As much as women wish it wasn’t the case, married men aren’t immune from having feelings for someone else. However, men who are already committed are usually aware that they need to approach things with care because they’re in a relationship and know they shouldn’t be flirting with or trying to start a relationship with anyone else. If you think someone’s husband might have feelings for you, here are the signs a married man likes you but is hiding it.
Is it common for a married man to experience attraction to someone else or to engage in flirting?
Perhaps unsurprisingly, yes. Just because you’re in a serious, committed relationship doesn’t mean you suddenly lose the ability to find other people attractive. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy found that 70% of participants admitted to feeling attraction to someone other than their partner while coupled up.
Of course, this isn’t always a sign of doom. In fact, experts say that this is completely normal in relationships that are happy, healthy, and 100% committed. Even if you notice the signs a married man likes you but is hiding it, it doesn’t mean he wants to act on those feelings. It could be a totally harmless crush.
Signs a married man likes you but is hiding it
- He tries to spend one-on-one time with you. Depending on the situation, it’s not always appropriate for a married man to spend one-on-one time with someone else, especially a woman. Many will actively avoid such situations just to be safe. But if a guy likes you, he will try to spend some one-on-one time with you. Since he’s married, he’ll have to be clever about the way he goes about it. He’ll make it seem like an accident or if there is no way around it. Also, that doesn’t mean he’s going to make a move. However, if he’s going out of his way to be alone with you as much as possible, chances are he likes you.
- Or, he avoids being alone with you. On the flip side, if a married man likes you and is trying to hide it, trying to avoid being on his own with you can be another one of the obvious signs of his feelings. Maybe he doesn’t trust himself to be with you when no one else is around, so he steers clear whenever possible. Sometimes this can make things even more awkward!
- He jokingly says he likes you. Oddly enough, some married men will let you know that they like you, but they won’t do it in a romantic way. They’ll say in a joking or nonchalant way so that you can’t totally tell if they’re serious or not (spoiler alert: they are). They’ll try to make it sound like you’re just a good friend that they like getting to know. However, a married guy probably wouldn’t say this even in a joking way if there wasn’t some truth behind it.
- Or, he pretends he can’t stand you. Remember when you were in elementary school and the boys who had a crush on you were the ones who were the meanest to you? This is the same logic as an adult. Obviously, he’s probably not being an outright a**hole, but he might be a bit stand-offish or rude if he’s fighting feelings for you.
- He never mentions his wife. If a married man has a crush on you, he probably won’t want you to think of him as being married. He knows if you think that, you won’t think of him as an option. That’s not to say he’s looking to start an affair, but married men like the flattery of knowing somebody likes them. Plus, he may not want you to think that he’s a happily married man, so if there’s any mention of his wife, it’ll probably be something negative.
- Or, he goes on and on about how much he loves her. This is more likely to be one of the signs a married man is interested in you if he’s overly touchy with his wife when you’re around or regularly gushes about how much he loves her to you and no one else. He’s overcompensating and seems to have something to prove.
- He only flirts with you. This is where things can get a little tricky. Some guys are just naturally nice, which can be misinterpreted as flirting. There are other guys who like to flirt even if they’re married. However, knowing if a married guy likes you is all about seeing if he treats you differently. If he seems friendly or flirty with everyone, don’t give it a second thought. If he only seems to be flirting with you, that should tell you something.
- He remembers things about you. In many ways, married guys are no different from unmarried guys. If he likes you, he’s going to pay better attention when you speak. He’ll be interested in you and he’ll remember the things you say better. It’s just a little different because married men shouldn’t be making an effort to remember things about other women.
- He starts conversations. Again, this isn’t that different from any other guy. If he’s interested in you, he’ll make more of an effort to start conversations or text you out of the blue, just looking to chat. Of course, with any other guy, it’s not worth a second thought. But a married man probably shouldn’t be doing that sort of thing, making it a little more obvious that he likes you.
- He’s supportive. Married or not, a guy who likes you will always want to be supportive of you. He wants to be in your corner and be your hero and protector. A married man will know that he’s not your boyfriend but he will almost try to fill that role for you even though he knows that he can’t or shouldn’t.
- He’s interested in your dating life. Outside of passing comments or just trying to make conversation, married men shouldn’t be too interested in the dating lives of other women. If a married guy asks a lot of questions about who you’re dating, he might be interested in you as more than a friend. You may even sense a hint of jealousy coming from him, which is also a clear sign that a married man likes you.
- He tries to make jokes. When a guy likes someone, he’ll inevitably try to make her laugh. Again, this can be tricky with married men because they may not be actively trying to tell jokes. If you sense that a married man is actively trying to make jokes whenever you’re around him, he might have feelings for you that he shouldn’t.
- He gives you gifts. This should be obvious because married men shouldn’t be giving gifts to single women. Of course, he can’t give you anything flashy or expensive unless you’re having a legitimate affair, but he’ll try to find little ways to give you small gifts that might seem harmless. But the reality is that he likes you when he knows he shouldn’t and needs to find some way to express that.
- He’s always finding excuses to touch you. If you can’t tell if a married man is interested in you, look no further. Sure, he might claim he’s just touchy-feely in general. However, if he’s not like that with anyone else but is with you, he clearly has deeper feelings than he wants to let on.
- At work events, he always gravitates to you. Maybe you just have a solid friendship and are work buds. That’s fine! But forming your own private clique when some of these other signs are present are pretty clear indications that your married guy is flirting and feeling you.
- He treats you differently from everyone else. You can’t describe how, exactly. You just know you seem to see a different side of him than other people do. Is it the same side his wife sees? You don’t want to let yourself think too deeply on that.
- He gets jealous when you engage with other people. He has no reason to be jealous, but he is. You can tell by the way his body language changes and the look on his face. You should be able to talk to whomever you want, but he doesn’t like it. Why might that be? Because despite being married, this guy likes you.
- His behavior with you is very hot and cold. One day he wants to talk to you every second he gets. The next, he avoids you like the plague. He clearly feels confused and torn, so he finds it impossible to act normal with you.
- He’s always complimenting you. How sweet! He notices when you get your hair cut and he loves your new shoes. When you’re up for a promotion, he’s your biggest cheerleader. He loves everything about you and isn’t shy about telling you. It’s sweet, but also kinda odd.
- He talks you up to other people. Not only does he lavish you with compliments, he tells other people about how great you are. He’s always singing your praises to anyone who will listen. So much so that even they’re noticing that Mr. Married Man wants to be more than friends.
- He asks other people about you. When you have a day off, he asks your colleagues if they know what you’re up to. If you chat to another co-worker about a meeting you had with HR, he wants the gossip. He’s fascinated by you, that much is clear. Hopefully, it doesn’t freak you out!
What to do if you notice the signs a married man likes you
Even if you feel the same way about him that he seems to feel about you, it’s never a good idea to reciprocate the feelings of a married man. In fact, doing so will likely cause irreparable harm to his relationship and your self-worth. Instead, if you start to get the vibe that he’s way more into you than he should be, here’s what you should do.
- Don’t flirt with him. First things first: when you notice the signs that a married man has feelings for you, the worst thing you can do is to start flirting back. Encouraging his inappropriate behavior is not only disrespectful to his relationship with his wife but it also sets a precedent that you’re just fine with cheating. Let’s say you do end up with him. What’s to say if you do end up with him, he won’t cheat on you too? Stop yourself before you go too far.
- Try to eliminate your feelings for him. Sure, you like him, but so what? It’s not as if you’re star-crossed lovers destined to be together even though the world is against you. You kinda like him, and part of the reason is likely that it’s forbidden which makes it more desirable. You’ve gotten over people you’ve cared about far more in the past and you can get over this guy too. Do it.
- Be honest with him about what you think. If he actually makes a move on you and communicates his feelings, this is your cue to shut things down immediately. Tell him that you’re not a woman who plays second fiddle to guys who are already in relationships and that you would hate if your husband was trying to have a relationship with another woman so you wouldn’t do it to anyone else. That should be enough to stop things in their tracks.
- Cut off contact with him. If it’s possible, this is a great time to block and delete him from social media, your contacts list, etc. The less you talk to each other, the less he’ll have to go on, and the more likely he’ll be to move on quickly. It might be hard, but this is the best thing you can do for both of you.