This question is from Zoe in Oakland, CA:
I have a question for you about cops. Where do they come from? They’re really different. They’re the only Republicans for a one hundred mile radius. They’re intimidating and then when you need them they don’t show up. I dated two who were really friendly and sweet and then when our relationship blossomed they instantly vanished into thin air.
Here’s my response:
The general public meets only patrol officers and during those brief interactions nearly everything that they say and do is scripted. For example, their question “What happened?” is designed to allow you to talk without putting words in your mouth.
It’s true that their body language appears intimidating. That’s scripted, too. They’re required to stand a certain way when they talk to people in case someone tries to hit them.
They have frightening jobs. For example, California Highway Patrol officers pull over drivers on the freeway to give them a ticket and occasionally it turns out to be a criminal who’s hiding from the police. They actually shoot the officers right there on the side of the road. City police officers have a safety advantage over CHP because they’re familiar with their assigned neighborhoods and with the residents and cars there. With that said, if their neighborhood is a de facto prison colony like Treasure Island in San Francisco, or they’re about to visit a location that has a bad history than they need all of the protection that they can get, and all of the bravery that they can muster.
To answer your question about their origin, they come from the military. Many were in the U.S. Marine Corps. It’s a parallel universe that’s different than ours. If you know a veteran who was “in” for a long time than ask him or her what it’s like.
It’s true that police officers tend to be Republican and that the San Francisco bay area is Democrat. There may be more than one explanation. Firstly, they may have been born and raised in Republican states and their careers brought them here. Also, there are native bay area residents who are Republican but they joined the military and are now overseas or in a different state, and they vote from over there.
You mentioned that you dated police officers who suddenly left you without warning or providing an explanation or even saying goodbye. I’ve heard that story many times which seems to indicate that it’s a common occurrence. My theory is that they rushed into the relationship in order to quickly decide if they wanted to be there. It’s more efficient to jump in with both feet to learn everything about you as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, doing so creates the false impression that they’ve decided to stay. If you get comfortable and accidentally “slip” and reveal something that they don’t like then they’ll instantly take off. They don’t explain or apologize because it’s easier to avoid confrontation altogether. Date them at your own risk and remember that they may vanish at any moment.
Also, it’s a myth that all cops want to get married or be in a long term relationship, and so if those whom you dated wanted a casual encounter then you two had a major conflict of interest.
For example, when I was twenty two years old I posted a personal ad to find a boyfriend and I received responses from three police officers who were in their forties. Obviously they didn’t want to get married. Also, many years later, in 2011 there were different police officers on Match.com who were in their forties and had never been married, and one of them has three kids.
When it comes to dating, think of them as regular men, not police officers.