Dear Michelle Valentine,

I am new to this town and in a very awkward situation.

I am a work-release inmate at a Community Correctional Center and will be released in five months. I was a small contractor in Florida when I was arrested for dealing in stolen property.

The story is too long to go into, but I have been in custody all this time.

Because of a good resume and references I have been fortunate enough to land a good job with a contractor, but although I have traded in my stripes for jeans and denim shirts, I still do not have much opportunity to meet women.

Having been in prison for more than six years, my needs are of an emotional, not physical, nature – as strange as that may seem.

I really need a woman friend and to work on trusting people once more.

Any assistance or direction you could lend would be most appreciated.



Dear Henry,

Congratulations on your new job and your upcoming release!

The best course of action for you at this point is to prepare yourself for your return to the outside world.

You will need to spend time searching for a place to live, shopping for housewares, securing transportation… just to name a few of the major things necessary to get your life back in order.

Take the time to re-acquaint yourself with friends and family you have not seen in a long time.

Most of all, get re-acquainted with yourself.

Only then will you be able to start trusting people again.

Trust is necessary to acquire a healthy and positive friendship with anyone.

Have patience – it will be worth it.

Dear Reader:

Do you know someone who is trying to go back into the dating world after being in prison? Have you dated someone that went to prison? Did the relationship last? Please leave a comment below!

We’ve all had good and bad experiences in our lives. We all have gifts to share… especially the gift of knowledge. My hope is that this week’s advice column empowers you to take (or continue on) the wonderful journeys life has to offer!

Now, I would love to hear from you… Have you – or someone you’ve known – to be in this situation? Or… if not, what advice would YOU give to this letter-writer? Yes, more than one answer is allowed – but I’m truly curious as to what made your heart pound the most.

Leave a comment below and let me know. Remember, do your best to share as much detail as you can because thousands of fabulous individuals come here each week for insight and inspiration.

What you have to say may just be what someone else needs to have a major breakthrough in their life!

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With so much love and appreciation,


Michelle Valentine