12 Things You Need To Know About Dating A Married Man

Infidelity | | , Copywriter
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Dating A Married Man

When you envisage your future, you likely never pictured dating a married man. Like most people, your life plan probably involved a healthy, wholesome relationship with someone who is single, available, and with whom you could build a life. But life is rarely the fairytale we imagine it to be in our naivety. And relationships often come in all sorts of convoluted forms, one of them being romantically involved with a married man.

A phenomenon that is far more common than you’d think. According to a report, 90% of women feel attracted to a man they thought was taken. Although most don’t act on these feelings, the experience seems inherent to human nature. If the attraction is mutual, sparks are flying and you can see the man you’re interested in reciprocating your advances, you might just go from crushing on to getting involved with a married man, despite your better judgment.

The question is, what next? How do you navigate going out with a married man? How do make sure the affair doesn’t blow up in your face? We bring you some ways of dating a married guy without getting hurt in consultation with emotional wellness and mindfulness coach Pooja Priyamvada (certified in Psychological and Mental Health First Aid from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the University of Sydney), who specializes in counseling for extramarital affairs, breakups, separation, grief, and loss, to name a few.

Dating A Married Man – 12 Things To Know

So you are dating a married guy and can’t really see yourself with anybody but him. The fact that he’s married and already has a family does not bother you or stop you from being with him. You’re enamored, charmed, and smitten — to say the very least. While falling in love doesn’t happen according to plan and you certainly can’t choose who you fall for, you can try to be smart about it.

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No matter how much in love you are, it’s best to keep your expectations realistic. For that, you need to take a more pragmatic view of your relationship rather than view it through rose-tinted glasses. Being smart is key to dating a married man successfully. To be able to do that, here are 12 things you need to know when dating a married guy:

1. You will never be his top priority

Whether you’re in a texting relationship with a married man where you’re constantly connected virtually and share every little detail with each other or have a full-blown affair going, know that you may never be the top priority for him. You will inevitably start feeling like an option to your “partner”.

Pooja says, “There can be several indicators that you’re not a priority for the man in your life. For instance, he may always be busy, he ignores your calls and messages, and doesn’t make time for you in his schedule.” Well, at least not, when you want or need him to. Loving a married man is hard because:

  • He will disconnect your call or stop texting the moment his wife walks into the room
  • He will cancel on you if she needs him
  • You will most likely be forbidden from calling/texting at certain hours of the day
  • He may even consign you to the “blocked contacts” list “just to be safe”
  • You can’t count on him to be by your side even when you most need him
  • His presence in your life is contingent on the circumstances at his home

2. The relationship can be fraught with insecurity

No matter how your relationship started, how deeply in love you are, or how long you’ve been together, insecurity will likely be a recurring theme in this connection. The fact that he is not all yours and he is deceiving his life partner to be with you is bound to play at the back of your mind. Even in your happiest moments together, there is going to be an undercurrent of uneasiness and relationship insecurity that can trigger doubts and questions, like:

  • What if there are other women in his life?
  • What if he is still in love with his wife?
  • What if he is using me for sex?
  • What if he is happily married and with me just for the thrill of the experience?
  • Will we ever have a future together?

3. Dating a married man can be a lonely experience

Being in a relationship with a married man can be an extremely isolating experience. For one, you cannot count on him to be with you when you want or need him to be. Chances are that your dating life will revolve around his availability and all your plans will hinge on whether or not he can get away from home or make time to be with you without arousing suspicion. Not to mention, you may not have the freedom to reach him as and when you like whereas he can. This can make the relationship feel extremely lop-sided.

Besides, since you’re with a man who’d want to keep the relationship under wraps for obvious reasons, you may not be able to talk to your friends and loved ones about it. Keeping all those fears and insecurities bottled up and pretending to go about life like it’s business as usual can be an extremely isolating and agonizing experience.

Related Reading: 11 Common Reasons People Cheat In Relationships

4. It’s not wise to pin your hopes on a future with him

Before you get too close to a married man or get so invested in loving a married man that you can’t imagine life without him, give yourself a reality check on what this equation amounts to. It is an extramarital affair and the thrill of tasting the forbidden fruit has likely played a part in bringing you both together.

No matter how much you love each other, breaking up a marriage and tearing apart a family is never easy. When push comes to shove, the scales tilt in the favor of the spouse more often than not. So, don’t go into this relationship expecting a happily ever after. The possibility of a future together becomes even slimmer if you’re married and in love with a married man.

5. Even if you do have a future, it may be challenging

Even if your love triumphs and the man you’re with leaves his wife for you, you can’t expect your life together to be a bed of roses. For one, the toll of a divorce may impact your relationship with your partner. Besides, you may never be able to fully trust each other because if he could cheat once, what’s to stop him from doing it again, and if you could get involved with a married man, what’s to stop you from doing it again — these apprehensions are bound to arise.

Add to that the societal judgment, having to step into the role of a step-mom if there are children involved (who may hate you for breaking up their parents’ marriage), the struggle for acceptance as his wife among his friends and family and the pressure can be enough to make the strongest of bonds falter. If you’re married and in love with a married man, the dynamic becomes doubly complicated. If you’re getting too close to a married man, you need to take a moment and ask, “Do affairs that break up a marriage last?” More importantly, do you have what it takes to make it last?

dating a married guy
Relationships stemming from affairs can be fraught with challenges 

6. Do not trust him blindly

Yes, trust is a crucial component in any healthy relationship. However, when you’re going out with a married man, you must take everything he says or does with a grain of salt. Whether it is about the state of his marriage, the future of your relationship, or his tall claims of being blindly in love with you, don’t trust him blindly or you risk exposing yourself to being manipulated.

Likewise, be cautious about sharing intimate pictures and videos or engaging in sexting with your affair partner. You don’t want to end up in a situation where your affair partner uses these as leverage to get you to continue the affair without giving you what you seek from the relationship. Being mindful of such consequences of affairs with married men will go a long way in helping you protect yourself.

7. Be prepared for judgment

Dating a married guy can feel exciting and exhilarating, as long as it stays under wraps. However, such transgressions have a way of coming to light, and when they do, you must be prepared to deal with a lot of judgment and criticism not just from people in his life but also from your loved ones.

From being called a home-wrecker to being treated like an outcast, the backlash can translate into psychological effects of being the other woman that can dent your self-esteem and leave you emotionally wounded. When you start texting a married man every day and can’t help but feel a rush at the prospect of being with him, imagine this inevitability to see how you truly feel about going out with a married man.

8. You may feel guilty about meddling with his family life

It’s not just your own life that stands to be impacted by your decision of going out with a married man. It will impact his family life too. And you may feel guilty about your part in it — any conscientious person would. Every time you’re together, you may not be able to shake off the image that there is another woman out there to whom this man has sworn his love and loyalty.

If there are children involved, the baggage of possibly tearing apart a family can get that much heavier. “Family and marriage are often the most integral aspects of one’s life and they offer an unmatched sense of security. Being the person who gets in the way of that cannot be easy,” says Pooja.

Related Reading: In Love With A Married Man? 11 Signs He Will Leave His Wife For You

9. You won’t know the truth about his marriage 

  • “My wife and I have grown apart over the years.”
  • “I’m trapped in an unhappy marriage for the sake of the kids.”
  • “I still care about my wife but I don’t love her anymore.”
  • “She doesn’t get me like you do.”

Many women who get into affairs with married men make the mistake of accepting such sob stories at face value, even if their intuition tells them otherwise. The empath in them may be instantly triggered to take care of this man who is stuck in a miserable marriage and projects them as the only source of solace in their lives. The best thing to do in situations like these is to remind yourself that this is the oldest tale in the cheaters’ playbook.

The state of his marriage is likely a whole lot better than he makes it out to be. Even if it’s not, his wife cannot be the only one to blame for it. Use your judgment to assess the veracity of his stories, and don’t trust him blindly. Likewise, if he is vague about his relationship with his wife or his views on the future of your relationship, take it as the red flag it is.

10. He likely won’t leave his wife 

In loving a married man, don’t fall prey to unrealistic expectations about the future of your relationship. No matter how earnestly he promises that he wants to build a life with you or says that he is fully committed to you, take it all with a giant pinch of salt. The ground reality is that he is married, has a whole life with his wife — interwoven families, social circles, and finances, not to mention children and a household — and he likely won’t throw it all away for an affair.

According to research, only 5% of people who cheat leave their spouses for their affair partners. That’s just the grim reality of getting into affairs with married men. That’s what makes dating a married guy all the more crushing. So, tread carefully and think long and hard before becoming too emotionally invested in a married man.

11. The relationship can take a toll on mental health 

Loving a married man can take an immense toll on your emotional well-being and mental health. The fact that he is married and already committed to someone else or that will toss you aside, leaving you feeling like a piece of trash, whenever his wife or family needs/wants him. The social stigma of being the other woman. The feelings of insecurity and jealousy. The helplessness of not being able to proclaim your relationship. The loneliness of living like a single person when you’re going out with a married man.

It can all get too overbearing too quickly. If you get too attached or deeply involved, all of this negativity can trigger issues such as anxiety and depression, besides leaving you grappling with low self-esteem and puncturing your sense of self.

12. You have to be honest with yourself

There are no defined rules for sleeping with a married man or getting romantically involved with one. There is no guide or blueprint to help you navigate this situation. Your best bet at protecting yourself is to be honest with yourself at all times. Don’t be in denial about the reality of your situation or turn a blind eye to the obvious red flags in your relationship.

To be able to protect yourself and still continue dating a married man for as long as it works for you both (if that’s what feels right to you right now), you need to ask yourself some tough questions:

  • What is the best possible outcome for this relationship?
  • How likely is it that you can achieve it?
  • Do you see yourself together in the long run?
  • Are you still attracted to other men or does he feel like the one?
  • Does he see you as the one?
  • How long can you continue being his affair partner?
  • What is the worst-case scenario in this situation? What are the odds of it coming to pass?
  • How prepared are you to end things if you need to?

The answers to these questions will give you a fair deal of clarity on how to navigate this relationship while protecting yourself and limiting the emotional damage it may cause.

How To Date A Married Man?

how to date a married man
You can date a married man without losing yourself

Dating a married guy is no walk in the park. The trials and tribulations far outweigh the gratification. Alas, sometimes we cannot see reason and race headfirst into situations and connections that cause us pain and anguish. Even if your close friends or loved ones have warned you about the consequences of an affair with a married man, you may find it hard to pull back or end things.

However, no matter how much you love him, the fact remains that he is married and this is a relationship where you stand to get hurt. You must find ways to not let this connection, no matter how exciting or fulfilling it feels right now, consume you. That’s where dating a married man rules come in. Now that you are in a relationship with a married man, make sure you handle it the right way. Here are a few tips on how to date a married man and actually be happy:

Related Reading: 7 Ways To Handle A Married Man Flirting With You

1. Take it slow when you date a married man

When you start talking to a married man every day or spend your day texting back and forth, it may be difficult to ignore the sexual tension building up. Taking things slow at this point can be immensely beneficial. It will give you time to get to know him better. You will get time to judge whether his feelings for you are real or if he is just bored in his marriage and using an affair with you just to spice things up a bit. For that, you need to set some clear boundaries, such as:

  • Even if it is just hugging, or kissing, do not give him the leeway to expect physical intimacy in any form without connecting with you on an emotional level first
  • Ensure the relationship is not just about sex
  • If he tries to coerce your consent, put your foot down and let him know that it’s not acceptable
  • State your expectations and boundaries clearly right at the onset so that there is no room for ambiguity

If he seems interested only in sex, you need to get out of this relationship as soon as possible. Know that eventually, it will hurt less if he simply chooses to end the relationship because your goals don’t align or you opt out because you see the warning signs.

2. Observe if you have any non-sexual chemistry with him

A major factor in determining whether dating a married man is the right choice for you or if you should continue your relationship with him is to assess if you have any chemistry with him other than the sexual attraction drawing you to one another. Ask yourself,

  • Is he fun to be around when you two are not being sexually/physically intimate?
  • Do you feel comfortable around him?
  • Can you confide in him?
  • Do you share the same values and principles?
  • What about his lifestyle?
  • Can you spend time together outside the bedroom?

Answers to questions like these will help you understand if you have something other than sex to connect on. After all, how long can a relationship last if it’s based just on sexual chemistry or sexual compatibility? “People only think of romance as physical love. However, it does involve a lot of humor, camaraderie, and more. If you’re unsure about the future of your relationship with a married man, the ability to have a great time together, other than sex, can be a good scale to measure how well-suited you are as partners,” says Pooja.

Related Reading: Leaving Marriage For Affair Partner

3. If he tells you he will divorce his wife, ask him when

As far as dating a married man rules go, you absolutely cannot ignore this one. If he has been telling you that he is stuck in a miserable, loveless marriage and cannot wait to divorce his wife to be with you, don’t just fall for these sugar-coated promises.

Ask him for a timeline and precise details of his plans to exit his marriage. If he dilly-dallies, know that he’s probably in it to have a good time for the short term. If that’s not what you’re looking for, consider this a major red flag in your relationship. Plus, you will also have a checkpoint to see whether his responses are in line with your priorities.

On Extramarital Affairs

4. When you date a married man, do not let him take advantage of you

In love with a married man? Well, don’t let him use your feelings and emotions to his advantage. Many women fall into the trap of the sob stories married men tell them to get what they want and walk away. Don’t be one of them. Being in love does not mean sacrificing yourself at the altar of your relationship, certainly not when you’re the one making most of the effort to keep that relationship afloat.

“To make sure the married man you’re dating does not take advantage of you emotionally, sexually, or financially, you must put in place and enforce healthy relationship boundaries right from the beginning. Don’t let anyone tell you that boundaries are not healthy in a relationship, nothing could be further from the truth and anyone who maintains that line of thought is likely out to manipulate you,” Pooja advises. Boundaries in the relationship simply mean stating your non-negotiables, for example:

  • I expect you to not go incommunicado without any intimation, no matter the circumstances
  • You cannot expect me to drop everything and be with you just because your schedule cleared up
  • I expect you to make time to see me once/twice a week (or whatever frequency works for you)
  • You will not block my number, I expect you to trust me to not intrude on your time at home

Related Reading: Confession Story: How I Dealt With Having An Affair With My Boss

5. Keep your options open and meet other people

You love this married man. You feel he is the one. He finds you irresistible. When you fall in love, it can seem like nothing else matters. We get it. But he is already taken. No matter how many promises he makes, he has a life beyond you and a full one with work, a spouse, perhaps children, and friends.

Why should you put your life on hold just because you’re going out with a married man? It’s vital that you live your life to the fullest. Keep meeting new people, do not cut off your friends, and at least be open to the possibility of dating other people. Love him, and cherish the time you spend with him, but don’t shut your mind to the fact that there are a lot of kind, generous men out there who can give you the kind of relationship you deserve. Unless you are okay with being the other woman for life, it would not be wise to just have him as the ‘only’ person in your life.

Key Pointers

  • Dating a married man can be a challenging experience for most women
  • No matter how much you love him and even if he loves you back, there are hurdles along the way that make such a partnership hard to sustain
  • You need to learn to prioritize yourself and not let a married man take advantage of you to be able to protect yourself emotionally
  • If you can’t pull back, treat it as a short-term fling where you both have fun while it lasts but don’t pin your hopes on a future together
  • Know that you have to learn to fight off insecurities, guilt pangs, and jealousy in such a relationship; ask yourself, is the man you’re with worth it?

You can see how complicated dating a married guy can be. Even more so if you’re married and in love with a married man. So, it’s vital to not lose perspective of reality and make a conscious effort to stop yourself from getting pulled in too deep. Even if a married man and you are made for each other and he is truly the ‘one’ for you, he has to be legally single for your connection to transform into a real, meaningful relationship. You cannot be dating a married man forever. You have to put yourself first, always remember that.


1. How do you know that a married man loves you?

You know a married man is falling in love with you when he cares for you genuinely and is attentive to you even when you do not show much interest in a physical relationship with him.

2. Can a man love two women at the same time?

Human beings are historically polygamous people and it is possible for both men and women to love two people at the same time. That’s how open relationships and polyamorous relationships survive.

3. What are the dangers of dating a married man?

The dangers of dating a married man are that he could be lying to you about his cold relationship with his wife when everything is hunky-dory at home. He might give you false promises of a happily ever after with you and you might keep waiting forever. In the end, you will be only left with the lessons you learn from the affair.

4. Are there any rules to date a married man?

There are no particular rules for dating a married man but always keep your avenues open and an escape route ready. So that you don’t have to deal with the hurt and wallow in self-pity when he decides to discontinue the relationship with you.

5. Is it okay to date a married man?

The answer to this question is subjective and depends on a person’s morality and situation. But we can tell you that it happens quite often that people find themselves in love in such a way.

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Readers Comments On “12 Things You Need To Know About Dating A Married Man”

  1. I guess people get married for different reasons. Hence others when they enter into extramarital engagements – I am not going to call it cheating- it was once agreed upon. People being human they get comfortable and forget about what they agreed on

  2. Dating married men can be complicated. I think I completely agree to the author where she recommends you to go slow. Take your time to anaylze if he is actually interested or just having fun. If you two are serious, do something about it or else there is no point in ruining three lives at a time!

  3. I know that when you start falling for someone, there are no filters but there should be. I think in dating a married man, it is everyone’s loss in the end if the guy is just messing around! Yes, if it’s love – no time or situation is wrong. He will walk out of the previous relationship and embrace your love completely. But, if he is just a player, you will get hurt, the wife will get hurt and the man will have a gala! So, be really careful when indulging in something this complicated! Speaking from personal experience!

  4. Thank you for responding to my email. If you just post what you get, without any censorship, then there should be disclaimers – that the opinions are that of the authors. However legal issues would still hold you responsible since it would be argued that you guys could still reject posts.

    I am not convinced that posting such articles suggest any neutrality. Even today marriage is considered as a social contract and cheating is immoral, but probably not illegal. Because divorce or separation can be initiated through cheating, but the consequences of divorce does not depend on the acts of the cheating partner. In that situation, your site is posting an article which tells the reader (probably female) how best to get along with the cheater. This is irresponsible and immoral. But posting such article is NOT illegal. And to your credit Bonobology site so far does not promote porn.

    But my concern is in the grey area between immorality and morality. My question is why should not the woman in question not question the married man if he has told his wife that he is seeing someone else or is considering open marriage/polyamory? If that aspect were included then the article would at least be balanced and would not be viewed as encouraging immorality/infidelity.

    I respectfully disagree with you, but I like the site because I am learning some shocking things that appear to be quite common nowadays.

    Thanks again.

    1. Team Bonobology

      Deb, you said, ‘But my concern is in the grey area between immorality and morality. My question is why should not the woman in question not question the married man if he has told his wife that he is seeing someone else or is considering open marriage/polyamory? If that aspect were included then the article would at least be balanced and would not be viewed as encouraging immorality/infidelity.’ The thing is we do not encourage immorality. People have been cheating since we developed rules of monogamy. We just report. Thanks so much for your interest.

      1. Well, Bonobology you wrote, “ people have been cheating… “

        This is factually correct. Cheating & prostitution have been there before the many holy revelations came down to mankind.

        The cheating can be reduced if there are good and effective deterrents. Two ways: (a) the two partners should sign a prenuptial agreement on a legal stamp paper even if the two are in a live-in relationship. The Supreme Court of India has passed down the landmark judgement in 2015. So this prenup would protect both sides and shall act as a deterrent. If should be made mandatory before any relationship begins.

        (b) if there has been cheating/infidelity, then the cheating partner should be made to undergo public shaming. Betrayal can cause severe health problems some of which may be irreversible. Divorce does not address the agony and pain the betrayed partner goes through. This needs to be addressed.

        (c) in case of open or polyamorous relationships, there should be some additional criterion on the identity of the children. I mean who are their biological parents – should children be born in open relationships where there are multiple partners.

  5. Surprised again! Instead of counseling against dating a married man, you folks are doing just the opposite: providing ways and means to get that married man wreck a family and come close to the woman. I not only find this immoral, such advice should be strongly protested which is what I am doing.

    This site seems hellbent to promote promiscuity to the extent that you are conditioning the vulnerable to cheat for selfish motives.

    This is shameful!

    1. Team Bonobology

      Dear Deb, we are doing no such thing. We are merely sharing t=what we get. For a piece on infidelity, we share we share 20 on how to spice up the marriage. In sharing the pieces that come to us on infidelity we just want to share what the writer thinks without taking a judgment. Hope you will take this in the right spirit. We see that you like us…

    2. My goodness! Please, understand that we all have a right to live our lives the way we see fit. The article is being real, and not encouraging to wreck families. For example, it states if you want a real relationship with the married man, then he must be separated or get a divorce to continue. If he’s not getting a divorce then it’s just wrong to be with the married man. It’s a none judgmental approach and affairs happen all the time!!

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