4 Signs A Married Man Likes You More Than A Friend And What To Do About It
By: Sarah Khan
Updated April 30, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Aaron Horn
There has been a constant argument about whether or not men and women can really be friends. Up until today, there hasn’t been one unanimous decision. There have been many instances where married men become friends with women, regardless of their status. Just as long as they are in a platonic relationship, there seem to have no complications or problems that arise. When somebody’s wife is amicable with a man’s friendship and even feels safe being in it, there are typically very few issues. Friendships should be available for any two individuals, man or woman. However, certain circumstances are required for these friendships to begin, 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 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 friends 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 between attraction and friendship since both have many 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 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). 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 not your fault if you don't see the signs that your married male friend has started to like you as more than a friend. However, if you have an inkling that he may have some feelings for you that go further than the platonic nature, it may be time for you and your friend to have a discussion to ensure there are no miscommunications. 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 share 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 indicate 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 close to one another. In other cases, you might have met participating in a hobby or sport, which led to more and more time 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. Often, 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 us show something through moving and interacting 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, speak to you less, and may not be as physically interactive, as this may cause suspicion by his spouse. He might not even be aware that he changes based on the situation. To him, the attraction may still be unconscious.
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 like family when they get 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 should change. The compliments are less personal, more generic, and tame. If your friend starts to give you very personal compliments or takes the time to comment on something very specific, it shows that he is paying extra attention to you. If this is the case, he has an interest in you that may extend past the scope of a regular friendship. Additionally, if the way he compliments you when you're one-on-one is different from how 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, pay attention to the type of gift you're getting as well as the meaning behind them. This may not be easy if you're very close friends, as closer friends tend to know more about one another and their preferences.
If he gives 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. 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 her. 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 has some feelings for you.
This one goes hand in hand with body language. If a married man is flirty with you, he might be “testing the waters” to see how you respond. 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 how you guys speak. There is a saying that mentions there is some truth to every joke. If you 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." Please 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 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 to 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. Unfortunately, this may not be an option in some cases, so 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/.
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