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Advice: Old Flame & Email Etiquette?

Email Etiquette and Online Affair

In the past, I posted about break-up emails and if they were appropriate. Since then, I have been asked about specific personal relationship situations — and email etiquette.

Here’s one that was pretty interesting that I thought I would share with you…

I have a question about email 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. 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 neighbor’s 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. Not knowing makes me feel sad, as if a member of my family has died. Please advise if it’s proper netiquette to contact these neighbors?
Net [email protected] Site Visitor

Relationship On and Offline

Email etiquette is about using technology properly with knowledge, understanding, and courtesy. But, of course, with that comes to some knowing how to do that better than others.

This situation isn’t about email etiquette; it’s more about having discretion and using common sense. Unfortunately, it seems that this guy took advantage of this person’s vulnerability. That makes him a predator — something that is more common online than most know.

As an adult, we are responsible for our decisions. This means we need to correct them when we realize we were wrong. Unfortunately, it appears a decision was made at the time that was not thought through.

No, it is not appropriate to email the neighbors. They did not give you their email address — the creep you had a fling with did. No one has permission to hand out anyone else’s email address. And if they do for nefarious reasons, that should have the red flag to run in the opposite direction.

The neighbor was most likely complicit in his “activities,” so how would contacting them be a benefit to you? It wouldn’t.

Walk. Away.

Be There, Done That

I’ve been in situations where those from my past have found me online. One, in particular, was “happily” married and just wondering how I was doing. I thought that was odd.

I am very happily married and never once wondered how he was doing. But, if I were to run into his profile online, I wouldn’t have felt the need to contact him. So, I didn’t reply to his inquiry.

Think Twice, Thrice

Folks do not respond for a reason. Either they don’t care or are trying to make a point.

While you made a mistake in judgment, you can still have your integrity intact by taking your wishful thinking and emotions out of this situation to see it for what it is.

Delete all previous emails and any contact information from your address book. Block any related email address, his and the neighbors, so you never receive them.

While that may be the hard thing to do, one thing is clear, if your emails are not being responded to, take it as a hint and move on to someone more likely, to be honest with you.

Chalk this one up to experience, and a lesson learned the hard way.

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