Life in prison can be extremely tough, to say the least. Dealing with solitude and the lack of communication with the outside world can take a toll on even the strongest minds. On top of that, if you have to juggle the weight of a relationship, and if you don’t know how to deal with that, then it adds an extra layer of stress.
However, on the brighter side, a healthy relationship is going to be the source of encouragement and hope for you in the stressful and pessimistic life of prison. And to help you figure out how to do the same, we are going to list out seven effective tips.
Remember, every relationship is subjective and these rules may or may not apply to everyone since they are not universal by nature but from our experience, they can be applied to most relationships and can be tweaked a bit to personalize your particular relationship. So, without further ado, let us get started.
Effective Tips for Maintaining Healthy Relationship with an Inmate
Now, before we begin, there is one major thing to consider. Are you having a relationship with a fellow inmate while being an inmate yourself or you are in the outside world and your partner is in prison or vice-versa? We are primarily going to focus on you being in the outside free world while your partner being an inmate.
Assess the Feasibility of Your Relationship
The first step in this process is answering some hard truths and having a practical approach to inmate dating. Many people jump into a relationship without considering its viability and feasibility. At the start, things might look promising, and maybe you will feel this will just another challenge that you can face. You can click here to learn more.
But, truth be told, it’s not. It is more complex and demanding than most of the other types of relationships. Our intention is not to discourage you here but to encourage you to be pragmatic. Ask yourself whether you are up for a long-distance relationship since even if you are in the same city where the prison is, you won’t get to meet your partner whenever you want.
Are you okay with being associated with the taboo that comes with dating an inmate? Will the lack of physical contact be something you can deal with? These are some questions that better be answered at the very start.
A relationship with an inmate is another kind of long-distance relationship.
It can be difficult to maintain a relationship with an inmate due to the restrictions placed on them, but it is possible if both parties are willing to work on it.
In order to have a successful relationship, both parties need to be committed to communicating and working on the relationship.
You may need to be patient when waiting for letters or phone calls, but it is important to remember that your partner is worth the wait. You can check this blog for more information on maintaining a healthy LDR.
Don’t Send Money to Him/Her Continuously
You need to make sure that your relationship is not based on monetary lines. This may sound harsh but since prisoners have a tough life and are deprived of almost all luxuries, they may rely on their outside partner for money to buy things inside the prison.
If he or she really loves you, he or she won’t simply keep on extracting money from you. This should serve as a red flag to you. Of course, occasional expenditure is fine but please ensure that this doesn’t become a repeated affair.
Try and Visit Him/Her on Holidays
Apart from the regular weekly or monthly visits that you make, try and make visits on holidays and occasions such as New Year’s, Christmas, and Easter, among others.
These are the days that make prisoners feel even lonelier since it reminds them of all the beautiful memories of the particular holiday when they were free. So, being in your company might give them some solace and it would be a great way to bond with them.
We understand that you would want to spend those holidays with your friends and family too. We aren’t asking you to devote your entire day to prison. Just an hour or two will suffice. And if you can’t make it on the holiday itself, try and meet them on the day before or after.
Give Surprise Visits
This is more in tangent with the previous tip but has the added element of thrill and surprise to it. Usually, inmates know when you would visit them as part of their regular visits. But when you give them a surprise visit, you can see the elation and ecstatic happiness in them since it would mean a lot to them.
This will further strengthen your relationship with him or her. Moreover, a surprise visit will also help you see your partner in a different light if you think you want to see them get caught off the guard as they won’t be prepared for a visit from you.
Introduce Him/Her to Your Best Friend
Just as you do in your regular life, you can introduce your partner to your best friend. Of course, you don’t have to do it right away at the beginning. But after a couple of months have passed and you feel sure of your relationship, take your best friend with you on the next visit.
Also, feel free to talk to your best friend about your relationship from the very start since getting a valuable opinion from a trusted source is always helpful. As your best friend knows you well, him or her meeting with your partner will help give you an added perspective on your relationship when you hear from them as to how he or she felt meeting your partner.
Talk about Your Life Goals
You can truly understand a person by getting a sneak peek into their life aspirations and goals. Yeah, it’s true that your partner may be in prison and the future might not seem that bright, but one day he or she will get released. What does he or she want to do then?
What inspires him or her? What does he or she aspire to be? Not that both you and your partner have to have the same goals, but having the same wavelength always helps in ensuring a healthy relationship.
Make the Most of the Time Given to Both of You
Time is precious for someone who is dating an inmate since both of you get to see each other so seldom. So, instead of focusing on negative things (be practical though) and getting into fights, try to cherish each other.
Getting to know each other’s on a deep and intellectual level would help your relationship to flourish instead of trying to find flaws and nagging and bickering. Of course, be wary of red flags in the form of problematic behavior but if you are truly into the relationship, try to make each other’s lives better instead of making it worse.
Maintaining a relationship with an inmate is easier said than done. Following the aforementioned tips would at least make your relationship easier to handle. So, be careful, get a clear picture of the criminal records of your inmate partner, invest time and energy in them, be genuine, look out for yourself while also being kind to him or her, and if everything works out, blossom a fruitful relationship.