A concerned site visitor writes:
I have a question about e-mail etiquette I am hoping you can help me with. To make a long story short, an old boyfriend found me on the Internet. He is married but not happily (so he says), I am widowed. He arranged for me to meet him at a resort, paying for everything including my airfare. Now for 2 weeks I have not heard from him and am wondering what to do. Emails are going unanswered. In one of his emails, he had his neighbors email address and now I wonder if it would be appropriate to email them and ask about him. They do not know of our involvement and I plan to keep it that way. It’s the not knowing that is making me feel sad as if a member of my family has died. Please advise if it’s proper netiquette to contact these neighbors?
This really isn’t about e-mail etiquette, it’s more about having discretion and using common sense. Seems this guy took advantage of your vulnerability — which makes him a predator. As an adult that’s the risk you took getting involved with him knowing his “situation”.
No, it is not appropriate to e-mail the neighbors. They did not give you their e-mail address — the creep you had a fling with did. They were mostly likely complicit in his “activities” so how would contacting them be a benefit? This is your situation to resolve in another way — if at all. The fact he is using another person’s address is a big red flag!
Folks don’t respond for a reason — they don’t care or are trying to make a point. It may be hard to do but you have to take your wishful thinking and emotions out of this situation to see it for what it really is. That’s harder by e-mail for sure but one thing is clear, if your e-mails are not being responded to, take it as a hint and move on to someone who is more likely to be honest with you.
Chalk this one up to experience and a lesson learned the hard way!