A married man flirting with a woman who is not his wife can either be an amusing or pitiful sight for others, but it can be quite troublesome and confusing for the woman receiving his attention. Feeling unsure of his intentions, thousands of questions appear all of a sudden.
- “Am I reading this right? Is the married man flirting or just being nice?”
- “What is the meaning of a wink from a man?”
- “Was that intentional flirty touching or am I being a prude?”
- “Am I provoking him?”
- “Do I look easy to land in bed?
- “What makes a married man flirt? Can I do something to avoid it?”
While some may love the attention they are getting from a married guy, the situation can turn harmful and complicated pretty quickly. There is a thin line between him being nice and him flirting with you. He can do it without crossing the line of infidelity. If you find yourself in that confused space, you must look for subtle signs that a married man is flirting with you.
22 Signs A Married Man Is Flirting With You
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According to a study, married men are more likely to cheat on their spouses than married women. The data is in line with what is a common presumption. The overly flirtatious married coworker who has been making intense eye contact with you with a grin on his face might actually be head over heels for you. But this might make you wonder, what makes a married man flirt. Married men flirt for diverse reasons:
- They might want to boost their self-esteem and confidence, gauging if they are still attractive
- Some might be bored with their married life and want to add variety and spice
- Some may be dealing with sexual incompatibility with their spouse and looking for sex elsewhere
- Others may flirt to gain attention and be popular among women
- Some may genuinely get attracted to a girl and flirt to develop a relationship with her
But one thing is clear, the man is already in a committed relationship. His choice of crossing the line by showing interest in you in a non-direct manner does say something about his value system. If you’re considering a relationship with him, know that he is lying to his spouse and breaching her trust. Do you think you can trust him after this?
Only once you are sure of his intentions, you would know how to handle this flirty man. So, pay heed to the following 22 signs a married man likes you more than a friend to plan your course of action:
1. He will complain about his wife to you
- Does he sulk about his married life and tell you about his issues with his spouse?
- Does he exaggerate or make up issues every day?
- Does he continually tell you how unhappy he is in his marriage and how he is never at peace?
- Does he drop you a message immediately after a fight with his wife and tells you about it? (This is also how a married man flirting through text may look like)
- Does he often say, “My wife does not understand me.” – This stereotypical line should be considered a red flag
At times, he might not complain about her. You will notice that he flirts but mentions his wife. This could become a particularly sticky situation for you. Is he trying to tell you he is not flirting with you? Or is he using her as a shield to outrageously flirt with you? Similar confusion happens when a man jokingly calls you his wife. If you get a feeling that this guy is being manipulative with you, trust your intuition, and stay as much away as possible.
2. He will never wear his ring when you are around
Whenever he meets you, you will notice that his wedding ring is gone. Maybe he is telling you indirectly that his marriage is not that important to him, and he wants you to notice him. He may have gone to the extent of symbolically taking his ring off to make you feel as if you’re the only one that matters. Let’s face it, he’s not keeping it in his pocket for safekeeping, is he? He’s probably initiating a hookup.
Susana, 29, works at a law firm. She says “There is a married man flirting with me at work. At least, I think he is. I know he is married but he has stopped wearing his ring. I wonder, why would a married man be interested in me when he has a beautiful wife? Is he flirting with me?”
When a married man never mentions his wife, or tries to hide her presence in his life in other ways, he wants to look available to the women around him. No better way to tell if a married man is flirting with you!
Related Reading: Dealing With A Crush At Work – How To Handle A Crush On A Coworker
3. He will change his attitude toward you in front of his wife
Another tell-tale indicator of whether a married man is flirting or just being nice is how he behaves with you in front of his wife. If he’s flirting, his behavior will be different in his wife’s presence.
- He will act distant and show less warmth toward you
- He will change the tone of his voice as well so that his wife does not catch him flirting with you
- He will not be available on weekends and late nights
- He may tell you not to text or call after a certain hour
When that happens, his actions are screaming out that he doesn’t want his wife to know about you. These could be signs he really likes the other woman, i.e. you, and hopes to kindle a romantic relationship with you on the sly. Or it could mean that while he does find you attractive, he doesn’t want to sabotage his marriage in any way.
4. He behaves differently with you when alone vs in public
Some women say, confused, “This married man flirts and then ignores me.” That’s because he behaves differently in different scenarios. Publicly, he will act all formal and perhaps distant. If you work together, you may notice that he does not show all the obvious signs of a married man flirting at work in front of other coworkers to maintain decorum in the workplace. But when he is alone with you, he will try to be intimate and extra sweet. When a married man flirts with you and you’re not sure what to make of his behavior, paying attention to his changing behavior and attitude may help clear up the confusion.
5. He will get too personal while talking to you
A casual conversation about your interests, family, and so on to make small talk is perfectly acceptable, irrespective of the person’s marital status. But if a guy seems overly interested in your personal life, you can be sure that he is into you. But what constitutes “getting too personal”?
- He may ask you things like what makes you sad or about your fears
- He may share his own sob story
- He will try to dig into your past, your love life, and try to sympathize with you
- He will want to know about your favorite food, favorite perfume, favorite clothes, or your interest in gadgets and gaming
- He may ask you about your sexual preferences, kinks, favorite positions, past sexual relationships, and the like
The last point reflects one of the signs a married man is sexually attracted to you. When a married man wants to sleep with you, he will not only be flirtatious but steer any and every conversation into sexual territory – either outright or subtly.
6. He will make excuses to be around you
One of the telltale signs a married man is flirting with you is that he’ll look for ways to help you or take help from you. Even if he has nothing to do with you, he will try to spend as much time around you as possible.
- He may befriend your friends so that he can get into your inner circle and even charm them to score points with you
- You’ll often see him going out of his way to be around you, even if it means he’ll get home a lot later than usual
- He might offer to drop you home even though his destination is 20 miles in the opposite direction
Related Reading: 12 Signs A Married Man Is Falling In Love With You
7. He will always initiate conversations with you
One of the clearest signs a married man likes you more than a friend is he does not let any opportunity to initiate a conversation pass. You will notice how he speaks to you differently than he does with others. He will be overly polite. He’ll ask how your day is going, what your plans for the weekend are, how things are at your workplace, or enquire about the things that bother you.
More interestingly, these conversations will flow generously through the week and then suddenly dip during weekends. This is one of the classic signs a married man wants to keep you off his wife’s radar.
8. He will become interested in who you date
Wondering how to tell if a married man is attracted to you? Pay attention to the things he talks to you about. If he has ulterior motives, he will be unusually interested in your dating life. If you have a boyfriend, he’ll probably be interested in how you two spend time together and how the relationship is going.
He may also point out your boyfriend’s shortcomings, in an attempt to make your relationship seem toxic and make himself seem like a better man in comparison. Since this man is carefully using tactics to get you in bed, he will put your boyfriend down subtly, so as not to arouse suspicion about his motives.
9. He will compliment you incessantly
This is another classic behavioral trait of any guy who is flirting with you. He will never stop complimenting you. From your smile to the way you dress to every aspect of your personality, he will find a way to appreciate every little thing about you. A married man sending mixed signals is one thing, but this is definitely a direct display of his interest in you.
He’ll seem to be in awe of everything about you and may even compare you to his wife and say how much better you are. It’ll definitely be flattering, but this is disrespectful toward his partner and should be a hard pass for you.
10. He will be humorous around you
A flirty married guy will definitely tap into the power of humor to charm you. All his jokes will be aimed at making you laugh. These could be flirtatious jokes or harmless ones. He could be telling you marriage jokes that are indirectly demeaning toward his relationship with his wife.
When he’s not with you, he might even end up sending you memes in a desperate attempt to continue the conversation. The point is he wants to show you that he is witty, fun to be around, light-hearted, and easygoing. If this behavior pattern is recurrent, it should give you an idea about his intentions.
11. He will attentively listen to what you have to say
When looking for signs a married man has a crush on you, paying attention to how he responds when you have something to say is a good strategy. If he is interested in you, he will do everything he can to show you he’s invested in what you have to say to him. There will always be a smile on his face while talking to you and he will attentively listen to every word you say. He will respond at the right juncture and ask the right questions to show that what you’re saying is important to him. This shows that he genuinely is interested and secretly attracted to you.
12. Married man flirting or just being nice? The answer may be hidden in his texts
A clear differentiation between flirting and just being nice is how much he tries to stay connected to you. Texting you several times a day will come intuitively to a man who is flirting because he is attracted to you, even if you chose to leave him on read. He’d want to know what you’re doing, where you are, when you’d like to meet him, the whole nine yards. When a married man flirts with a single woman he wants to keep a tab on her all the time. He might also send flirtatious texts with subtle hints or hidden messages of love, just in case the daily texts weren’t enough.
13. He’ll flood your social media profile with comments and likes
He will take to his flirtatious ways even on social media and flood your posts and photos with comments and likes. This is because it gets the message across while making him look innocent, as he is putting it all in the open on a public platform. After all, there’s nothing wrong with a harmless ‘like’, right?
That’s unless he likes all 245 of your vacation pictures, from 5 years ago. Yikes! When he acts this way, signs a married man wants to sleep with you aren’t that difficult to spot but something as crazy as this might just mean he’s obsessed with you.
Related Reading: What I Learned From My Affair With A Married Man
14. He will shower you with gifts
Another one of the unmissable signs a married man likes you but is hiding it is when he tries to woo you by buying you gifts and spending money on you. Big or small, customized, expensive or spontaneous, these gifts are meant to let you know that he is thinking about you. For instance, if he is away for a work trip, he may come back with an expensive perfume, a piece of jewelry, or something that you wanted and have mentioned in passing to him.
Even on a regular day at work, one of the married coworker crush signs is if he orders you lunch when you forget to bring your own or keeps bringing you new stationery or grabs your stuff from the vending machine. This thoughtfulness may end up convincing you that he is probably trying to be just a friend. But does he do that for other people around you as well?
15. He will keep inviting you for dinners and luncheons
He’d want to make sure that he can keep in touch with you and be around you as often as possible. To this end, he will suggest taking you out for lunch, drinks, or dinner as and when you have time. Since this is one of the painfully obvious signs a married man is pursuing you, enjoying the expensive meals and outings is pretty much a double-edged sword. You like the attention and the meals but you also know he’s only doing this to get into your pants. So, tread wisely.
Related Reading: 7 Ways To Handle A Married Man Flirting With You
16. He will value your likes and dislikes
Whenever you both talk, his focus will be on discovering all about your likes and dislikes. After that, he will present himself in such a way that he seems absolutely compatible with you. He may also feign the same likes and dislikes as you to show how good you’ll be together.
Go ahead and ask him a detailed question about that common thing he claims to be interested in. Watch him stutter and stammer while trying to come up with an appropriate reply so he doesn’t mess up his chances with you. Who said this whole ordeal couldn’t be a little fun?
17. He will get jealous pretty easily
How do you tell if a married man likes you? See if he is fighting for your attention, especially if he is a married man flirting with married woman. Since he is married and not able to commit to you openly, he will get extremely jealous of your romantic life. He will ask you about any date you might have gone on, your past relationships, your love life, and any crushes you have at the workplace.
He might become possessive of you and show signs of obsessive behavior. Of course, he has no right to do so but he is clearly not thinking straight considering he is ready to cheat on his wife. If you’re talking to a married man every day, the chances of him getting jealous increase manifold. Don’t let this behavior reach a creepy level before you realize you need to cut contact. Put an end to his pathetic advances sooner rather than later.
Related Reading: 15 Tips To Stop Dating A Married Man
18. He will ask you for favors
Wondering how to tell if a married man is flirting with you? See if he is making you do things for him. Just the thought of you doing something for him gives him an odd sense of satisfaction. He will ask you for favors in such a charming way that you will not be able to refuse. Plus, since he gets an ego boost from this odd power trip he enjoys being on, he might just increase the frequency of these requests as well. This might be his way of playing power games with you, trying to be a boss.
19. His body language will be flirtatious around you
How to know if a married man likes you? Pay attention to how a flirt may act around you. Here are certain flirtatious body language signs and other physical ways that guys flirt:
- He will stare at you most of the time, hold your gaze and even look embarrassed if you notice him staring at you
- When talking or listening to you, he will lean toward you
- He may position himself in such a way that he towers over you, giving you an exaggerated impression of his strength
- He will always maintain eye contact with you
- He may touch his hair and blink more when talking to you
- In a group setting, he may fix his gaze on you
- He will try to establish physical contact to express his affection
- He will try to mirror every move you make
20. He will try to impress you with his looks
Another one of the signs he is married and looking for your attention is that he starts paying attention to his looks. He knows that he is competing with eligible bachelors. So he will put in greater effort to appear well-groomed and make sure you notice the changes he makes to his physical appearance. Be it a new cologne, a new wardrobe, or styling his hair differently, he will try to impress you with his looks and appearance.
21. He may act nervous around you
If you are looking for signs a married man likes you but is hiding it, pay attention to his anxious nerves! Since he doesn’t want to upset you or push you away, you’ll find him extra cautious and somewhat nervous around you. He will weigh his words carefully to make sure he doesn’t give away anything that makes you suspect his intentions. It might seem hilarious to see an adult, married guy get the sweats around you. But his infatuation with you gets the better of him.
22. The biggest sign a married man is pursuing you: you can just feel it
All of us have a very strong sixth sense that picks up when something is amiss long before we consciously acknowledge it. If a married man is trying to flirt with you, something in your gut will tell you to get your guard up. A sense of uneasiness may set in and you may not find his presence comfortable. When that happens, trust your gut and do not try to subdue the feelings of uneasiness you may be feeling. You may not be able to do anything about his advances solely on the basis of your gut feeling, you can at least try to minimize contact and stay out of his way.
Related Reading: What Are The Consequences Of Affairs Between Married Couples?
How To Handle A Married Man Flirting With You?
This person showing explicit interest in you could be anyone in your life. A colleague or boss, your neighbor, a friend of your spouse, or a spouse of your friend. Depending on who he is, it might become less or more challenging to deal with his moves. “Married man flirting with me at work, is not taking no for an answer” is also a real possibility. How do you handle that?
On the other hand, you might like him back. We think that having a relationship with a married guy, especially if he fails to commit to you, can leave you alone and feeling devastated. Therefore, your best bet is to avoid getting involved with him. But the decision ultimately is yours. Here are a few things to note:
- If you are not interested in his advances: Keep your distance. Make sure not to reciprocate his overtures. If that doesn’t give him a hint, have a chat with him and convey your lack of interest in clear, explicit terms. It will be embarrassing and awkward but it is a conversation you cannot avoid
- If you have feelings for him: Tell him you are not ready to be the other woman in his life. Ask yourself this – Do you really want to break a family? Will your relationship with this married man be able to sustain the baggage of a broken home? You might need help from a relationship coach to navigate this arrangement if you go forward
- If you have feelings for him and you are a married woman: A married man flirting with married woman can open a can of worms. So, tread very, very cautiously. You may like him back but is that enough to hurt your family and spouse, and his? You are playing with the emotional state of a lot of people in this case. You need to be absolutely sure before you make a move. Just casually flirting or giving mixed signals is not going to cut it
- If he doesn’t back off when you want him to: If you are struggling with saying no or getting your point across, you may need help from other people, like a close friend or a professional. In case a coworker in a superior position to you decides to misuse his power, you must report the matter to HR. Whoever he may be, if at any stage you feel threatened, your first priority should be to safeguard yourself. Even if it means going to the authorities
- Is the married guy at work flirting for fun vs flirting with intent? Or is he even flirting at all? Look for signs that confirm your doubt about a married man sending mixed signals
- If a married man never mentions his wife, doesn’t wear his wedding ring, or complains about his marriage, he is hinting that he doesn’t want to be in his current relationship
- He may show other signs a guy is attracted to you, such as dressing up, flirty touching, showing flirty body language, asking personal questions, or feeling jealous of your other guys who have your attention
- If you don’t like the attention, convey to him that you are not interested and stop talking to him
- If he doesn’t back off, you may need to talk to a friend or approach HR if this is a workplace situation
- If you like him back, tread with utmost caution. Starting an affair with a married man is usually not worth all the heartache and the drama
Having a married guy dropping hints all around you can leave you flustered. You might be left wondering if the married man is sending mixed signals. The possibility of love and romance may also seem enticing. But situations like these are bound to blow up sooner rather than later, causing irreparable damage to everyone involved. Our one-line advice? Tread with caution!
This article has been updated in April 2023.