And that, friends, is why you should meet in person ASAP after meeting online.
I know many, many people who met online, and I have to say that as the amount of time without meeting in person increases, the likelihood of the relationship working out decreases. People build castles in the air, and as the time goes on, that castle become more and more elaborate. The only problem is that the more elaborate the castle becomes, the less likely it is that reality could ever live up to it. And whilst one of you might be building the castle, the other may be building a beach house with someone else entirely .
I too am highly sceptical of his 'sick mother'. And even if he does have a sick mother, as MrsJWine says, most people lean on their SOs in times of need. They don't not speak to them for 3 months.
Then I would eat a huge tub of ice cream and move on. And never, ever let any future online relationships last for more than a couple of weeks before you meet in person. If the other party isn't willing or able, the chances of THAT relationship working out are slim to none.
This, all of this. It's completely reasonable to meet someone online. It's completely reasonable to develop some feelings for someone you've met online - those feelings are real. They are the building block feelings that are necessary for a successful relationship
, but *not sufficient*.
But when you wait 14 months to meet someone in the flesh... That's a lot of time for things to go weird. Maybe he built his persona up and realized (with the impending meet up) that he could never live up to the idea in person. Maybe he panicked that "Jane" would not live up to hers and he'd be obviously disappointed in her in RL. Maybe he's married and got caught. Maybe his mother really was sick, and it was an epiphany of some sort and he had a midlife crisis, or embraced his inner jerk.
Who knows. The reality is, it doesn't matter anymore. Any way you slice it, he's a jerk. No matter what the reasons are for why this happened, this isn't someone "Jane" wants in her life.
However, I have to strongly, STRONGLY disagree with this part:
Unfortunately, OP, your friend needs to take this as a lesson learned, and move on. If I were her, I would send an email, simply saying:
As I have not heard from you in 3 months, I have taken this as a clear indication that you do not wish to continue our relationship. This email is to let you know that I too consider our relationship to be at an end. Do not contact me again.
Do not send this jerk a darn thing. You can tell yourself all you want 'it's for me, not him', and 'it's for closure', or 'I'm not expecting a response - I don't even want one!!', but it's a lie. The only reason to send a "Final Goodbye" note is because you're hoping he responds. You're hoping on some level he apologizes, and spins a magic tale that makes it all makes sense somehow and makes him 1) still love you and 2) not be a total cad. You're hoping he at least makes some pitiful attempt at an excuse. Hell, you're hoping, with some teeny tiny sliver of you tucked away in a back closet somewhere, you're just hoping he responds at all. That you still matter enough to him that he'll respond to this final "No really, I mean it, you're losing me forever buddy!"
And I'm sorry to be so blunt. But you don't matter enough to him. If you did, he'd have contacted you OVER THREE MONTHS AGO. No.matter.what.the.circumstances.are.
You deserve to spend your time working on finding someone who you WILL matter enough to. Don't send a dang thing. All it will do is keep you emotionally hooked on this for longer, waiting against your rational judgment for a response.
And sending this type of note *does not* communicate "I'm over you". It communicates "I'm still thinking a LOT about you." Complete radio silence communicates "I'm over you".