Law enforcement is one of the most difficult jobs around – it requires both physical grit and mental strength not only on the part of the professional but also his/her loved ones. And this is why being in a relationship with cops involves something more than fun and romance. So if you are dating a cop or hope to, here are a few things to keep in mind so that your relationship is mutually fulfilling and supportive.
First the good bit
Law enforcement officials are trusted with perhaps one of the most important jobs of the civilized world – keeping the neighborhood and society safe. Thus it is a matter of great pride to be dating a cop. You are not only sure to feel warm and safe with a person who you know is trained to take on anti-socials but as his/her partner you will even get to enjoy the respect from people who appreciate the important though difficult job a cop has. And then there is the glamour of the uniform – when dressed to the hilt in a ceremonial uniform, every cop looks his/her smartest best. And when you think of the fantasies which have to do with a badge-flashing and cuff-wielding moves, dating a cop can get even more exciting.
And yet the very nature of the job which makes law enforcement an object of public respect also makes it difficult and unpredictable. Cops have to be ready to take on a suspect anytime and anyplace. Even though they work in shifts, during an emergency or a special situation, be prepared to have your copper boy/girlfriend called in to the precinct. Also on occasions like Christmas, Thanksgiving and Fourth of July which couples usually spend together, it may not be possible for your partner to be with you. He/she may be asked to be on duty or work in rotation so that other cops too can get to spend a special occasion with their families. Also when you date a cop, you need to get used to the fact that he/she may have to work a lot of overtime. He/she may also get called into work last minute or miss special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries. All this is part of the job which has no water-tight boundaries on job responsibilities and schedules.
Be strong mentally
One of your premium survival skills when dating a cop would be your mental strength. It is no secret that cops have to deal with some of the most dangerous people on a daily basis. This together with the fact that guns, knives and bombs are some of the most common things they handle everyday is enough to make any other professional go white with fear. And yet if you seriously want to date a cop, you have to develop a tough skin. You may hear stories that are going to be difficult to listen to, but accept the fact danger is a part of your partner’s job. It is natural for you to be worried when you date a cop, but dwelling on that alone is not going to change anything that is going to happen on duty. Instead your partner needs to know that you support him/her and needs to be able to do his job correctly – which is not possible if you keep obsessing about his/her safety and call him/her up twenty times a day.
Since you cannot depend upon your partner to give you company on all evenings, you need to be responsible for your own socializing. Keep a network of friends and co-workers with whom you can go shopping on a weekend or hang out at a café. Better still develop a few interests which will help you to fill time when your partner is away on duty. In fact it is even more important for you to become self-dependent if you are planning to live with your cop partner. He/she will rarely have enough time to help out with grocery-shopping or running errands. So if you are the kind who relies on somebody else to run a home, be careful of settling down with a policeman or policewoman.
Learn to give your partner space
On those occasions when your partner is off-duty, you may be tempted to bond with him/her through conversation. While this is normal, be prepared for times when your partner may be worried about a case and is likely to tune out even while you are talking. Also a cop may not be able to discuss all aspects of his/her work with you since a good deal of them may have to with security issues. So avoid asking a lot of questions which he/she may be uncomfortable answering. At the same time though let your partner know that you are there for them should they need your support for some reason. It could be very difficult to be able to talk about certain topics for your partner , so on the few occasions when they do open up be there to listen to everything they have to say.
Be open to socializing with others
Cops often form strong bonds with co-workers or work partners because their lives depend upon effective teamwork. And an important way to nurture this bonding is to socialize with other cop families. So if your partner wants to take you along to meet his/her friends and their families, don’t refuse outright. You may secretly want to spend every free moment with your beloved only, but try to understand that socializing with other cop families during Sunday picnics or Saturday night barbecues is a significant way of bonding with other cops, upon whom your partner may have to depend for his/her safety. If you are seriously interested in settling down with your partner, you may even have to do volunteer work for police family welfare associations and other such non-profit causes.
Finally when dating a cop, be careful not to take advantage of your partner’s profession. Just because your boyfriend/girlfriend is a cop, that does not mean that you can wriggle out of parking tickets or other situations. You should neither ask nor expect, your significant other to do anything that could get him/her into trouble, no matter how ‘small’ a favor it is.