4 Signs A Married Man Likes You More Than A Friend And What To Do About It
By: Sarah Khan
Updated July 31, 2020
It has been a worldwide and constant argument whether or not men and women can really be friends. Up until today, there hasn’t been a unanimous decision. There have been a lot of instances where men who are married become friends with women, regardless of their status. Just as long as they are in a platonic relationship, there seems to have no complications or problems that arise. When somebody’s wife is amicable with a man’s friendship and even feel safe being in it, there are typically very few issues, if there is even any at all. Friendships should be available for any two individuals, man or woman. However, certain circumstances are required for these friendships to begin from both individuals, and this is often when the situation gets complicated. In most of these situations, one might not even be conscious that he has already developed feelings for the other.
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/.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
How do you tell if a married man is falling for you?
When you're with a man, there are signs that he's falling for you. With a married man, there are extra complications involved. He has someone else that he is involved with, and that makes your relationship complex. A married man is worried about maintaining his marriage. He wants to have his cake and eat it too, which isn't right. If a married man is falling for you, the sure way to know is that he tells you he's leaving his wife and acts on those words. If a man is in love, he will do anything it takes to preserve those feelings. He's not going to let that connection go. When you fall in love with someone who has a long term partner, you're in a risky situation. You don't know if he will leave his wife or not. One of the signs a married man is falling in love with you is that he spends more of his moments seeing you than with his wife or family. Still, there are no guarantees that he will stay with you over his wife. Until it happens, there's a possibility that the man doesn't follow through.
When you fall in love with someone, they become the person you'll call for everything. You'll want to spend time with them and build a life with them. In a healthy relationship, there will be trust, honesty, and communication. If he's going behind his wife's back, remind yourself that this is a married man who shouldn't be stepping outside of the relationship. This is not consensual non-monogamy, and it is not grounds to build healthy romantic love on. You want someone who puts in extra effort to do the right thing; not someone who lies or sneaks around.
Should I tell a married man, I have feelings for him?
If a man is married, it's best to move on and find someone who isn't attached to a partner. But, if you feel like you need to express your feelings, it's okay, though risky, to be honest. What you do with those emotions is up to you. If you fall in love with a married man, you can't help it. Those are your feelings, and they are valid. You can't help that you're in love with a married man. If he reciprocates those feelings, you have a choice to make. Do you pursue a relationship or find someone who doesn't have a partner? If you feel that this man is in love with you, you might move forward. Despite wearing his wedding ring, he demonstrates that he wants you. Even if he feels guilty, there are feelings there. If you choose to tell a man who wears a wedding ring that you're deeply in love, be prepared for anything in response. If he responds favorably, then the man is interested in you. Do you want the sort of life issues that come along with dating a married man? Remember that there will be many concerns about your love life. The choice is your as to whether you reveal your feelings and make a married man part of your life. You may want to consult a relationship expert, such as a licensed therapist, to figure out what to do with your feelings.
Can a married man fall in love with someone else?
If his marriage is failing, a married man could fall in love with someone else, and that person could be you. If a man is in love, he will show it. The hope is that he wants to end things with his spouse. He could go the extra mile and break up with his wife to be with you. That shows that the man is falling for you, but do you trust that? Your love life doesn't need to include the complications of being with a man who is taken. You need to make a choice as to whether to be with him. One of the signs that a married man is into you is if he talks to you a lot during the day. When a man is in love, he can't get that person off his mind. He may message you privately on social media, or even publicly. He may not want his love life out in the open. Maybe he's not ready to act on his feelings for you. If he's into you, he could fall in love. It could start out as a secret crush and then turn into an affair. That affair could become a relationship before you know it. The next moment the guy is in love with you. The short answer is, yes, a married man has the capability to fall in love with someone else.
That said, it's essential to be careful about this situation. This isn't only an issue as it relates to marriage as a formality; particularly if he's going behind his wives back and they don't have any mutually-known plans to split, this could be a big warning sign to stay away. This could be a scenario where his current relationship isn't working out, and spending time with another person helps him forget what's going on at home. Regardless, cheating is showing disregard for another person's feelings, and there's no guarantee that he won't do it to another person in the future, including you. If there's a chance this man could be lying about his wife knowing about the two of you, it's something to look into. For example, if the man wants to protect any signs of his relations with you but is very affectionate behind closed doors, he might be keeping you a secret.
Can a man love two women at the same time?
A man can love two women at the same time. But, at some point, he needs to make a choice. If a married man is falling in love with another woman, he may need some relationship advice. He doesn't know whether to stay with his wife or move on. He's not sure whether or not to act on his feelings. That makes his love life complicated and possibly exciting. However, it's not fair to the two women involved in this scenario. These individuals deserve to have a man who is madly in love and dedicated to them. He has to choose between the two women. Otherwise, his mind will be tortured. He needs to start showing his true feelings and pick the person he wants to be with once and for all.
Someone who is involved with two women when they are in a monogamous marriage could be engaging in other hurtful behaviors. He might lie to your face saying that he will never leave your side and that he's going to leave his wife when he doesn't plan to do so, or he could be seeing yet another person. Remember that he is going behind his wife's back. He didn't forget his status as a married man, and this is a red flag. That's why, if you encounter this man or a man that engages in these behaviors, it might not be a good idea to engage with him or to build romantic love with him, which could lead to disappointment and heartbreak. He may do things and hopes that you'll fall in love, only for your heart to be broken or for you to find out about more lies in the end.
Can a man love his wife and girlfriend at the same time?
A man can love his wife and girlfriend at the same time. That's a difficult love life to have, and it's possible. A man is in love when he can't stop thinking about someone and would sacrifice for that person. In certain cases, that could be relevant to two people - a wife and a girlfriend. When a man is in love with two women, it's because they offer him different things. He could love certain things about his wife and different things about his girlfriend. He's aware that his feelings are strong for each woman. A man might give signals to his wife that he needs space and not explain why. She may not suspect he's having an affair, or she might suspect something is up. Either way, it's complicated to have feelings for two people at the same time. Additionally, his feelings for these women does not make what he's doing okay or give him an excuse to do what he's doing. He needs to make the effort to take care of this dilemma, even if he is genuinely interested in your love. If this is a man at work, he must also consider how acting on his feelings or working to gain your love could harm his career. Some things are inappropriate in the workplace, regardless of if someone has mutual feelings or not.
What does it mean when a married man says he misses you?
When a married man starts showing vulnerability, that means he likes you a lot. If he really likes you, a man will open up to you over time. He'll listen intently to the details of your life, and he'll tell you about his world, his feelings, and his desires in life. Suppose he hopes that you'll fall in love with him. Maybe, you are, and perhaps, he's falling for you, too. It's intoxicating to want to be with someone you can't have. You'll fall in love with the idea of him rather than who he is. Be wary of this fact and work to discern where your feelings really stem from; are you developing a truly healthy, deep, loving connection, or are you caught up in the rush that comes with this situation? One of the best pieces of advice when it comes to dating a married man is to consider the effect on your love life. Is it worth the stress? What if his wife finds out? If he says he misses you, it means that he likes you and wants to spend time together. If a man is in love with you, that's a different story. It's more than missing you. He wants to be with you and make a commitment. When a man is in love, he makes a statement that he wants to spend his life with you. It's not ambiguous. Someone can miss you and not want to be with you for the rest of their life. Take the statement at face value. He misses you and wants to see you.
What should a married man do if he falls in love with another woman?
If a married man falls in love with another woman, he needs to ask himself, does he want to save his marriage? When a man is in love with someone other than his wife, he needs to figure out if he wants to stay married. After he asks himself that question and finds the answer, he'll take action, whether that’s initiating a breakup or working to patch things up. It's not fair to lead his wife on. If a man is in love with someone other than his spouse, he needs to be honest with both women. He can't pretend that everything is fine, and it’s imperative that he sees the moral issues related to this scenario. He's got to make a decision between these two women. It's not fair to lead anyone on. If you’re the love interest in this situation, be wary of anything he does that could be an attempt to hide your relationship, and let him know that his wife needs to know. When you’re looking to enter a new relationship, it’s always important to acknowledge how someone treats other people, whether that’s a waiter or someone in their personal life, and this is a great example of why. His actions here will show his true colors.
If a guy is married and he finds himself in this situation, it's important that he's honest. He's got to refrain from going outside the relationship until he starts the process of splitting from his spouse by having a conversation with her and letting her know that he would like to get separated. Some people date when they're in the process of separating, and while that can come with roadblocks to work through if it happens too soon in some cases, but cheating is an entirely different story. Additionally, consensual open relationships are very different from cheating. If a man is falling for another woman and wants to work things out with his wife so that they can continue their relationship, couples therapy can help. Otherwise, they may decide to split. Regardless, honesty and communication are crucial.
How does a married man flirt?
A married man flirts like any other male. In some cases, if he doesn't want to court you another possibility is that certain acts may be attributed to that he is just someone who is polite to every woman. Other things point to flirting more distinctly. If he does something like offer you a ride or say that he misses you, it could be ambiguous, but other things are less so. Maybe, in hopes that you'll fall in love or that he will get your attention, he will put in extra effort to do something special for you like bringing you gifts or coffee. A guy will take care of you, or express that he wants to. He may use body language to show he's interested. For example, he might mimic your moves, brush your arm, or wink at you. Perhaps, he gives compliments to his love interest.
Sometimes married men want to make it apparent that though they look taken, they are available.
Maybe he removes his wedding ring to show that he's not attached to his marriage. He might talk about how he plans to get divorced soon, to make it appear that he's looking for a new partner. If you're reading this because you're wondering if a married man is flirting with you and you notice signs similar to these, you're probably right. Just remember that even if he presents his marriage as something that is falling apart or says that he's leaving his wife, it may not be true. Some people even lie and say that their wives know about it, when in reality, they don't. Be wary of any of these things as a potential issue.
If you're having trouble in a relationship with a married man, it's okay to seek help. Find a therapist to talk with about your relationship issues. Whether you see someone in your local area or work with a therapist remotely through a website like ReGain, a licensed mental health professional can help you work through your feelings and concerns related to this scenario or anything else that’s going on in your life.