Was it a gift or a curse?
Either way it was a source of great amusement and wonder to the two veteran cops - both well-settled and happily married - who met most mornings for coffee with their young colleague "Dan" (who is a completely fictional creation of the authors' imagination and in no way represents any real person, living or dead. Yeah, that's the ticket...). Women liked Dan. A lot. And it took little more than a glance, a faux shy half-smile, or sometimes even the appearance of indifference, to draw them to the table for a closer look. Introductions would be made, numbers exchanged, and another budding romance would begin for Dan.
Here is the typical progression of said romance, as experienced by Dan:
- Stage 1 - I really like her! She is really sweet and a lot of fun, and seems open-minded, you know? This one is different than the others, I think.
- Stage 2 - It is going okay, I guess. She seems a little... intense. I think she feels a little more strongly about me than I do about her at this stage.
- Stage 3 - You know, you guys might have been right. I think she IS a little crazy.
- Stage 4 - Stop answering obsessive cell phone calls and text messages. Get new number if necessary. Get new house if necessary. Nervously scan the horizon in case she shows up unexpectedly. Formulate elaborate escape plans for when she does.
Usually, the time lapse from stage 1 to stage 4 was about ten days, and occasionally overlapped more than one woman. Dan led a colorful life in the company of many attractive - albeit perhaps a bit emotionally unstable - women. Although his stories - and related photos - were interesting, the veterans soon realized Dan wanted what they had... a stable, long-term relationship with someone to love.
Dan's gift was being able to easily attract and meet women. His curse was they were the WRONG women.
Dating can be hard for anyone. Finding someone to date who is the right person, in the place, and at the right time, is harder still. Throw in the unique variables of a law enforcement career and is it any wonder our relationships so often founder? So, in honor of the Dans of our LE world, whether you are looking for long-lasting love or just some temporary short-term like, we have put together a few dating tips for cops.
Create a Perfect Partner Profile
First, decide what your goals are for your potential relationship. Are you looking for casual, no-strings dating? Nothing wrong with that, just make sure it is understood by whomever you get involved with. Are you feeling ready to settle down, plant some roots, start a family? Good for you, but remain patient. For some reason, a lot of cops, when describing their first (or second, even) marriage, use some variation of We married too young or We moved way too fast. When you enter a relationship ready for commitment it is particularly important to make sure your head rules your heart.
Next, figure out who you want to date. Not the specific person, but what characteristics will that person have. Be detailed and go beyond the superficial. When looking for a new vehicle, we generally have a pretty good idea of the features we want, but enter the dating arena with only a vague idea of who we are looking for. What good is finding your exotic, smoking hot model if you forgot to rule out violent, self-loathing whackadoo?
And then, be flexible. You may find out your date is never going to be a lingerie model but more than makes up for it in fly fishing prowess. Be open to surprises.
Explore New Options
Almost any book or article on the topic of dating will tell you some variation on the same theme: If you want to meet someone, you have to go to where the available people are. Figure out what best reflects your interests and aptitudes and go where people with similar interests and aptitudes gather. And exploring new options means just that. Get out of your ruts, go someplace new, try something different, have a spirit of adventure. When you are doing something out of your comfort zone it gives you things to talk about with the others doing it with you.