Q: Hi Meredith,
I recently joined a fitness website for support and encouragement with my exercise regime and diet. The site is similar to Facebook; you set up a profile with pictures, you state your fitness goals, and you add people to your friend list.
I'm a single gal and recently ended my engagement with a man who was deceitful. One of the fitness people on the site sent me a message commenting on how young I looked and we started chatting back and forth. It seemed harmless enough -- he was really sweet and fun to chat with. We then exchanged personal emails and cell numbers and began communicating via text and emails.
He's in the military and lives far away, but he mentioned that he was going to be in the area this summer and really wanted to meet me. I was excited, and after numerous phone calls, emails, and texts, I felt fairly safe. Well, come to find out, he's married.
My gut was telling me there was something wrong. For instance, he never called me when he was home (he insisted that he didn't have cell phone service and didn't believe in a land line). I did a little investigative work via the internet and discovered his wife's name, their address, etc.
I immediately sent him a text telling him that I knew he was married, that I felt sorry for his wife, and I made sure to mention her by name to put the fear of God in him. I told him not to contact me again.
Here's the dilemma: Do I contact his wife and tell her? Also, I noticed that he is still on the fitness site probably trolling for innocent women. Do I contact the fitness site customer service and report him? Or do I leave well enough alone and move on?
– Do I out the cheater?, Boston
A: Contact customer service and then move on, DIOTC. You don't know anything about this guy's marriage. You never saw him in person.
Sometimes I recommend outing cheaters to spouses, but in this case there are just too many questions. Protect yourself by walking away from this mess.
I'm so sorry that you had to follow up your broken engagement with this romantic experience. Not everyone is so deceitful. Please remember that this guy was always going to be a placeholder. He lives too far away.
If you're ready to date guys in your zip code, tell your friends. See if you can get to know someone who has been vetted by the people you trust.
Readers? Should she reach out to the wife? Should she contact the site administrator? Is this just part of life when you're on social networking websites? Do you think he really intended to see her?
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.