Men will be men; this phrase is globally accepted and aptly shown in the advertisement that endorses it. To be fair, even women flirt, although not the ‘in your face’ kind of way that most men do, and definitively a lot less when they are in a committed relationship. Men are more direct in their approach while flirting, while women flirt more passively and in a subtle way. Flirting enhances attraction, which is fine if you are vying for a soul mate, manipulating a salesperson, or just being playful. But flirting when married is a different ballgame altogether.
According to studies, only 28% of the time men and women were sure of the other person flirting.
But when you are already married, the whole situation changes. Most women almost cease flirting after getting married; men on the contrary get better with their flirting post marriage. Why do married men flirt?
Why married men flirt: The statistics
When I tried to research about how many married men flirt, the Web almost mocked at my sheer idiocy. I got all kinds of answers ranging from how, where, why, even types of flirting, but actual numbers of married men flirting was nowhere in sight. That’s when I got the answer to my naïve question. ‘All men flirt’. Irrespective of age, region, religion, social and economical standing and even marital status, ‘all men flirt’. The only striking difference is the level of intensity.
While most women do not get affected by being exposed to attractive men, men confess to less satisfaction in their current relationships after interacting with attractive women around them – says a study. Just like other interpersonal activities, different men accept flirtation differently. While some men flirt constantly, others hold back this demonstrative type of communication for expressing legitimate feelings that extend beyond friendship.
Detecting the flirting behaviour can be very challenging. But for men flirting when married could be a norm. According to research, only 28% of the time men and women were sure of the other person flirting. This is because, in most cases, the intention of flirting is not direct. Men resort to flirting to avoid embarrassment from misreading the signals sent by the opposite sex.
Most wives are totally fine with their husbands’ casual flirting. They know when their husbands are harmlessly flirting with another woman; it could be a compliment, a witty conversation or even a dirty joke. The wife is not insecure in such cases, as there are boundaries that are clearly established. Add to it the trust factor and the fact that many households still have the husband as the main provider.
Most of the husbands are also aware of this arrangement; this is the main reason they divert their flirting energies in the direction of single women rather than married ones.
12 reasons why men are flirting when married
Isn’t it just amusing that there are thousands of memes, where the husband glorifies other women over his own wife? Although by definition flirting means getting sexually attracted to someone, it does not always have a sexual connotation. Most men prefer a no-strings-attached single woman to flirt with for several other reasons other than sex.
1. They can, so they will
Unlike their wives, men try to ignore the basic difference between what they need and what they want. Men are flirting when married because they can, and may continue doing so until they can. If the woman is single, then the flirting just gets easy. They believe that given their social status and experience, they can offer a single woman a happy life, spiced with ecstasy.
2. Just to have fun
Most married men indulge in occasional harmless flirting just for fun. An innocent compliment on a dress or a hairstyle never hurt anyone. There is a certain level of unknown when it comes to single women, which creates excitement and gives an ego boost to the married man who is flirting. The woman feels important in the sense that the man, who is already married, is choosing her over his wife and gets flattered. The married man, in turn, uses this to fuel his flirtatious intentions.
3. The adrenaline rush
Their basic instinct to be the alpha male dominates their husbandly duties when they flirt with the charming single lady. And just in case the lady happens to respond, he is already giving himself a high five and saying, “Yes, I am back in the game”. It is indeed a pleasure to feel wanted and desirable.
Most men prefer a no strings attached single woman to flirt with for several other reasons other than sex.
4. The need to be desirable
After marriage, when their relationship flattens out in the everyday chores of raising a family, he starts feeling less desirable. So when, someone gives him a little attention, he feels obliged to return the vibe. This is why he may even go out of his comfort zone to rescue the nearest damsel in distress.
5. They overestimate their attractiveness
This reason may sound bizarre, but apparently it is scientifically proven that men do overestimate how attractive they actually are. This is one of the reasons why even small courtesy gestures shown by single women are often misunderstood by men and they feel they have to flirt in return.
6. They miss being single
Sometimes men get nostalgic about their bachelorhood. Flirting brings back the memories he had about walking into a party and prepossessing the ladies. They get motivated to try their pickup lines on the single lady, just to see if they still work. It also reassures them of their talent in being able to woo a single lady in spite of the ‘married’ tag. That is why it is common to see the married man flirting at work.
7. They are bored with their relationship
This one particularly reflects the relationship status back at home with his wife. It is assumed that if a single guy flirts, he is free, but if a married guy flirts then he is bored with his wife. The well groomed single woman is any time far more attractive and exciting than his wife who probably is in her pajamas the whole day. That’s when he obviously resorts to flirting when married.
8. They are just testing the waters
Flirting fails its purpose if it not reciprocated. Married men are ready to put their guard down just to see how the single woman is reacting to all their advances. It makes them fantasize about the “what if” scenario. The flirting starts getting intense on favourable responses. Flirting can then become cheating.
9. To make their partner jealous
This one perhaps is the most positive reason why married men flirt. He just wants to remind his better half about not taking him for granted. He wants to prove it to her that if he really wants he can still get other women to be in awe of him.
10. They have an ulterior motive
Men feel intimidated in the presence of powerful women, but at times meeting them can’t be avoided. And if the woman happens to be single they get volatile and feel that flirting can be the best and safest way to break the ice and get the deal done.
11. To boost their self-esteem
Sometime the mundane existence takes a toll on your personality. It even makes you age faster. Your self-esteem takes a battering. This is when the husband decides to give himself a booster shot by indulging in a little playfulness. Flirting when married is the answer. It makes him feel alive and attractive when it is reciprocated by a beautiful single woman. So often do we find the married man flirting at work.
12. To actually have another relation
This one is the most extreme reasons for flirting. If a married man starts to alter the closeness of another single woman, it’s most likely that he is flirting because he wants a new romantic relationship. This flirting when married definitely waves a big red flag.
We all become alive, and get the ‘high’ feeling when we flirt or are being flirted with. However, the dynamics of flirting change a bit with your marital status.