Dating a cop is not for the faint of heart. If you’re looking for a partner who has a consistent 9-to-5 work schedule with nights and weekends off, a police officer may not be your best bet. You’ll continually be disappointed if that’s your dream. However, if you’re looking for a partner who will be fiercely protective, always on time, and observant, almost to a fault, then consider a cop as your ideal partner. Once you’re loved by a cop, you’ll wonder how you lived without it!
Like any relationship, there are pros and cons to dating a cop. It’s a dangerous, complex, and sometimes thankless job, so a cop’s partner must be strong, independent, and understanding. Here’s what you should know about dating a cop, including the benefits, drawbacks, and differences so you can be prepared for what to expect in your relationship.
Ultimately, you have to look within yourself to understand if you’re strong enough to be a cop’s partner. The answer can be no, and there’s nothing wrong with it. Know your limits before you start dating a cop.
What’s Different About Dating a Cop?
Relationships can be challenging, but dating a cop brings its own unique circumstances. When they take off their uniform, they don’t turn off their training. Instead, you will always be with a stickler for rules, an assessor of danger, and a calm authority figure.
You’ll have to quickly get comfortable with guns, hearing things you may not want to hear, and understanding that they may have to leave plans at the drop of a hat if duty calls. Dating a cop introduces stress in a relationship, but you will always feel loved and cared for if you’re ready to adapt.
While the national average of marriages that end in divorce is about 50 percent, some reports suggest it’s higher in couples where one or both partners are in law enforcement. It can be up to 70 percent in some cases, so it’s essential to go into your relationship with your eyes wide open if you’re dating a cop.
Benefits of Dating a Cop
You have to be a strong-willed person to date a cop, learning how to work with their behaviors and adjust to their ever-changing schedules. However, it’s not all bad. There are many benefits of dating a cop. You will never feel more cared for and protected in a relationship than when you date someone who has pledged his life to protect and serve others.
Cops are natural leaders, and they project a sense of authority and confidence that is contagious. A strong authority figure can be a sexy thing in the right circumstances. When dating a cop, they will always be the person others look to for answers. People inherently trust police officers and feel at ease in their presence, especially during turmoil.
Cops are highly independent, and while they work well in pairs and teams, they tend to view themselves as an island. Remember, you are equals in your relationship, but you still want to respect their boundaries.
A superior sense of authority can lead to disagreements, especially if your partner believes they are always right. Instead of gearing up for an argument, stop and consider their perspective. If they are drawing on their lived experiences, listen to them. You don’t have to follow everything they say, but your partner will feel heard.
It takes a special person to put their life on the line every day to protect the well-being of others. For the most part, it’s a thankless job, so many cops are doing it because they genuinely care for others. They care about preserving law and order, making society safe for all to enjoy
Cops have big hearts, and that care doesn’t go away when they come home. Instead, they carry it with them in all their relationships. If you’re dating a cop, be prepared for someone to care and love you unconditionally.
Don’t mistake being caring for being sensitive. Cops may care about others, but they also quickly learn to turn off their emotions. Talk to your partner if you feel like they are emotionally distant. They care about you. They may not know how to express it.
Cops aren’t afraid of commitment. They know what they want, and they aren’t scared to go for it. Dating a cop means that you always know where you stand. So, if you’re looking for a solid relationship with no games, consider dating a cop.
Because they aren’t afraid to go for what they want, police officers may go too fast. Share with your partner if you’re feeling overwhelmed or pressured to go faster than you want to go. There is no harm in sharing that you’d like to slow things down. Just because your partner knows what they want doesn’t mean you can’t have time to decide for yourself.
Cops notice everything. It’s in their training, so your partner will be highly observant. If you changed your hair, they’ll see. Perhaps you bought a new dress for an occasion. They clocked it the moment you walked in. They may not always say it out loud, but they’re logging these details in their minds to use later.
If you want your partner to compliment you, share your expectations. While cops are observant, they can be clueless when it comes to the opposite sex. It may not occur to them to tell you that you look nice, so be clear with them if compliments are important to you.
Being observant also means they will always be vigilant. Dating a cop means that they’ll be scanning a room or streets for threats. They may want to sit facing the door to watch their surroundings. Accept this as a natural reaction of being a cop. It’s not something they can turn on and off, so if it means they’re being observant at work, accept it in your home life.
Police officers have sworn an oath to protect and serve the people, which goes double for their loved ones. You will always feel safe with your partner. They will lay down their lives to protect you and those they care for.
Make sure to establish boundaries. It’s very easy for your partner to be overprotective and overbearing, especially if left unchecked. They’ve seen a lot of bad things in their lives, so they will take measures to make you feel safe and protected. Talk to your partner if you feel like they are suffocating you. They may not realize they are making you feel that way.
Drawbacks of Dating a Cop
Now that you know some of the benefits of dating a cop let’s discuss some of the drawbacks. These aren’t deal-breakers, but they are important traits to consider before jumping into dating a cop.
Need Time to Decompress
After a hard day, your partner may not feel like talking. Don’t take it personally. They may need time to process the trauma they’ve seen throughout the day. Don’t take short answers as a sign that they’re not engaged. Instead, give your partner the space to come down from the day before launching into deep discussions.
Especially after a long shift, you miss your partner. You want to hear all about their day and share everything that happened to you in the day. Don’t overwhelm them the minute they walk in the door. They may snap at you if you do, which will only start an argument. By giving them the space they need to decompress, you’ll set yourself up for a better day.
Seasoned police officers have seen it all – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Because of that, it can leave them feeling jaded. They’ve seen the best and the worst of people, and as a result, they may struggle to separate their work life from their home life.
Like they can’t turn off their training, cops cannot stop questioning everyone’s intentions. Overly suspicious behaviors can be draining, so as difficult as it may be, try to shrug off your partner’s negativity as a side effect of their job. Don’t take it personally. Instead, assume positive intent.
They are about you so much that they want to ensure you’re safe. They question others’ motives to protect you from being hurt. Talk to your partner if they are crossing a line. If you only assume the worst in people, you will only see the worst.
Many cops may have trouble expressing their emotions. They have been trained to distance themselves from their feelings to get the job done. There is no room in police work for sentimentality. Letting your emotions cloud your better judgment can get you killed.
That doesn’t mean your partner doesn’t know how to communicate. It’s the opposite. Cops are great communicators. They keep you informed of their whereabouts and what’s happening around them. When emotions come into play, they will start having problems, which includes a lack of intimacy.
Sex is rarely a problem when dating a cop; however, it can be difficult to connect if they have shut their feelings off emotionally. It will be like pulling teeth, but you can get a cop to talk about their emotions with practice, patience, and time. They’ll never be writing you love poems, but they can improve their intimate relationships.
Cops work demanding schedules, so you’ll need to be incredibly flexible while dating a cop. Mandatory overtime and night and weekend shifts will be a normal part of your life. Planning date nights will inevitably get ruined by a call to come in and handle a problem. Something will happen at the end of your partner’s shift, and they’ll need to stay over to fix it.
Whatever your partner’s hours are, know they are just a suggestion. Dating a cop means that you have to share your partner with many different people. Your days are rarely your own, but the tradeoff is knowing that your partner is out there saving lives and doing good in the world.
Being a cop is dangerous. Every day they don their uniform, they are risking their lives. It only takes one split second, one wrong decision, and their lives will be forever changed. They are always running into a dangerous situation, along with a firefighter, instead of away from it.
Not everyone has the mental fortitude to be a police officer or date one. It’s easy to forget the dangers, especially when dating a cop for a long time. You begin to see it as a job, but being a cop is a profession and an identity. Trouble can follow you home if you’re not careful, so it can be dangerous for your families as well. The bad guy will do anything not to get caught in the justice system.
Police officers have stressful jobs. Despite being called to keep the peace, cops are rarely welcomed with open arms. Job stress, lack of respect, increased red tape, and more can lead to mental health issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In fact, about 35 percent of police officers are thought to suffer from PTSD.
There is a stigma with mental health in law enforcement as a whole. Many think they should be able to deal with everything they’ve seen and shrug it off. Take everything with a stiff upper lip and move on. However, that’s not always the case. There is no weakness in seeking help, and my headquarters will offer service providers who work with cops. They will better understand your needs if you or your partner need to seek professional help.
How to Build a Strong Relationship While Dating a Cop
If you’re committed to dating a cop, you can do things to start strengthening your relationship from day one. Both of you have to be strong to make this work in the long run.
Create a Safe Space for Them
Cops face pressure from society, their bosses, their peers, and the world around them. Home should be a safe space where you can listen to them vent without fear or judgment. It can be difficult to hear all the horrors they face but keep an open mind.
Dating a cop means that you will hear things you never wanted to, and that’s just part of life. It can also mean that your partner may shut down or may not be at liberty to talk to you about your job. That’s okay too. Whatever your partner needs, create a safe space for them to be once they’re off duty.
Your partner may be risking their lives when they put on their uniform, but you also take risks. You’re never sure that they’ll come home at the end of the day, so you pray for their safety and well-being. You have to be strong for your partner and not let them know how worried you may be.
Put on a brave face, and fake it until you make you. You knew the risks when you signed on to dating a cop, so you can’t break down when they need you to be strong. Be a bastion of strength and light for your partner, and they will appreciate you more than you know.
Keep it Legal
This is common sense, but you have to keep it legal if you’re dating a cop. Avoid criminal activity. Now, that doesn’t mean that you can’t break some rules – speed limits can be suggestions sometimes after all – but don’t do illegal drugs, drink and drive, or commit a crime. Just because you’re dating a cop doesn’t mean that you won’t get in trouble.
Instead, you’ll embarrass your partner and tarnish his name at the police department. If criminal activity is important to you, consider dating someone else. Fundamentally, your values will not align, leading to heartbreak in the end. There’s nothing romantic about being star-crossed lovers.
The Final Say on Dating a Cop
Dating a cop can be fun, exhilarating, and passionate – after all, he’s got a great pair of handcuffs ready for sexy time! However, it’s not always fun and games. You’re dating a hero who puts his life on the line every day, often for little thanks and even less pay. Being a cop is a calling for so many that they choose to do it, knowing all the risks.
You will get a fiercely loyal and protective partner who may struggle with intimacy and have to change plans on a dime. There are a lot of tradeoffs when you’re dating a cop, but if you have the mental fortitude, you’ll never look back.
You may notice a difference in behaviors if you are dating female officers or male cops. Adjust accordingly to create healthy, stable relationships that will stand the test of time.