Why Do Single Women Date Married Men?

Single Life | | , Expert Blogger
Updated On: February 28, 2024
Why women date married men

Every day you stumble upon some or the other piece of news about an alleged extramarital affair with a single woman. But you might be left wondering why women date married men when there are so many single men out there?

What is even more interesting is a recent study says, nearly 90% of single women preferred men who are already in a serious relationship, compared to 59% of single women who were interested in single men. The term used by psychologists is mate poaching when single women get interested in married men without thinking of the consequences.

Research published in the Journal of Human Nature says that this tendency can be attributed to something called “mate choice copying”. So, why do single women like married men? According to this theory, when a woman is copying the ways of another woman, who has married this man, then mostly young women end up dating married men. They tend to mark a married man as safer, more attractive, experienced, and of course, successful.

Even though women who date married men don’t have it easy, many of them make a choice to go down this road anyway. While we have touched upon the psychological reasons behind it, let’s take a closer look at some of the key reasons stemming from this psychology that draw single women to married men.

10 Reasons Why Single Women Date Married Men

A friend of mine was shattered when she caught her husband red-handed with her best friend who was single. She seemed to be more traumatized by the fact that her best friend, who is smart, independent, young and beautiful, could break her home, rather than being hurt by her husband’s actions, who was equally guilty.

She just kept on questioning, “How could she do it?” “Why did she do it?” and “How could she sleep with her best friend’s husband?” And understandably so. The question of why do women have affairs with married men can be equally confusing for everyone involved in the equation – the single woman herself, the man she is attracted to, and his spouse if the attraction leads to an affair and the cheating comes to light.

Though later on things did somehow settle down in my friend’s marriage, this incident also made me wonder why a single, good-looking, independent woman would opt for having a relationship with a married man? This curiosity led me to uncover the myriad reasons why women date married men. Here are 10 of them:

Related Reading: 18 Complications Of Having An Affair With A Married Man

1. Psychological reasons

Why do single women like married men? The answer to this question may run deeper than the superficial reasons like looks, stability, and success for many. Unlike men, single women get attracted to married men due to psychological reasons before physical attractiveness. This is one major reason why women date married men.

These women want to copy the preferences of other women, so they find other people’s partners more desirable. When a man is wanted by other women, he automatically becomes an object of desire, as indicated in the aforementioned research. The fact that he is married automatically translates to a married man checking the boxes of partner-material traits.

women who date married men
Single women find married men more attractive

2. Mate poaching

Although this term is usually used to describe behavioral patterns among female species of animals, fishes and birds, in this case, it can be used to describe the thinking of the single woman. It means attempting to lure someone from their partner through various strategies, either to mate or to prevent them from mating with their partners.

Once again, the core psychology behind it remains the same – the fact that he is taken by another woman reinforces the fact that he is capable of being in a committed, long-term relationship and domesticated life. Why am I attracted to married men? If you find yourself asking this question, introspect about whether it’s real attraction or just this intrinsic, latent mate poaching instincts kicking in.

3. Commitment is already proved by a married man

A married man has already proved that he is competent to keep his promise to commitment and provide stability and reliability to his wife. In today’s commitment-phobic world, a man who keeps his word is a treasure to find. Single women find these kinds of men even more attractive if they have just been dumped by a guy who doesn’t believe in a long-term relationship.

When a single woman loves a married man, she could well be subconsciously looking to compensate for the love, commitment and stability she may not have found in her past relationships. An affair with a married man is a learning experience they are looking for.

Related Reading: Single Women! Here’s Why He Is Flirting When Married

4. To boost her self-esteem

Why do women have affairs with married men? In many cases, the answer could be as simple as because it makes them feel desired. When a married man showers his affection on a single woman, she feels powerful and her self-esteem gets the desired boost. If a man is making efforts to be with her rather than his wife, that means probably she is prettier and more desirable.

She may feel like a God-sent angel who provides emotional and physical support to the man who has a miserable life back home. But there are a few questions women could ask themselves before they choose a married man.

5. Dating a married man is less demanding

Most single women are single for a reason, like their career or other personal issues. A married man doesn’t have many demands when it comes to his mistress. And this arrangement suits most modern independent single women very well. Both get what they want from this relationship. He is not too demanding on her time or he doesn’t interfere when she is hanging out with her friends or going on trips with colleagues.

He also needs to give time at home and he is okay as long as the affair is on but doesn’t become too demanding. Women who date married men know that this relationship will not take up too much of their energy and time, and won’t overshadow every other aspect of their existence. For many, this could be a liberating experience.

6. Financial stability

financial stability

Why do single women like married men? As compared to single men, most married ones have a financial plan in place to secure their family financially. These married men are already running their domestic life smoothly. The single woman finds this trait of the married man being the provider of the family very irresistible. He can also provide her with what she wants and that works out great for her.

Even if she is an independent, financially secure woman, the element of financial stability still adds to the allure of a married man because she knows that at the very least he would not be in the relationship for her money. Besides, when both are comfortably well off, financial stresses don’t take a toll on the relationship.

7. Maturity and experience makes them attractive

When a single woman loves a married man, it’s usually because he becomes an anchor in her life. Even though their relationship may not be acceptable in the eyes of the world, he can still be his safe space during challenging times. Married men deal with different complexities of life far more maturely than a single guy.

Be it handling in-laws or parental duties, married men are already experienced to handle any unforeseen circumstances. The risk of it turning into an obsessive, clingy affair is next to none since married men are understanding and accommodating. They are experienced both in life and in bed and single women find that very attractive that’s why women date married men.

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8. High-risk, high returns

A married man takes a huge risk while dating a single woman. This risk reveals his level of deep commitment to her. A man will only put his social credibility at stake for something that he is really passionate about. He thereby creates a mesmerizing illusion of how intensely he desires her; in the bargain, the single woman gets whatever she asks for.

So, why do women have affairs with married men? Well, simply because there is an undercurrent of passion, desire in such an equation. Both affair partners want each other strongly, and that pull can often be too strong to resist.

9. They prefer not to remarry

A study has concluded that men are twice as likely to remarry than women who are either widowed or divorced. Divorced women prefer to remain single after their first marriage mostly to avoid marital disputes that they already experienced. When these women find another woman happily married, their want of this marital bliss attracts them to the husband of that woman.

Women who date married men could simply be trying to fill a void in their lives. Even if they’re aware that this relationship doesn’t have a long-term future, the immediate gratification can be immensely fulfilling.

10. They are just jealous and immoral

There are some single women who are just jealous of another woman’s happy home. Sometimes this jealousy reaches an extent where they get immoral and go all out to destroy the happily married couple. They are narcissistic, at times ready to use sex as a tool to lure the married man, and then can even blackmail him to get what they want.

Although this isn’t always the case. In most instances of an affair, the core reason is desire and mutual attraction. However, if a woman shares a history with a married man – for example, if they were in a relationship but ended up parting ways – then jealousy can be a prime factor at play.

What Happens When Women Date Married Men?

The outcome of an affair between a single woman and a married man solely depends on the ‘intention’ they had when they started it.

  1. A happily ever after: If the single woman and the married man genuinely love each other, then they will make it work irrespective of the hurdles. The man may divorce his wife and be with you forever. Yes, the separation from his wife and kids, if any, will be challenging. But there could be a happy future for all
  2. The single woman is left single again: All those reasons that made the single woman decide to date a married man may backfire if she wants to get serious in the relationship and he is not interested. Reality strikes and the qualities like commitment and stability that attracted her toward that married man instantly hold no value, the moment he decides to have this affair. If he can cheat his wife, he can cheat her as well. If the single woman decides to ask for anything more, the married man will use the most clichéd line: “You knew what you were getting into”. The single woman may even have to go through some slut-shaming if the affair ever gets exposed. What do you call a woman who dates a married man? A mistress. The other woman. More often than not, these stereotypical tags become her reality whereas the married man she was in love with may beg his way back into his marriage
  3. The married man regrets the affair: The married man’s fantasy comes to an end the moment his relationship with the single woman starts becoming a replica of his relationship with his wife. When the excitement of physical intimacy and knowing each other fades away, the married man starts regretting the affair. The whole situation can get worse if that single woman or any third person who is aware of the affair starts blackmailing the married man
  4. It all ends amicably: This is the most common outcome of an affair between a single woman and a married man. The moment the novelty of the affair ends and there is nothing else left to explore, usually the affair dies a natural death. Both go their own separate ways without any expectations for each other, cherishing their moments together

Dating a married man is as good as playing with fire; you are bound to burn yourself at some point or the other. Even if you manage to steal away the married man, you will have to pay a hefty price. So it is up to you to decide what deal you are ready to make.


1. What do you call a woman who dates a married man?

When a single woman is dating a married man it could be called infidelity or an extramarital affair. She is “called” a single woman who is dating a married man.

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

The dangers are many. For starters he might just dump you the moment his wife finds out, you could be investing emotionally in a relationship that has no future and you could also be called a home breaker or a slut.

3. What happens if you have a baby with a married man?

If you have a baby with a married man it is your decision if you will tell the world who the father is or you will keep it under wraps. But it is going to be a tough journey ahead if you decide to be a single mother and if you continue the relationship with the married man there will be complications both personal and legal in the future.

4. Do affairs last?

Affairs usually do not last and it ends as soon the novelty wears off and complications take over. But some affairs do become an ever after love story when the man divorces and decides to be together with his affair partner.

This happy couple and their open marriage

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