The odd flirty comment or tease can be taken as a bit of fun, but what happens when a married man starts full-on flirting with you?
It’s a tricky situation to be in. Is he flirting because he wants to have an affair or is he just having a little fun and messing around with you?
It’s not always clear to tell, and before you tell someone to back-off, it’s a good idea to know what their intentions are first.
Below are 25 signs a married man is flirting with you and what you can do about it, but first…
Why do married men flirt?
A married man flirting with you can be uncomfortable if you’re not interested, especially if you’re unsure why he’s even doing it in the first place.
You may work with this guy or hang out in the same social circles, and the fact that he’s a bit too friendly with you, even though he’s married, can make you second guess his intentions.
Although you’ll never know the answer unless you ask him directly, here are some common reasons why a married man flirts with other women:
- He’s bored or unhappy in his marriage
- He’s attracted to you or has strong feelings
- He wants to feel desired or needed
- He wants revenge (maybe his wife has hurt him and he wants his own back)
- It’s just his personality
Often, if a man isn’t getting the attention he craves from his wife, he may turn to another woman to satisfy his ego. It’s human nature to want to feel good about ourselves, be seen as attractive and desired by others.
Now, that’s not to say it’s his wife’s fault that he’s flirting with you.
She could equally be a caring, devoted partner who showers him with attention, but he’s lost interest and looks elsewhere.
And that’s not all:
There’s always the possibility he just wants to mess around, flirts to have fun, and take it no further than that. Sort of “flirting without an agenda” if you like.
This type of guy will display some of the signs below, but they’ll never fully cross the line. They want to push the boundaries but not enough to cause serious damage.
And finally, some people are just naturally flirty.
But in this situation, you would quickly pick up on the fact that he’s flirty with everyone and not just you.
So, how do you when he’s just goofing around and making you laugh because he’s bored at work, or when he wants to take things to the next level and potentially initiate a full-blown affair?
Signs a married man is flirting with you
1) He’s all over your social media
Social media makes it easy to indulge in flirtation — a cheeky comment on your latest post or liking all of your pictures may be his way of establishing a connection with you.
It can also be discreet.
If his wife doesn’t keep an eye on his activity, he can get away with commenting or messaging you on social media and showing his interest by liking your pictures.
2) He takes an interest in your love life
Do you notice that he has more questions than usual when you divulge that you went on a hot date last night?
Or, maybe he outright asks you if you’re seeing anyone. If you mention you are, chances are he’ll find something wrong with the new guy on the scene.
Here’s the thing:
If he was innocently asking about your love life, he wouldn’t feel the need to pass judgment.
But, if he’s attracted or has feelings for you, you’ll notice how his reaction changes whenever you open up about your dating life and how it’s usually a negative reaction.
Quite simply, even if he can’t have you, he doesn’t want another guy coming along and sweeping you off your feet either.
3) He buys you gifts
Why do we give gifts?
We like to imagine it’s purely a selfless act and it’s to make the receiver feel good. But in some cases, presents can be a way to gain the affection of someone.
So the super expensive gift on your birthday? The fancy present he gave you for Christmas?
It’s all another sign that he’s flirting with you and wants to win you over.
And the real question is:
Why is a married man giving you gifts?
Even if you’re friends or co-workers, a bottle of wine or chocolates normally does the trick, not thoughtful, unique presents that he’s put a lot of time or money into.
4) He can’t stop complimenting you
Another obvious sign a married man is flirting with you is when he constantly showers you with compliments.
You could be in your sweats with no sleep and greasy hair and he’ll still find something good to say about you.
So if it’s such an obvious sign, why does he do it?
Well, compliments are a great way of letting someone know that you like an aspect of them. When he compliments your appearance, he’s letting you know that he finds you attractive.
If he compliments your skills at work, it’s clear that your drive and motivation impress him — either way, these random yet frequent flattering remarks signify he’s flirting with you.
5) His ring mysteriously disappears whenever you’re together
At this point, you might be trying to recall when the last time you saw him wearing it.
It’s a classic from the movies, the guy removes the ring before heading into the bar or slips it in his pocket the moment his crush walks in.
The point is:
He doesn’t want you to be reminded of the fact that he’s married. He knows you know it already, but to put you at ease with his flirty advances, he’d rather not have it there on show dampening the mood.
6) He gets jealous if you mention other guys
If a married man is flirting with you, he won’t just take an interest in your love life, he might even become visibly jealous.
Even though he’s aware that he might not take things further with you, it won’t stop him from getting annoyed at the idea of someone else winning over your affection.
And you might notice this of male friends or co-workers, just keep an eye out on whether he tenses up (or starts bragging and showing off) whenever another guy comes around.
7) He tries to make you laugh
Here’s the thing:
If he’s not a smoldering, mysterious, 50-shades-of-grey type of character, his second-best bet at impressing you will be to make you laugh.
And it’s not just about seeing your pretty smile — research shows that men might use humor to figure out how interested a woman is, and that people who share a laugh may form stronger bonds.
8) He looks for different ways to talk to you
Another sign a married man is flirting with you is when he seeks you out wherever you are.
At work, he’ll take any opportunity to speak to you, even if it’s just a few minutes while you make a cup of coffee.
If you’re part of the same friendship group, he’ll follow you to the kitchen for a few minutes alone whenever you’ve got the gang round for game-night.
And this is where it gets risky:
Even though other people might pick up on it (knowing that he’s married) he might deliberately make sure to always position himself next to you. That’s when you know he’s not just messing around.
9) He wants to know details about you
One thing is to take an interest in your life, like what your hobbies are or where you’re going on holiday next summer.
Another is when he wants to know all those tiny little details that you usually reserve for people close to you.
So why is this a sign of flirting?
Finding out your deepest fear or engaging you in an emotional conversation about your childhood is his way of building a connection between you.
Plus, the more you divulge to him, the more it shows you trust him. That makes it easier for him if he wants to take things further than just flirting.
And the more in detail you are about your life, the more chance he has of finding out about any potential male competition.
10) He looks uncomfortable when the subject turns to his wife
Naturally, if his wife comes into the conversation, you’ll notice him change the subject quickly or pretend to act casual (even though he’s uncomfortable).
There are two possible reasons he behaves like this:
Firstly, it could be the same situation as with the ring — he simply doesn’t want to remind you of the fact that he’s married.
The second comes down to guilt. He’s not stupid, he’s aware that he’s flirting with you and there’s the possibility that he feels bad for doing it.
For that reason, he’ll keep the mention of his wife to a minimum.
You might also notice a longing for the bachelor life — he’ll hint at missing his “freedom” and being able to do whatever he wants, without being weighed down by his family commitments.
11) He complains about his marriage or wife to you
On the other hand, he may go the opposite way and talk about her non-stop to you.
Especially if they’re going through problems. A major sign a married man is flirting with you is if starts confiding his marital issues with you.
So why is doing this?
The truth is, he may just be looking for a shoulder to lean on. If you’re someone supportive in his life, he may feel comfortable talking to you about this stuff.
On the other hand, it could be because he wants you to see that things aren’t working out in his marriage.
That way, you might consider him an option in your life, especially if you feel sorry for him and believe he’ll be single soon.
12) His behavior confuses you
Do you find that his behavior goes from hot to cold?
Sometimes he’s all eyes and ears for you and other times he’s distant and cold?
When this happens, it’s usually because he’s unsure of his feelings.
He could be conflicted because he’s attracted to you but he isn’t ready to end his marriage, or because he wants to take things further and potentially cheat on his wife.
For whatever reason, he feels an attraction to you and despite being married, his inability to stop flirting with you could make his behavior seem inconsistent.
13) He starts texting or calling you
If a married man is flirting with you, he’ll probably be hitting those direct messages on social media too.
Usually, if he doesn’t want his wife to see his messages, he’ll use a method like this rather than direct texting or calling. That way it’ll be harder for her to see it show up on his phone.
But regardless of where he contacts you, a sign that he’s interested is when he messages you even at inappropriate times like late at night.
Interestingly though, you might pick up on patterns. There’ll be certain times when you never hear from him (and that’s usually because he’s busy with his wife).
14) He pays you special attention
Some form of special attention is probably what has brought you here today. Maybe his behavior and attention to detail have made you suspicious.
From remembering the names of people you mention to asking how your younger brother’s graduation went, all this extra attention he pays you signals that he’s flirting with you.
When you wear your hair differently or get a slight tan from a weekend at the beach, he’ll pick up on it and compliment you.
Giving you special attention is his way of making you feel comfortable and relaxed around him, but it’s also to show that he has a lot of interest in you.
After all, we don’t usually give much importance or attention to things that bore us, right?
15) He checks out your figure
One way in which a married man might flirt with you is by checking you out — he just has to make sure he’s not too obvious about it.
You might notice him staring at you when he thinks you’re not looking, and you’ll feel his eyes on you as you walk across the room.
Other times, he might be more obvious about it, especially if you’re trying to have a conversation but his eyes keep wandering.
Either way, he’s letting you know that he finds you attractive and he’s probably hoping you feel the same way about him.
16) He teases you
Teasing, when done right, is fun, playful, and intended to make you laugh.
When we gently tease the people we like, it’s usually over things that we find cute or that we know will invoke a humorous reaction from them.
And there’s no better way to flirt with someone than a little light teasing.
Plus, since it’s quite normal between friends, it’s a good option for a married man to take since he won’t come across as being directly flirty or too forward.
17) He always looks his best when you’re around
If a married man is flirting with you, he’s going to make sure he always looks dapper whenever you’re around.
His hair will be neat, his clothes fresh and his aftershave on point — anything to beat the competition.
Here’s the thing:
Even though he’s married, as we mentioned earlier, he may still crave attention and want to feel desired and handsome.
And since you’ve caught his eye, you’re the one he wants to impress the most now.
18) He talks about “theoretical” situations
And the future.
Do you notice him coming up with random theoretical “what if” situations?
Like, “What if I had met you before my wife?” or “What do you think would happen if you and I were both singles at the same time?”.
These imaginary scenarios are a way to gauge whether you’re into him or not.
Judging by your response, he’ll know whether you could imagine being with him as more than friends, and just the nature of the questions will indicate that he’s interested in you.
19) He treats you differently when you’re alone vs around people
If a married man is flirting with you, you’ll notice how his behavior changes depending on where you are.
If you’re alone, he’ll be relaxed, chatty, and even touchy-feely with you.
But once other people are around, he’ll become much more reserved. He might even address you more formally or outright ignore you.
This is an obvious sign to look out for, essentially he doesn’t want people to get the wrong impression so his behavior will probably change quite drastically.
20) If his wife is around, his behavior changes completely
The same goes for when his wife shows up.
This goes without saying — he doesn’t want his wife to have an inkling, not one iota, that he’s got a thing for you, so he may act airy and indifferent towards you.
You might notice even his tone of voice changing, or that he doesn’t look at you at all. And in some cases, he might act awkwardly around his wife too.
If she leans in for a kiss and he seems hesitant it shows that he feels uncomfortable all around, in front of his wife and you.
On the other hand:
He may ramp up his efforts.
This can be particularly unnerving and strange, but it could be that he’s trying to make his wife jealous or he’s getting payback for something she’s done to him (a completely unhealthy situation all around).
So we’ve covered many of the main signs of flirting, let’s move on to non-verbal cues that you’ll pick up from his body language.
Body language signs that he’s flirting with you
21) He makes plenty of eye contact
And when it comes to flirting with his eyes, he won’t stop there. A guy staring into your eyes is a definite sign he’s into you.
And it’s an easy sign to spot.
When you avoid making eye contact, it shows that you’re uncomfortable or uninterested in the person and what they have to say.
But maintain it for a few seconds too long and it shows that you like what you see.
Plus, when two people lock eyes, time almost stands still. It’s an intimate act, especially if he times it well and does it in a cool, non-creepy type of way.
22) He might find ways to touch or be close to you
Another sign that a married man is flirting with you is touch.
When it comes to touching you, there can be a few ways to interpret it.
Sometimes it’s out of protectiveness, an instinct like putting his arm around you to keep you safe or warm. A hug or a kiss on the cheek can mean something more but equally can be shared between platonic friends.
Other types of touch signify flirting, such as leaning against you, putting his hand on your leg, or tickling you.
You’ll have to judge it by how he touches you and whether he lingers with his touch. A hug that goes on for too long or a kiss too close to the mouth can indicate he’s interested in more.
23) He mirrors your actions
Mirroring a person’s actions occurs naturally when we like them and want them to like us in return. It can happen when we are attracted to someone, or even just being around people we love, like family and friends.
For example, they twirl their hair, you do the same. They lick their lips, and without realizing it, you casually lick yours too.
Essentially, it’s an unconscious imitation.
So, if he does do it, he’s not aware of it and most of the actions will be quite subtle.
You’ll have to pay close attention to your movements/words and then see whether he mirrors them or not.
Maybe he folds his arms when you fold yours or uses words that you use frequently, especially slang words or particular phrases.
24) He gets embarrassed in front of you
If he’s flirting with you, it’s because he likes you. And if he likes you, he’ll get nervous around you.
And when you’re nervous, the last thing you want is to be embarrassed.
So, if you notice him blush or start sweating around you, it’s probably because he’s worried you won’t take him seriously (or find him so goofy and cute that you move him straight to the friend-zone).
But, the tough, cool guy act can only last so long. When he does eventually slip up, you’ll see how flustered he gets.
25) He fidgets uncomfortably
Finally, a sign a married man is flirting with you is when he can’t stop fidgeting.
From running his hand through hair 25 times in one conversation to tugging at his sleeves or shirt buttons, it’ll seem like he just can’t contain his energy.
So what usually happens is:
He’ll be trying so hard to impress you that he’ll end up appearing even more nervous. His nerves and excitement will take over and he’ll act almost giddy when you’re around.
This then links back to easily being embarrassed around you — an easy sign to pick up on.
So by now, you know whether this married man is flirting with you or just being overly-friendly. It’s still not an ideal situation, but at least now you know where you stand.
Should you get involved with a married man?
The truth is, even if you are interested back, you need to think long and hard before going down this route.
Not only could you get heartbroken, especially if you end up falling in love and he doesn’t leave his wife, as is often the case, but you could also be partaking in the breakup of his family.
Do you want to be “the other woman”?
Put it this way:
If he likes you and wants to be with you, he should do the respectful thing to all parties involved and end his marriage before dragging you into his mess.
Although the idea of having a potential affair could sound exciting and thrilling, there are other factors to consider:
- Does he have kids?
- How much do you truly know about their marriage? (He may not have been completely truthful and they may not be on the brink of divorce)
- Are you colleagues, will you have to see him every day?
- Is he dealing with a messy marriage breakup? You don’t want to get into the middle of that mess
In any case, it’s always best to let him wrap up his marriage first before getting involved. And keep in mind, there’s always the possibility he won’t leave his wife, so don’t pin all your hopes on this happening.
Now, it could be the case that you have zero interest in him and want him to leave you alone. If this is the case, check out the tips below.
How to reject a married man who flirts with you
But what if all this attention isn’t welcome and you want him to get off your case?
It’s completely understandable.
If you’re not attracted to him, you don’t want to get involved with a married man and you don’t enjoy his flirty advances, you’ve got to put an end to it.
Here are a few ideas to help you out:
- Don’t react when he flirts (remain neutral so you don’t give him any hope)
- Make it clear that you’re not interested in him
- Invent a fake boyfriend (it could get him off your case, especially if you’re convincing about it)
- Be honest and explain that his behavior makes you uncomfortable and you don’t feel the same way about him
And ultimately, if he doesn’t stop, you should end all communication with him.
If he’s a mutual friend, block all communication until he gets the message. Ultimately, if he doesn’t respect your wishes, he certainly doesn’t respect you so you’ve got to put up strong boundaries and be firm about it.
The bottom line is:
Getting involved with a married man is never a good idea.
Even a little flirting back can be taken the wrong way, so it’s important to nip it in the bud ASAP and stop yourself from getting sucked into a stressful love triangle.