Dating a police officer can be exciting, scary, traumatic, thrilling, and so much more.
It’s very different from dating someone with a ‘regular’ job, that’s for sure.
But as with most things in life, it comes with both highs and lows.
In this article, I’m going to look at what it’s like dating a police officer; problems, and potential downsides:
Dating a Police Officer: 10 Problems & Downsides
1. They Work Long Hours and Are Called out On Short Notice
This might be the number one pet peeve I hear from partners of police officers.
Obviously, it can be really tough on you when your partner works long hours, or is called out on short notice.
This can often leave you feeling like a single parent – or just single -, or feeling neglected.
If you’re looking for a close relationship where you’re always hanging out with your partner, dating a police officer is not the best choice.
2. There Is a Serious Risk of Them Getting Hurt
One of the hardest things about dating a police officer is the constant worry about them getting hurt in the line of duty.
It’s a very real and valid concern and one that can take a serious toll on your relationship.
If you’re the type of person who constantly worries about your partner’s safety even when they do a safe job, dating a police officer is going to be very difficult.
3. Trauma and PTSD Are Very Likely
It’s estimated that as high as 90% of law enforcement officers suffer some kind of trauma due to what they see and experience in the line of work.
Further to that statistic, around 15% of police officers experience Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms at some point in or after their career is over.
This can be hard on them as well as you as their partner.
If you’re dating a police officer and they seem to be ‘acting out’ in anger or have become withdrawn, it’s important to get them help from a professional as soon as possible.
4. Your Safety Might Be at Risk
I’m not trying to scare you and obviously, this is very unlikely, but it doesn’t make partners of police officers any less scared.
This is especially true if you’re dating a police officer who works in undercover operations or in high-risk areas.
If you’re worried about your safety, it’s important to talk to your partner about it and come up with a plan that’ll help you feel at ease.
5. They Can Be Controlling at Home
Police officers have a reputation for being controlling in their relationships, and there is a lot of debate over whether it’s to do with their job or just an individual’s personality.
Due to the nature of their work, it doesn’t come as a huge surprise if a police officer wants everything in order at home and hands out orders.
I’m sure it’s because they have your best interests at heart though, right?
But it can still be frustrating, especially if you’re not used to it, you don’t want your partner to be in law enforcement mode all the time.
6. They Are Often Overly Protective
This can be particularly true if you’re dating a male police officer and is something that comes naturally to police officers.
They want to protect you from everything and everyone because they’re trained to do so and they love you, which can be sweet at first but quickly become overbearing.
It can also be a little bit suffocating at times, especially if you’re not used to it.
7. They Will Interrogate Your Friends
This one checks a number of boxes related to being a police officer and a caring partner.
A police officer is used to checking people are clean, and they’ll be even more vigilant about who you’re hanging around with.
This can be frustrating as you don’t want your partner digging into your friends and judging you for hanging out with them.
But they will only do it because they care about you.
8. You’ll Have Weapons in The House
If you’re not comfortable with guns or other weapons, this can be a big problem.
It’s not uncommon for police officers to have their service weapon in the house, as well as owning other issued items.
For some people, this can be a deal breaker. But at the same time, some police officers have to take the weapons issued to them home.
The best you can do is ask them never to show it to you, make sure that it’s locked away, and tell them you don’t want to know where the key is.
9. They Won’t Be Able to Talk About Much of Their Work
The best thing for anyone after a tough day is to talk about it with their partners, this really helps lift the burden and air out some problems.
Police officers, however, have extremely stressful jobs and aren’t able to talk about much of what they see or do.
This can be frustrating for partners as you want to help your partner but feel like you can’t because you don’t know what’s going on.
It’s also one of the major factors that contribute to police officers struggling with mental health and the pressures of their job.
10. You’ll Feel Lonely a Lot
This is another big one that doesn’t seem like such a big deal at first, but becomes a huge problem for the partners of police officers over the long term.
Due to the nature of their work, police officers are out of the home for long periods of time.
There are no work-from-home days, very few holidays, they get called in on public holidays, and overtime is common.
This can be really tough on partners being stuck at home and feeling lonely.
In addition to being let down and not seeing your partner as often as you’d like, police officers are often tired when they are home after a physically demanding shift.
At the end of the day, when dating a police officer, you’re going to have to accept that they do a demanding and important job, and you’re often going to come second.
Image credits – Photo by Colin Lloyd on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.