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First experience was I expecting too much?

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Beautywithin86's picture
First experience was I expecting too much?

So before joined I thought I'd done enough research and genuinely thought that a lot of prisoners just want a friend, I spend quiet a while deciding on who to message... the first 2 messages we exchanged where fine I made it very clear I only ever want a friendship which he said I respect that, the 3rd messsge he asked me a lot of questions! I replied honestly 3 weeks had passed and had no reply I messaged saying did he get my last email to which he replies no! I let another week pass and resent the email yesterday, he replied today saying, sorry but you are not going to forfil my desires and theres no point wasting each others time, which leads me to believe he did get that email first time he just didnt reply. Now these things happen but I'm obviously wondering did I say too much ? Everything seemed fine and first 2 emails he sounded as if he really wanted a friendship? Which leads to my next question can you really just have a friendship with a prisoner as from what I've read they seem to want much more

Kirsten's picture

Yes, you can.  And I'm saying this from the bottom of my heart and with a very deep conviction. It may not be always easy and it may take time and the younger you (and they) are, the harder it might get, as there are certain years in life where most ppl naturally search for a mate.

But it IS possible. And even though some of these friendships may not last (I'm just getting a lump in my throat as I'm typing), they can exist and do exist and are for real as long as they last. But,hey, this is just the same as on the outside: Some ppl you get close with for a while and some (few) will last for a lifetime.

I've two ppl on the outside I've been friends with for 20+ years now and two others for 10 +. These are my closest, my longest, my absolute inner circle and which each of them I think it would take a whole lot to ever make things waver. Now, none of them are inmates.

BUT: I didn't start writing to inmates 20 or 10 years ago, just 3. And of these first ones, just 2 were left. And one of them cut off contact with me on Valentine's day for whatever reason. (I think he may have a gf putting ptressure on him, but I don't know). But the other one is around and even the one who cut it off, he connected me with two others he knows and both of them very clearly stated that whatever he's doing, they'll keep on writing.

I can't tell now who of these that are around, will stay around and for how long. I'm not a clairvoyant. But one thing I know: None of these three who still are there, has ever asked or even hinted slightly for more than friendship. Now, two of them are in their 40ties (as I am, too) and one of them is in his 30ties and has a former marriage behind himself (read. there is an ex-wife). It may be that men of that age are less on testosterone than someone with 19 or 20. It may also be that IF the older ones are looking for a mate,they might look for a younger woman and not someone of their own age. Whatever it is: I can confirm that there are inmates who DON'T ask for more (or at least they did not ask me).

I do think that it is harder for younger women to not be seen as potential girlfriends, but even then: Be firm and be clear.

Oh, speaking of being clear: Try to become clear of who you are and what you want. Not only the "I don't want to..."s,but the "I do want to..." s as well. and then remain clear and open about it. And I'm sure there will be someone to appreciate you for being exactly that.

Beautywithin86's picture

Thank you that has given me some hope :)

VioletGrey's picture

I'm obviously wondering did I say too much? 

There's no such thing. You'll only ever be or say "too much" for the wrong people. (Wrong in terms of wrong for you, not universally wrong). 
Try a reframe of the situation: you had a short correspondence, and early on figured out that it's not a good fit. Which isn't to negatively reflect on either of you as individuals but together, it just wasn't right. Some would say it's a lot better to find that out on the 3rd email than the 33rd. But if it takes till the 33rd email to find out you're not a good fit, then I'm sure there's been some good times and learning between letter 1 and letter 33. Nothing is truly ever a loss if you can look at it differently. 

Everything seemed fine and first 2 emails he sounded as if he really wanted a friendship? Which leads to my next question can you really just have a friendship with a prisoner as from what I've read they seem to want much more 

Absolutely you can have a friendship with a prisoner. You can have a friendship and you can also have a healthy romantic relationship too. 
Many of the regular posters here have maintained friendships with prisoners for long periods of time without all the negative stereotypes (yes, they exist because it happens) taking up any of our time or thinking space. I have been writing to prisoners since I was 19, I'm now 33 and I have had several pen pals in that time that have never been disrespectful towards me, never sold my address or shared my private contacts with anyone else, never tried to guilt me into doing something I wasn't comfortable with, have never asked for money, have never disrespected boundaries in a harmful way and have been real pleasures to get to know and talk to. I had one pen pal want more than friendship with me and we got through it, and then he found someone who was interested and our correspondence dropped, but for the years we wrote, it was a good friendship and we didn't end things badly by any means. Another pen pal proposed the idea of a relationship to me and I was much more open to that because of the nature of our friendship and our fit together and even though it's been rocky and definitely not smooth, we're together and enjoying our relationship one day at a time. My newest pen pal and I have only managed to exchange 5 or 6 letters back but they're always long and full of information to expand our friendship. 
I come to the forum with the hopes that I can help people new to writing to inmates have the same kind of experiences I've had. I like to be one of the voices that tells a different story than that of the desperate, money-hungry, conman behind bars story we've all heard. I like to tell people my stories in hope that it'll inspire them to find those type of stories on their own. Some have referred to me as wearing "rose tinted glasses" when it comes to prison pen pals, and I can happily say that I do wear them and proudly, because my experiences have never required different lenses. 
There have been a couple of regulars on here, Mjuran & Lady TaTas to name just two, who had rocky starts to prison pen palling. They came here to the forum to ask similar questions. Others and myself, told our stories and encouraged them to not give up. They took some time and  perservered, and now have a different view as well. (I hope you don't mind me using you as examples!)  

So take some time, decide if it's something that you that you are still interested in, decide if you can maybe handle another one or two friendships maybe not working out and come to a conclusion that sits well with you. If you decide it's not for you, then my little take away for you and anyone else reading, would be that there are some really great people who made some bad mistakes and choices behind bars, but those things aren't what defines them. 



mjuran's picture

I definitely agree with Kirsten, non-sexual and non-romantic friendships are not only possible with inmate pen pals, I think they're actually pretty common, at least based  on what I've found.  Currently I'm enjoying some really nice platonic friendships with four may want more than that, but the others seem quite happy to leave things where they are, as am I.  I do think you'l be more likely to find this type of friendship more easily among the 30s and older crowd.  

I don't understand what happend to your pen pal or why he'd react so badly to  your having answered his questions honestly, the whole thing seems puzzling. It sounds like despite what you told him about seeking friendship only, he assumed this was really all about dating?  And then told you you didn't make the cut?  How incredibly rude.  Be glad you didn't invest any more time in him than you already did, I guess.  There really are inmates just happy to have someone to talk to and share thoughts and ideas with.

mjuran's picture

Sorry Violet, I posted before I saw your post!  That's definitely fine sharing about my rocky start here, that's true, I'd nearly forgotten about it.  :)  I've found great pen pals, interested in genuine friendship, after a not-so-great first experience with the first one I tried.  They are out there.

Beautywithin86's picture

I guess I was a little taken back, because he expressed how much he wanted a friendship in his first letter but then by sounds of it I was the first one to message him so maybe was just happy to receive a message, he said also he hasnt time to message many so from that i guess he started chatting to others. Either way I'm glad he told me as there was me thinking it was jpay not delivering my message !

Thank you for the input, it's all a learning curve but nice to hear friendships can be made

ninahdz's picture

Hey I'm sorry you had to go through all that truth is it happens I have a funny story kind of similar to yours feel free to reach out to me on Instagram it's @kko.brat also my boyfriend's friend is looking for a genuine pen pal if you're interested