn’t decide to come forward with my story for attention other than to initially inform those who need to know. If I were doing this for attention I would have happily gone on the show to confront him. However, when someone behaves so egregiously and has a lack of respect for others I think it’s important to stand up for yourself and call them out when they’re being a sh***y human being and for treating people with absolute zero lack of respect. From my experience and from seeing people react to Luke it absolutely saddens me that many other people relate to similar experiences. We don’t learn the warning signs of manipulation and red flags until we’ve experienced it for ourselves first hand. This show has presented a unique topic that many of us, unfortunately, have experienced and many who don’t understand and were fortunate to have never experienced such behavior. Many of us want to believe the best in people and be trusting to those who display the right characteristics. It’s only in hindsight and from an outside perspective do the red flags suddenly become painfully obvious and impossible to ignore.

In the grand scheme of things, the show and my life included, Joey is simply insignificant. I have nothing to gain by hashing out every f***ed up lie and manipulative thing he’s done to me. It doesn’t change what happened and what he’s done. Those who matter in this situation know the truth. There are two sides to every story but with God as my witness, he knows I have always been honest with myself and with others. Unfortunately, I can’t quite say that the other party in this situation has done the same.

Surprisingly I am at peace and ok with how things turned out. I dodged a massive bullet and I am happy I got out when I did. Discovering the truth was horrible and worse than what I originally thought but it also gave me clarity when I realized how truly f***ed up everything was and nothing I did would have changed anything that happened. I have been unapologetically honest and 100% myself with him and throughout this entire situation and I stand by the choices I made. My only mistake was having faith and trusting the wrong person. I truly do feel sorry for Joey and as I’ve said to him before, I do wish him the best. It’s apparent how pathetic and empty his life is and I hope he realizes he is only going to continue feeling more alone than ever with this destructive and toxic behavior of his. He may wrap his words affections with a pretty bow but he’s never going to find what he’s looking for if this is how he continues to treat others.”

We had many lengthy conversations over facetime before I agreed to let him fly me out but this is the one I had in text before we started facetiming:

A photo he sent me before the trip. And a few photos he sent me after I left with time stamps corroborating with the fact that we were still talking after I had left and he was leading me on after he had gotten back with Ashley:

A convo with my friend in January when he tried reconnecting with me again (while he was with Ashley):

“Reader Emails” begins on Page 3…



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