4 Signs A Married Man Likes You More Than A Friend And What To Do About It
By Sarah Khan
Updated March 16, 2020
Can men and women be friends? The world has been debating this question for many years now, and they're still isn't a unanimous consensus. There are many instances where married men befriend women, whether they are single, in relationships, or married. So long as things remain platonic, there doesn't seem to be any real harm in that. When a man's wife is familiar with the friendship and even comfortable with it, there's usually even less of an issue, if any at all. Any two people should be able to be friends. However, there are certain instances where friendships start to evolve, either on one side or both, and this is when things can become complicated. In many of these cases, you may not even be aware that he has any feelings for you.
Attraction Versus Friendship
If you are a woman who is friends with a married man, you may view him as any of your other friends. You understand and respect that he is in a committed and loving relationship, and even if he weren't, you probably wouldn't be romantically interested in him anyway. If, for some reason, you start to question your friendship and wonder if there may be something more going on his end, ask yourself whether you see that there may be any signs of attraction.
It can be very difficult to distinguish the difference between attraction and friendship since both have a lot of similar features. Friends are comfortable with one another, open and honest, and are people you can share your deepest emotions and struggles with. They are people you enjoy spending time with and make an effort to be around because you enjoy each other's' company.
Attraction tends to exhibit all of the qualities above, but with the additional feature of romantic emotions. When a man is physically attracted to you, you may notice there is a lot more touching involved, there's an element of intimacy (this does not mean sex, but simply in the way he interacts with you), and you may notice that his marriage and family life come up less in conversation or there start to be more complaints about married life (he's making it open and clear about any unhappiness in his personal life).
It's never your fault if you don't see the signs that your married male friend has started to like you as more than a friend, as many are very good at hiding their feelings and are comfortable in the friend zone. However, if you have an inkling that he may have some feelings for you that go further than the platonic nature of a friendship, it may be time for you and your friend to have a discussion to ensure there are no miscommunications about what either of you is feeling. This would also be a good time to start exploring where you can go from that point forward to decide on whether the friendship can continue or if the dynamic needs to change in some way, or if maybe, it's time to move on from one another entirely.
He Finds Ways To Spend Time With You
Initially, this may seem a bit silly, since you're good friends and good friends should always make time for one another. There's a very subtle difference between making time for your friends and making time for someone you're interested in more than just a platonic nature. When you're friends, your priorities revolve around your biggest commitments. For a married man, his priorities should be his family and his work. Friends are an important part of everyone's lives, but they become a luxury once you're married and are sharing your life with another person.
If your married male friend is blowing off family engagements or thinking of you first over his family, it may be indicative that he has feelings for you. When you see that he's looking for more reasons to be around you instead of spending time with his wife and family, that shows that you're becoming more of a priority, which should be cause for concern towards your friendship.
In some cases, you and your male friend may have known each other for many years or even since childhood. In those cases, it's completely natural for you both to feel closer to one another than either of you would your spouses, since you're more comfortable and familiar with one another over the time you've spent together. These cases are a bit of an exception, but either way, if you start to notice that he's looking for reasons to spend time with you outside of the norm, he may have some feelings for you.
Body language is a major indicator of how people feel about one another. Oftentimes, people aren't even consciously aware of just how much they are saying non-verbally. Our bodies naturally show some of what we are feeling. Some of us are better at hiding this than others, but even the best of the best is showing something through the way they move and interact with others.
A married man who likes you more than a friend will find ways to be closer to you physically. He may tilt his head sideways as he thinks about what you're saying or find reasons to make physical contact such as touching your hand, bumping your shoulder, or even patting you on the back. He may touch you on the back when he's next to you, and he will likely always be facing you with his feet pointed towards you when engaged in the conversation because he is so interested in you that he cares about what you are saying. He will laugh when you make jokes and smile a lot while looking at you. These are all signs that indicate he likes you.
However, on the other hand, if you and your married friend are hanging out with his wife or family, you may notice that you're getting a bit of the cold shoulder. This is often the case when he likes you more than just a friend and is trying to compensate for that in front of his family by 'ignoring' you to some extent. He may be less attentive, he may speak to you less, and he may not be as physically interactive, as this may cause suspicion by his spouse.
He Gives You Compliments And Gifts
Friends who have known one another for a long time tend to get comfortable with one another to the point of being very family-like when together, regardless of their gender. However, there are some subtle ways to tell the difference between regular friendly comfort and romantic feelings.
If you've noticed that the married man showers you with sweet compliments that are specific to you and even help negate anything you may not like about yourself, he may like you as more than a friend. Friends do give each other compliments, sure, but the nature of the compliments says a lot. When a man is married, the way he compliments women other than his wife changes. The compliments are less personal, more generic, and tame. If your friend starts to give you very personal compliments where he takes the time to notice or comment on something very specific, that shows that he is paying extra attention to you. If this is the case, he has an interest in you that may extend just the scope of a regular friendship. Additionally, if the way he compliments you when you're one on one is different than the way he compliments you around his friends or family, there may be some hidden feelings.
Gifts are common in all types of relationships. However, if you're friends with a married man and have some feelings of him possibly having feelings that extend that of just friendship, pay attention to the type of gift you're getting as well as the meaning behind them. This may be difficult if you're very close friends, as closer friends tend to know more about one another and their preferences.
If he is giving you personal gifts that show he is listening to what you say, what you like, and what you want, this shows additional attention to detail that may mean he likes you. Men tend to be very generic and bland in their gift-giving. Many don't even know what they're getting their wives for the holidays until a day or two before the actual day they exchange gifts. If he's sending you gifts 'just because' or 'because they reminded him of you' or something you like, this shows an element of intimacy.
If you are familiar with his wife, consider what he's given his wife and when he gives his wife gifts. Do you notice him sending her gifts for no reason? Does he know what she likes or wants? Is he confident in his gift-giving to his wife? If you can confidently answer no, but see that he knows you well and pays more attention to you, there's cause to think he likes you and has some feelings for you.
This one goes hand in hand with body language. If a married man is flirty with you, his friend, while there may be some instances this is completely innocent, the chances are unlikely. If your conversations are dancing on the edge of joking and intimate, this is not typically acceptable in a marriage. This is especially the case if his wife is not aware of the way you guys speak to one another. There is a saying that mentions there is some truth to every joke. If you guys are consistently making flirty comments or jokes, while you may be doing so innocently, he may be feeling more.
You may notice he looks you directly in the eye when you speak and even accompanies this with a smile. There is a correlation between prolonged eye contact and attraction. It's also been said that you can tell what another person is feeling through the eyes. After all, "the eyes are the windows to the soul," as some would believe. Pay attention to the way he looks at you, how often you catch him staring at you, the feeling you get when you see him gazing at you. If you start to feel like there's an intensity, he may actually like you.
Friendships between two heterosexual individuals of the opposite sex can become difficult. Many start completely innocent while others begin with one person feeling romantic feelings, but being comfortable with remaining in the friend zone. When a man is married, being his friend is something that can become toxic to his relationship if he develops feelings for you, so if you care about him, try to look out for the subtle differences that show there's more going on than just a friendship.
Marriages are difficult, and there's temptation everywhere a married person looks, even if they are happy in their relationship. Sometimes, you feel closer to your friend than you do your spouse, and that's where feelings become confused. If you're worried about whether your married male friend has feelings for you, spend some time observing your interactions from the outside. Look for signs that show he's paying some special interest in you, maybe more so than he is his wife. Once you notice the signs pointing towards romantic feelings, try to have the difficult discussion to clear the air and set the necessary boundaries for your friendship to continue healthily. Unfortunately, in some cases, this may not be an option, so also be ready to accept the end of your friendship if feelings are not reciprocated.
If you're struggling with your friendship with a married man and would like to learn more about how to tell if he likes you as more than a friend, reach out to a certified counselor at https://www.regain.us/start/.