For some people, dating a criminal or someone with a criminal record can be an immediate turn off. On the other side of the spectrum, maybe even a turn on for those of a different persuasion out there. However, there are some serious points to consider when dating a criminal. Whether you fall on the side of the person deserving a second chance or not can depend on several reasons, some of which are detailed below.
What was the crime?
First and foremost, what’s the potential love interest been convicted of? There’s a vast difference between a murderer and someone with a record for petty shoplifting. Both are obviously criminal offences, but a world of difference apart in terms of their severity and whether, or how, it has affected others. Some can also disagree on where to draw the line when it comes to harming others. White collar crime, for instance, doesn’t include violent aspects, but can harm people in other, yet nonetheless, life changing ways. The issue at hand also considers an individual’s moral stance on a variety of aspects. Some people have a zero percent tolerance when it comes to drugs. However, a small-time charge of possession for marijuana would likely be overlooked by most people. Where you stand will affect whether dating a criminal is right for you.
What age did they commit their crime?
Depending on the crime, the age at which it was committed can make a huge difference as to whether it was a forgivable mistake. For example, the intention behind it and whether the person knew the full extent of their actions. The most common examples of this are usually a young man committing a crime as a result of bad influences, upbringing, or through teen angst. Determining the age at which they committed the crime and whether they were a repeat offender should be a good indication of their intent.
The person’s reasons for committing the crime
Was it a crime where they felt they didn’t have any other choice? Whether a crime has good reasons behind it (such as stealing to provide for your family) should be considered. This includes their degree of choice in the crime and the pros associated, which can lead to some crimes being overlooked. Some crimes can have good intentions. It’s just a matter of determining whether the ends justify the means.
How would your family and friends feel about it?
Informing friends and family is an inevitable obstacle down the road. This can be a huge deal breaker in whether a relationship can progress to the next stage or not. Family and friends tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to matters such as these. Family have your best interests at heart. Many people are not favourable of giving criminals a chance. One blogger states that the stigma of dating an ex-convict made her lose many friends. She initially ended the budding relationship with an ex-con. However, after some sound advice, just by actually discussing the situation with the man in question, she could form her own reasoned opinion on him and move forward with the relationship.
Actually speaking to the person
As mentioned, speaking to them thoroughly about their conviction will give you a more substantial view of who they are. Through chatting to them, you can gauge things such as their level of remorse, or regret for their crime. You can make a first-hand decision on whether dating a criminal would be the right thing for you.
Overall, there is a large variety of different reasons why people would or would not date a criminal. Much of a person’s initial stance is decided through their upbringing and exposure to criminal activities and whether they know a criminal or not. This, in turn, leads to their all-important decision of whether they would date a criminal. At the end of the day, it’s up to you.