Prison romance can be hard. They’re even more difficult when you consider all the restrictions of a prison inmate. All of the rules regarding visits, phone calls, touching, and kissing can make it hard to keep the flame burning. Once that’s lost, most people lose interest in one another and the relationship gets stale and they eventually break up. However, it doesn’t have to be like that, you can have a meaningful relationship with someone in prison. Perhaps even better than your friends who are together every day. A successful prison romance can help inmates keep a level head, deter them from getting into trouble, and encourage them throughout the process. Here are my five ways to create a meaningful prison romance.
Don’t Focus on Sex
I know it seems foolish to say that because we all have needs that need to be fulfilled, but it makes it easier to bear the hardship of not regularly seeing each other. Talking about sex will only increase your desires and make it hard on you emotionally because you can’t fulfill it. A lot of people, even in normal relationships, jump to sex quickly and they ruin their relationship. That’s because being physical with someone before you truly know them can skew your emotions and cause you to overlook things you normally wouldn’t let slide. Deterring conversations about sex will enhance your relationship intellectually, mentally, and perhaps even spiritually. Once you’ve taken the time to wholly know each other, try briefly talking dirty to build sexual tension. Don’t let it become lengthy, prisons have been known to cut off conversations and throw away letters and pictures that are too sexually explicit.
Instead, Focus on Intimacy
One of the biggest issues with prison romance is the fear that a person will be unfaithful. Prison is one way to tell if someone truly really cares for you. However, you can build compassion and faithfulness through intimacy. Intimacy creates chemistry in relationships. It deals with knowing someone inside and out – this is how marriages last for a lifetime! Intimacy allows people to work through the difficult moments, experiences, and situations in their relationship. Prison romance can significantly benefit from this. In order to achieve this, begin to have conversations about how you met, what made you fall for each other, and all the emotions you both were experiencing. This can be on the phone, in a letter, or during visitation. Plan future dates together and talk about where you both want to go, eat, and experience when you or your loved one is free from prison. Talk about details – childhood dreams, childhood experiences, family relationships, education, and much more. It’s worth it to put in the work and find a common ground where you both will feel loved.
This will be the backbone of your prison romance. It’s extremely important that conversations aren’t stale and repetitive. You should be anticipating your next call or letter and slightly frustrated that it ended so quickly. Communication should be honest and heartfelt because it also builds intimacy. Of course, you miss each other and I’m sure you love each other too, but don’t restrict your precious time to dwelling on those emotions. Talk about what your favorite things and why they’re your favorite. Find out what you both have in common. Talk about your aspirations, goals, ideas, desires for travel and adventure, and essentially anything that made you into who you are today.
Pencil Me In
That’s right – make an appointment or schedule visits and phone conversations. This makes it easier to communicate when you both know when to expect a call. It can be upsetting when you call someone you love and they are unable to answer the phone. Remembering that people on the outside of prison can have a lot going on and unexpected tasks that need to be completed is just being respectful of their time. Acknowledging that inmates have restricted schedules, jobs, and counts that they must adhere to is also being respectful of their time. Penciling in phone conversations will make a prison romance go smoother. It’s almost like planning and getting ready for a date. You can also do this with physical visitations. Every weekend may not be available for someone that isn’t incarcerated and as an inmate, you can’t make people feel obligated to see you weekly. They have lives to live and things to prepare for – especially for when you get home. However, it’s no excuse to be missing visits month after month. There should be a mutual commitment to regularly seeing and speaking with each other.
Do Things Together
According to an article on long-distance relationships, the author suggested doing things together. That may seem odd since a prison romance deals with one person being locked up. However, they gave suggestions that could work for inmates and their significant other. Choose a movie from the library and each of you watches it on your own time. You could even watch the same YouTube video, Facebook clip or email a video to each other. When you write a letter or talk on the phone, you’ll have much more to chat about and it will be on a deeper level than the normal “how was your day”. The same goes for reading the same book, watching the same TV show, and listening to the same music. If you are able to, try playing an online video game together. Some games have chat boxes that you can use while playing the game. Try creating healthy competition. Online shopping is a great way to spend time together and pick out clothing for each other. Try emailing pictures to each from different websites to show off your fashion style. Researching hobbies is another way to virtually spend time together on things that you both enjoy.
Prison romance can be difficult and unsuccessful if done incorrectly. It takes planning and dedication to make it work, just like any other relationship. Each romance comes with a different set of circumstances and you have to take it step by step to learn how to navigate it to a success. It’s possible to achieve true love even if you or someone you love is in prison.