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Home » Ask the Therapist » Girl Friend Won’t Stop Mailing to Inmates in a Flirty Manner

Girl Friend Won’t Stop Mailing to Inmates in a Flirty Manner

Asked by on with 1 answer:

My girlfriend of 6 months is very interested in criminal psychology. She started mailing to different life sentence male inmates because she wants to do a study on them. My problem is that all the males she sent have flirtatious undertones and also lead them to believe she is single. Her reason for doing so is that it would be easier for her to extract info and get a reply. A couple of weeks had gone by, and now she wants to have phone conversations with one of the life sentence inmates who committed murder. I’m my view, he doesn’t fit the topic of research she is doing. When I asked what’s the end game, she replied to learn as much as possible and she is not going to stop the contact in the near future, he offered to help her with college and she would LOVE that opportunity. She claimed no book or teacher is going to tell me what the source itself will. She lets me read the mail she sent and received but I’m extremely uncomfortable how things had escalated. She claimed she is not interested in him and this is a jealousy issue I have to deal with. If I want to be with her, I need to trust that I’m the only man she loves. If I love her and trust her the rest doesn’t matter. I love my gf but Im not ok with the flirtatiousness of their interactions and she knows but she is not changing any aspects of her interactions with the inmates. Is it ground for us to break up?

Girl Friend Won’t Stop Mailing to Inmates in a Flirty Manner

Answered by on -

A.

Hmmm — something doesn’t sound right. Typically, conducting research requires some stringent guidelines, even at the exploratory level. At the very least if this is a serious inquiry about criminology someone should be guiding her. If this is just her own thing she seems to be doing just what she pleases without any regard for protocol, your feelings, or any sort of integrity in researching people.

If she isn’t in a program and engaged with an institution to guide her in doing this research, then I’m not sure exactly what she’s doing. If this is just an interest and she is on her own and using a flirting style to get a response, that doesn’t fit any type of research in psychology, nor does a subject offering to help pay for college and her being excited or interested by that.

This sounds more like her own project, with no guidelines, and letting you read the emails, if it were real research,  would be at best an ethical violation. You explaining to her how uncomfortable and her brushing it off saying that no one is going to stop her, pretty much gives you the answer. You’ve told her this isn’t okay and her response lets you know she doesn’t care. Whatever it is she thinks she is doing doesn’t have the relationship or your feelings at the core of it.

If she doesn’t honor what seems like a very honest and real request from you at the 6-month point, why would you continue watching her do this, hurting your, and not caring about anything except her own agenda?

Girl Friend Won’t Stop Mailing to Inmates in a Flirty Manner

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2019). Girl Friend Won’t Stop Mailing to Inmates in a Flirty Manner. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 5, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2019/11/14/girl-friend-wont-stop-mailing-to-inmates-in-a-flirty-manner/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 11 Nov 2019 (Originally: 14 Nov 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 11 Nov 2019
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.