Tips For Dating Inmates

Published July 23rd, 2019

Very few people would ever understand one’s decision to date someone in prison. Yet you can’t blame them. After all, dating an inmate is leagues away from being conventional. In some circles, it’s still considered a taboo.

True, not all prisoners are guilty of the crimes they are charged with. Some are just unfortunate victims of circumstances beyond their control. As such, they deserve love and romance too. A love that’s free from judgment and condemnation.

While some are genuinely looking for love, there are others who are in it for more selfish reasons. So before you go about finding your Romeo or Juliet behind bars, here are some tips for dating inmates.

Make Up Your Mind

Dating someone who cannot be with you physically is no easy feat. Being in a relationship with someone from the inside means you’ll have to give up regular dating activities. You can’t expect flowers on Valentine’s day or a candlelight dinner on your birthday. No long walks in the park, sunset swimming by the beach or even just going to the movies together.

Have you asked yourself if you can endure all this? Will this ever be enough? Can you love and remain committed to someone even without physical intimacy? You need to make sure within yourself that it’s what you really want. Or else you’ll just be wasting both of your time.

Set The Record Straight

This is one of the crucial tips for dating inmates. Just like regular dating, you both need to lay your cards on the table early on. Talk about what you really want out of the relationship. Tell them what you expect and ask them about theirs. Do this before it gets any further. You don’t want to get invested in the relationship only to find out your expectations don’t even meet halfway. If after all these the letters or phone calls stop, then maybe it’s just not meant to be.

Look For Telltale Signs

Though not all, most prisoners are locked up for a reason. They have violated a law. But their willingness to change for the better is a crucial factor in knowing what their intentions really are. It tells you whether you should continue dating them or not.

It’s not enough that you accept them for what they are, past and all. If they won’t change, there’s a very real possibility of them committing the same crime they were locked up for. It’d be a never-ending cycle of arrests and incarceration. Definitely not a good indicator of a happy relationship.

One thing to remember though is most inmates will tell you they are willing to change. But not all of them really mean it. So how do you tell if they really mean to change their ways?

Being placed in segregation not just once but a lot of times is a telltale sign that there’s less hope for reformation. As you know, inmates who broke a rule or have caused trouble within the prison are sent to segregation. Breaking more rules inside certainly isn’t an act of someone who wants to change.

What they’re doing inside the prison will also give you a clue. Are they working? furthering their education? Are they showing generally positive behavior?

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Test Your Compatibility

In normal dating scenarios, testing a partner’s compatibility often involves physical relations. This is almost impossible when you’re dating an inmate. Any form of intimacy is limited to heavily monitored phone calls, letters, and a five-second hug during visits.

You can imagine this gives little to no room for testing compatibility in the bedroom department. But depending on your guts and creativity with words, you can actually slip it in your letters and calls. Ask them about what they like and if they have any fetish. That should enable you to gauge if a spark exists.

Research Family Backgrounds

This one of the most complicated tips for dating inmates. No, you don’t have to do a Sherlock. But you might need a little bit of detective skills. Ask them about their family. If they still got parents or any siblings and how they feel about them. Knowing their relationship with their families will also give you an insight into who they really are.

Watch Out For Loopholes

Just like in a regular dating scene, you need to be on the lookout for any loopholes in the stories they’re sharing. Discrepancies are signs that they’re not entirely truthful to you. Did they say one thing in their letters and then another during visits? Even the little details matter. In fact, if they’re lying, it’s the little details that are often the source of loopholes.

Never Send Money

The first thing that authorities would warn you about when dating an inmate is to never ever send money. At least not until you truly and thoroughly know them.

Since inmates don’t earn enough to support their basic needs, some of them would go into relationships with people from the outside. Playing on their sympathies, they would then ask them for money. If you think this wouldn’t happen to you, then you’re not the first person to. A lot of people have fallen prey to this. So tread very carefully once they start to ask you for commissary money.

Talk About Your Dreams And Goals

Shared dreams and goals are some of the factors that keep couples together. Talk to them about your dreams and aspirations. In return, encourage them to talk about theirs.

Do you both want children? What are they hoping to do once they get out?

Their goals also reveal a lot about them. Likewise, it gives you an idea of how serious they are with you.

Be Prepared For Expensive Calls

This one of the most important tips for dating inmates. Another reason why it’s hard to date an inmate is the extremely expensive jail calls. According to the FCC, inmates pay up to $17 for a 15-minute phone call. So if you want to talk frequently to your inmate, you will have to be prepared for a big dent to your bank account. Writing them a letter or sending a postcard is pricey too.

Fortunately, GlobalTel offers cheap jail calls. Our special jail numbers can help you save big bucks. All you have to do is sign-up to get a unique phone number that they can call from jail. Calls to this number are charged at local rates so you save up to 80% on your prison calls. For only $45.99, you get unlimited minutes for 90 days. You can even send jail mail postcards for only $0.52.


GlobalTel’s inmate calling service lowers jail call rates by 90% for jail calls to US facilities. Sign up for our service to eliminate the long distance jail call fees for $45.99 for 90 days. Make US/domestic and international jail calls at the local rate and stay connected to your incarcerated loved ones for less. Learn more about how to sign up for calls from inmates on our website.

Judy Ponio an author for GlobalTel


Judy Ponio is a firm believer in the power of sharing knowledge. Having extensive experience in the prison industry, she wants to share what she knows with the world. Judy also loves to write about political and legal topics.