John has always been a good guy, but somehow always seems to get burned by women. He is an excellent detective and will do almost anything to get to the truth. He and his girlfriend, Rae Cummings, almost broke up when she withheld information she had learned from Jen in the Colin McIver murder, but they later reconciled. John decided to accept a job offer in San Francisco and left Llanview in September 2001. Rae later visited him there and the two decided to end their long-distance relationship.
While living off-camera for 2 and a half years in San Francisco, John had a relationship with a woman (the reason for his breakup with Rae). They parted ways, and when he heard that Rae had been murdered. He was devastated. Old friend Bo called him up and asked him to reunite with Rae at a safe house. They realized they'd never stopped loving each other, and after Rae helped catch the man who'd tried to kill her, she and John departed for a long, worldwide cruise.