You’ve met a man and he seems to be interested in you. You are laughing, talking, and having a great time. You can feel the sexual tension and are pretty sure he is flirting with you.
Then you spot his wedding ring.
Now you feel so confused.
Is this married man flirting with you? Or did you misread the situation?
Despite being in a committed relationship, and maybe having kids, married men do flirt for all sorts of reasons. If you are on the receiving end of the attention, you can end up feeling baffled and frustrated.
We’ve got all the details on how to tell if a married man is flirting with you. Plus we’ll share tips on what to do if they are. We’ll also explain why married men flirt and breakdown the differences between flirting and friendship.
Let’s jump in.
32 signs a married man is flirting with you
You might already know the most important signs that a man is flirting with you.
But, do married men flirt differently than single guys? Absolutely!
There is a lot of overlap in the ways single guys and married men flirt. However, flirty married men will also try to make you forget or overlook the fact that they are married.
1) He will make excuses to be near you
From inserting himself into your circle of friends to concocting reasons to talk in person, he will find reasons to be close to you.
He wants to spend time with you but he’ll need an excuse so that his spouse and other people don’t catch on.
2) He’s protective
Flirting isn’t all about sexy eye contact. That’s why a sure sign to tell if a guy is interested is how protective they are towards you.
Whether it’s walking on the outside to shield you from traffic or leaping to your defense to take your side in an argument.
These are subtle acts of heroism.
According to this new fascinating psychological concept, called the hero instinct, men have a biological urge to provide and protect.
When a woman triggers this drive in him it’ll show through behaviors like this.
I’d suggest watching this free video to find out if you’ve been triggering your married man’s hero instinct.
The hero instinct is a powerful silent driver in all-male/female romantic connections, and a total game-changer once you understand it and learn how to use it for your benefit.
3) He will try to be alone with you
When it’s just the two of you, it is safer for him to flirt.
He will create reasons to spend time alone, like offering you a ride or having a private meeting at work.
4) He will strike up conversations
How is your family? How is your day going? What are you doing this weekend?
He will frequently ask questions to initiate conversations. The questions may seem like small talk, but they give him an excuse to chat with you.
Asking questions is a good way to get to know someone better. But, there is more to it.
Posing polite questions and starting conversations shows you that he is attentive and it looks innocent to an outsider.
5) Those conversations will turn too personal
Small talk isn’t always a sign of flirting on its own but a married man trying to flirt will take casual conversations a step further.
He may keep discussions at a surface level when other people are around but he will try to dig deeper when you are alone.
He will suddenly be interested in your interests, hobbies, and favorite foods. If he starts asking about your childhood, fears, and goals, you can assume he is flirting.
6) He will ask about your love life
If a married man is interested in you, they will ask if you are dating anyone or if there is someone you like. Not only is he crossing his fingers, hoping that you are single, but he is also inviting you to express interest in him.
f you are in a relationship, he will have lots of questions about how committed you are and how much time you spend together.
7) He will talk bad about your boyfriend
If you are in a relationship, a married man who is flirting with you will jump on chances to criticize your boyfriend. He will point out ways your boyfriend is wrong for you.
Although he can’t fully commit to being with you, a flirty married man doesn’t want you to be with anyone else.
8) He is generous with compliments
When a married man is flirting, he will pile on the compliments.
He will praise everything from your smile to your new outfit and your work ethic. The compliments are probably genuine and well-earned. But, they are also meant to make you realize that he notices you.
9) He will try to make you laugh
He wants to see you happy, and he wants to charm you, so he will often make jokes. Even if he isn’t naturally funny, he may forward you links to humorous content or try to be wittier when he talks to you.
10) He will laugh at your jokes
You might be hilarious. But, are you really?
If he gives an oversized giggle at every joke you make, he’s probably into you.
11) He tries to establish inside jokes
Depending on your personality, a joke that no one else understands is a sure-fire way to establish a connection with someone.
Since he can’t spend loads of time with you, a married man will look for ways to deepen your relationship.
Latching on to something funny that happened organically and recalling it, again and again, is a way to remind you that you share a bond.
12) He will listen and show that he is paying attention
When you speak, he will hang on to every word.
Not only will he listen, but he will also smile, nod along and ask follow-up questions. He may even ask more questions days or weeks later.
13) He will text you often
When a married man is flirting with you, daily texts will quickly become a habit.
According to Psychology Today, men text flirt because they want to relax and they want control. He wants you to know that he is thinking of you, and he wants to keep tabs on what you are doing and where you are. He may even send texts with low-key hints that he is into you.
14) He will ask you not to text
It’s confusing, but flirting by text can be tricky for married men because those messages can get them caught.
No matter how often he texts you, he is probably deleting those messages immediately. And, he may ask you not to text him on weekends or after certain hours when he knows his spouse will be nearby.
15) He will follow you on social media
If you post on Instagram, TikTok, or other social media platforms, he will find and follow you.
He will probably like your content. He may even post subtle comments that you will notice but others will miss.
16) He will give gifts
A married man that is flirting with you will frequently give both large and small gifts.
Giving you things is a way to show affection without anyone else noticing. He might go out of his way to buy you a piece of personalized jewelry, a scarf in your favorite color, or an expensive Christmas gift.
17) He will take off his wedding ring
He wants to send a hint that his marriage isn’t a big deal, so his wedding ring will disappear.
He might want you to forget that he is married, but the tan line on his finger will give him away.
18) He will act differently in front of his spouse
He might be chatty and funny when it is just the two of you, but his attitude will change if his spouse is in the room. Suddenly, he will become professional and distant.
It’s enough to give you whiplash but a flirty married man never wants his spouse to catch on.
19) His behavior will change in public
Just as he acts differently around his wife, his tune will change when others are around.
One-on-one, he might be sweet and even touch you casually. When you step out together, his walls will go up. Suddenly he is hands-off and standoffish. It’s all about not getting caught.
20) He will invite you to lunch or coffee
A married man that is flirting with you may have trouble asking you on a real date.
Instead, he will ask you to have lunch or to meet him at a coffee shop. Day dates can be easily hidden in the workday. These get-togethers can leave you wondering if it’s a romantic rendezvous or a couple of pals meeting up.
21) He will mimic your preferences
He wants to show that you are compatible, so he will figure out what you like. Then, he will start showing that he likes the same things.
He will begin drinking his coffee the same way you take it. He will wear your favorite color and watch the TV shows you love.
22) He gets jealous way too easily
Jealousy can be a normal, healthy emotion. But, he might become possessive or obsessive, especially if you are seeing someone else.
A married man flirting with you wants you to himself, even though he can not be with you.
23) He complains about his spouse
He wants you to know that his marriage isn’t something that stands in your way, so he will openly complain about his wife.
He will point out how unhappy he is at home, share their relationship struggles and explain that his spouse doesn’t understand him. But, be careful. He may be exaggerating or making things up.
24) He won’t talk about his family
Even while complaining about his spouse, the rest of his family is completely off-limits.
Talking about his kids is sure to remind you that he is a taken family man. Mentioning his parents and siblings while trying to chat you up will probably make him feel guilty.
He’ll always steer the conversation to other topics.
25) He will check out your body
If you catch him looking at you, again and again, he is probably attracted to you. Whether it’s your booty or your eyes, if a married man is checking you out, he is interested.
26) He will ask for favors
He may be used to someone who will take care of little things for him and wants to see if you will do the same. Plus, he will get a thrill out of you running an errand for him.
27) He will improve his appearance
A married man knows that he is competing against eligible men for your attention.
He will take extra care to impress you with his looks. He might get a new haircut, trim up his beard, spring for a new outfit or try a new cologne.
28) He focuses on you
In a crowded room, where is his attention?
If you have captured his attention and are distracting him from everything else, he is into you.
In group conversations, he will single you out for your thoughts. Sometimes this even means he will ignore or overlook other people.
29) He will smile and move his mouth
We all know that smiling equals happiness. But, according to Women’s Health, there’s a little more going on. When a man is falling for you, he will instinctively have a genuine smile.
How about sexual tension? Feelings of desire will have him licking and biting his lips or giving half-smiles.
30) He will send mixed signals
One minute he is attentive and obsessive. The next moment he seems to have forgotten about you.
In private, he practically suffocates you, but in public, he ignores you. His on-again-off-again attitude will leave your head swirling. It all comes down to his own inner conflict.
He is interested in you, but he knows he should be committed to his spouse. Plus, he is trying to make sure no one else figures out what is going on.
31) He will be nervous
A married man that is flirting with you is constantly walking a tight rope.
He doesn’t want to push you away but he can’t risk getting too close. All that balancing is bound to make him nervous.
32) You will be nervous around him
Even if you are questioning if he is flirting, you already know deep down.
Your sixth sense will tell you the truth and set off warning bells. If you feel nervous every time you see him, your subconscious may be telling you this married man is flirting.
Body language hints that a married man is flirting with you
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way a cut through the confusion and know if a married man is flirting with you? Body language is the key.
A married man might not be able to flirt full-on, but his body will give him away.
- He stares at you, even when you aren’t looking at him
- He seems embarrassed when you catch him looking
- He holds intense eye contact
- He leans toward you during conversations
- He uses good posture or positions himself to look taller
- He angles his feet toward you
- He mirrors your movements
- He fidgets, touches his hair, and blinks more than normal
- He tilts his head when he is listening to you
- He touches or grazes against you
- He raises his eyebrows when he sees you
Is he flirting or is it friendship?
It’s so tricky to tell the difference between being friendly and flirting.
There are a lot of gray areas there, but even having friendships can be risky for married people.
The jury is still out on whether it is appropriate to have a friendship with a married man. But you do need to be able to tell if he is being nice or actually flirting. Ask yourself these questions.
- How does he feel about your love life?
- Friend: He wants you to find love and happiness
- Flirt: He wants you to himself
- Does he try to be alone with you?
- Friend: He is happy to spend time in groups or alone
- Flirt: He tries to be alone with you whenever possible and is more comfortable when it is just the two of you
- Does he talk about his life?
- Friend: A married man who is your friend is open and relaxed talking about his friends and family
- Flirt: A married man who is flirting with you will sky away from talking about his family
- Does he give you gifts?
- Friend: He gives you occasional small gifts, usually for holidays or your birthday
- Flirt: He treats you to expensive things for no reason
- Does he make eye contact?
- Friend: He makes eye contact during conversations and looks away occasionally
- Flirt: He gazes deeply into your eyes and never does not break the intense eye contact
Why do married men flirt?
Single people are often trying to take things from a friendship to a relationship. But, married men might have other motives.
A married man that is flirting with you probably isn’t looking to start a romantic entanglement (though there are exceptions.) So why do married men flirt?
1) You triggered his hero instinct
Men naturally become attentive when you trigger their hero instinct.
I very briefly touched upon this concept earlier on.
It’s the new theory in relationship psychology that is causing a real buzz right now.
It says men are biologically programmed to want to feel needed, to feel essential, and to provide for the woman he cares about.
They essentially want to feel like an everyday hero.
And when a woman makes him feel like this, she has him wrapped around her little finger.
The reason this married guy could be flirting with you is because you are triggering his hero instinct (whether you mean to or not).
So he’s drawn to you, even without thinking about it — it’s instinctive.
It goes without saying this magnetic power to have any man drooling over you is a useful thing to learn. Check out this excellent free video for the best way to learn about why it works.
It reveals exactly how to trigger the hero instinct in a guy to create a more loving, passionate, and lifelong relationship (including the texts you can send and things you can say).
2) He wants to be wanted
He might be flirting with you because he wants you to flirt back.
Having someone flirt with you can be a huge ego boost and he might be looking to prop up his self-esteem.
3) Intimacy in his marriage may be down
Levels of romance and sexual intimacy change over time, especially throughout a marriage.
If he doesn’t feel emotionally close to his partner, or if sex has dropped off, he may be looking to replace those feelings.
Like the first point, a lack of intimacy in the marriage may have him seeking attention elsewhere.
4) He likes the chase
We aren’t going to lie… flirting is fun.
Married men know they have a constant at home but sometimes it’s thrilling to chase after something new. It might even get him revved up to give his steady some extra lovin’ at home.
If you are into this married man and want to take the flirting further, it might help to remind him he needs to work for it.
5) He wants his spouse to know
Most married men don’t want their spouses to catch them flirting. But, there are always exceptions.
Maybe he wants his spouse to see him flirt with someone else. He might be trying to make them jealous or trying to get more attention from them. Or it might be their kink, and he is trying to spice things up for later.
Either way, if a married man is flirting with you while his spouse is around, it’s a big red flag that the flirting isn’t about you.
What to do if a married man is flirting with you
Once you know that a married man is flirting with you, it’s time for a plan of action. How are you going to handle this flirtation?
1) Make a decision
First things first. You need to decide if you are into this flirting.
If you are willing to flirt with him, will you take it to the next step? The go-to answer here is no.
But, maybe you are open to having an affair with a married man.
If you are, go into it with your eyes wide open. He probably won’t entirely fall in love with you or leave his spouse.
You will end up with a lot of confusing emotions and possibly a ruined reputation. It’s probably best to tap out now and avoid the hurt.
2) Don’t respond
If he is flirting by text or online, don’t give in to the temptation to respond.
Even if you are just friendly, he may take it as permission to keep flirting. If he is flirtatious in person, don’t reciprocate.
Move away from his touches, bring other people into the conversation, and don’t be alone with him.
3) Ask about his family
There’s no bigger reminder that his extramarital attention is inappropriate than asking about his spouse and kids.
The next time he is flirting with you, ask how his kids are doing in school or if he is taking his spouse out on a date night this weekend. But, tread carefully.
Asking about his wife could turn into another opportunity for him to complain about his marriage. Shut that conversation down by praising his spouse.
4) Tell him to stop
Sometimes you have to summon all your courage and be direct. It’s uncomfortable but so is suffering through unwanted flirting.
Tell him explicitly that you are not interested and that you find the flirting inappropriate. Then, break all contact and do not respond if he continues to reach out.
There are many reasons for flirting and, for married men, it’s not always about starting a relationship. But, when a married man is flirting with you, confusion and conflicted emotions are sure to follow.
While it feels good for someone to show you attention, you deserve for that attention to come from someone available.
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