Ask Laskas: Nervous About a Too-Nice Neighbor

Jeanne Marie Laskas writes our magazine's monthly advice column; now it's your turn to help solve readers' problems.

My neighbor, a young man around my age, stops by when my husband is at work. He is very friendly—almost too friendly. I don’t want to be rude, but it’s getting creepy. What do I do?
—Too Nice

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  • Your Comments

    • Juliette Dauterive

      The “visitor”s motives could range from hoping to get lucky, to planning a crime, but this couple needs to verbalize house rules and make sure unwanted visits truly stop. Deferring visits until or when the husband gets home could make the visitor more aware of when husband is absent, but if the working hours friendship doesn’t stop, I’d get serious about watching the guy.

    • Reenie

      Too Nice, this made the hair rise on the back of my neck. I have experienced a few incidents because I didn’t want to hurt feelings. Do not open the door. Talk through the door. Have a ready reply. Always be busy with an important phone call, etc. He may be deveolping fantasies & you could have a stalker to deal with.
      Tell your husband. Respect your instincts. “Gentlemen” do not stop by when husbands are absent.

    • Lamborghini1960

      Thank him for dropping by but explain you are busy invite him back when your husband is home. If the behavior continues ask your husband to play jealous and explain the boundaries to him

    • utahcanadian

      Definitely don’t let him in.  Tell him you are very busy at the moment, and that you’ll have time after your husband gets home from work.  If he continues to come over while he’s not home, and he’s not interested in coming back later,  it indicates that his motives in seeing you are not just neighborly.  Tell him you’re not interested in his visits, and not to come back.  Of course, your husband needs to be aware that this is going on.

    • Anonymous

      Call your husband immediately and have him return home from work to confront the “friendly” neighbor.

    • TheJoker

      Does he seem like he’s trying to be more your friend or both you and your husband’s friend? If he seems fixated on you, then he’s probably trying to gauge whether or not you would cheat on your husband while he’s away at work. He’s friendly now because he’s attempting to get into your good graces waiting for a time when you’re emotionally vulnerable and in need of a “friend” that could take advantage of your marital woes. Of course, your woes would be the product of having a male friend that visits when your husband is away, thus to your husband you are just as guilty as Mr Friendly. Although his rage will most likely be directed at Mr Friendly, your husband will secretly harbor resentment and mistrust towards you for having allowed the situation to escalate into possible infidelity. Be wise, tell Mr Friendly that his uber friendly demeanor and behavior is suspicious and that your are not falling for his routine. A real predator will remain calm and act nonchalant, like you’re crazy for suggesting that they’re up to no good. They might even act offended, again, they’re just playing on your emotions. Players up to no good like to keep it friendly, but will back off if they think that pressure will drive you away, remember, they want to keep you in the wings! A genuinely nice person will back off and communicate openly and keep their distance until such time that you signal that it’s okay to come around again because trust has been reestablished. Gauge the situation in your own mind based on common sense. Do a background check, see if any red flags come up. Ask intrusive and prodding questions that would make most people uncomfortable, if he seems okay with that line of questioning and has quick and easy answers, get the hell out of there immediately!

    • Steve

      As a man 60 years old that has “rode the river”, I can tell you that man is after something. I am a gentleman who is brutally honest.  I will tell this lady just like I told my two daughters and my step-daughter… are too naive and nice yourself. You should tell your husband about how you feel, even if this man is a friend of his. Let him handle it. He is your husband and protector. If he doesn’t solve the problem, then you need to take a stand and not be so nice and tell this man that if e comes back you will get a trespass notice, and after that a trespass warrant if he comes back.  That will take care of it. Sorry to say, most young women ae much too naive and gullible. Men and women can’t be “friends”.And most men are after one thing whether he’s 16 or 60 years old.  If a man says anything different , he’s lying. 
       Steve ” an honest man”

    • Nj

      Trust your gut!   Protect your marriage!  Talk to your husband about it… sit him down eye to eye and tell him you love him and want to protect your relationship, and this neighbor makes you uncomfortable… ask him to talk to your neighbor and request that he only stop by when your husband is home, if at all. 

    • Ljserletic

      Honesty is the best policy. Just nicely but firmly tell him you feel uncomfortable and would rather he stop by when your husband is home.

    • guest

      Trust your instinct – that he comes around only when you are alone is alarming behavior.  Do not let him into your house/apt ever again.  Speak to him only through a locked door – be nice, but say things like “sorry, I’m just getting ready to go out and can’t talk right now.”  Or, “sorry, I’m so busy right now but you can come back when (your husband)’s here and we can all visit.”  Make sure all entrances into your house are secure, including windows.  Tell someone what’s happening right away.  If he doesn’t take the hint (sometimes it takes a while for males to get it), you may need to have your husband stay at home with you one day and let him see this.  It may be nothing but you need to protect yourself.  If he persists, go to the police and report it.           A friend