Five Signs A Married Man Likes You More Than A Friend And What To Do About It

Medically reviewed by Majesty Purvis
Updated November 8, 2023by Regain Editorial Team

Many individuals may disagree on whether married individuals can be friends with someone who isn't married. Although there is not necessarily a set "rule" about who you can be friends with, many married people have unmarried friends, regardless of gender or sexuality. For many, these friendships are platonic and healthy.  

However, under certain circumstances, a married individual may develop a romantic or sexual attraction for a friend, which can cause relationship challenges. If you are friends with a married man who seems to have developed non-platonic feelings for you, you can proceed in a few ways.

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Boundaries Are Important In Friendships And Relationships

What Is The Difference Between Attraction And Friendship? 

If you are friends with a married man, you may view him as any of your other friends. You might understand and respect that he is in a committed relationship or not feel attracted to him. However, if you start to question your friendship and feel there may be something more going on his end, ask yourself whether any subtle signs of attraction or mixed signals are occurring. 

It can be challenging to distinguish between attraction and friendship, as they have similar features. Friends are often comfortable with one another, open and honest, and confide in each other about challenging topics. Friends may be those you enjoy spending time with and make an effort to be around. 

Attraction and romantic connections can have similar features, including romantic or sexual feelings. When a man is physically attracted to you, you may notice more touching, prolonged stares, or an element of intimacy in how he interacts with you. You may see that his marriage and family life come up less in conversation or that he discusses complaints about his marriage when he's with you. 

You're not alone if you're unsure how to interpret your friend's behavior. However, if you have an inkling that he may have feelings for you that go beyond platonic, it may be beneficial for you and your friend to discuss this to avoid miscommunication. After conversing and observing his behavior more, you can decide how to proceed with the friendship. 

Signs Your Friend Is Attracted To You 

Below are several signs your married friend may be attracted to you or interested in more than a friendship. 

He Prioritizes Spending Time With You 

Although close friends may spend time together often, it may signify an attraction if your friend seems to prioritize your friendship and time together over his spouse, job, or other responsibilities. For many married men, a spouse comes first above friends and other relationships. If your friend has a family with children or pets, pay attention to how often he spends time with his family or talks about them when you're together. 

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, you might be a high priority to him. Although prioritizing friendships can be healthy, it may be unhealthy if it harms an individual's connection with their family or loved ones. 

There may be cases where spending time with your friend often is normal. For example, if you work together, are on a sports team together, or have to see each other daily for any reason, it might not necessarily signify that your friend is attracted to you. However, if you notice him prioritizing these areas of his life over his family life, it could be a sign to keep an eye on his behavior. 

His Body Language Shows Attraction 

Body language is often a significant indicator of how people feel about one another. For example, studies have found that people are often more attracted to a confident posture, such as a dominant body position. Body language can also showcase what someone is feeling without their verbalization. Although individuals may hide these areas to a certain degree, it can be challenging to do so completely. 

If a married man likes you more than a friend, he might 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 patting you on the back. He may touch you on the back when he's next to you and point his feet toward you when sitting next to you or standing in front of you out of interest in what you're saying. He might also laugh when you joke and smile while looking at you. In addition, you might find your friend looking at you or staring intensely when you're looking away or partaking in different activities. 

If you and your married friend are hanging out with his spouse or family, you may notice that his body language changes and is less warm or open. He might be subconsciously or consciously doing this to try to avoid showcasing his emotions in front of his partner. He may be less attentive, talk to you less, and may not be as physically interactive. 

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He Gives You Compliments And Gifts

Friends who have known one another for a long time may feel comfortable with one another to the point of acting 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 your married friend often showers you with sweet compliments, it may be romantic. Although friends can give each other compliments, the nature and consistency of these compliments may change their tone. Often, married men who are not interested in their friends may compliment them platonically and less frequently. It may be a sign of attraction if he takes the time to come up with multiple compliments that feel personal and intimate. Additionally, if the way he compliments you when you're one-on-one differs from how he compliments you around his friends or family, pay attention to how it differs. 

Gifts can also be common in platonic relationships. However, if you have a married friend giving you gifts, pay attention to the type of gift you're getting and its meaning. If he gives you personal gifts that show he pays attention to your interests, what you like, and what you want, his additional attention to detail may indicate attraction. In addition, if he sends you gifts outside of special occasions or constantly gives you expensive gifts, it may be a sign to look further into his actions. 

If you are familiar with his spouse, consider what he gives them. Do you notice him sending them gifts for no reason? Does he know what they like or want? Is he even giving gifts to his spouse? If your friend does not provide the same affection or care to his spouse or family, this might signify romantic feelings for you. 

He Talks To You About His Marriage 

If a married man is interested in a friend, he might bring up topics in his marriage for advice, to complain, or to tell details. He might sometimes tell you he's getting a divorce or considering breaking up to test the waters about your feelings. If a friend starts discussing their love life with you suddenly, it might be a sign that he has feelings for you. 

Married guys might also signal interest by asking about the love life of the person they like. If a married man starts asking you about your dating life and who you're interested in romantically, he might be trying to understand your feelings for him. If he gets jealous when you mention other friends or crushes, it could also showcase attraction. 

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Boundaries Are Important In Friendships And Relationships

He Is Acting Flirty 

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, ask yourself if your other friends communicate with you this way. Even if he plays off his flirting as "joking," ask yourself how much truth is going into his jokes. It could signify romantic attraction if you consistently make flirty comments or jokes when together. 

Another way of flirting can involve direct eye contact when you speak to each other, accompanied by a flirty smile. Studies also show a correlation between mutual prolonged eye contact and attraction. You may tell what someone feels by looking into their eyes. Pay attention to how your friend looks at you, how often you catch him staring at you, and the feeling you get when you see him gazing at you. If you feel the eye contact is intense, intimate, or attractive, it might indicate a non-platonic connection between you. 

Counseling Options 

You might feel uncomfortable, confused, or excited when you consider the idea of your friend having feelings for you. Regardless of how it makes you feel, talking to an expert with experience in relationships and body language can be beneficial. If your friend isn't planning to leave their marriage or is trying to start an affair, coping with the emotions that come up for you can be challenging. A relationship therapist can offer advice for those confronting difficult relationship situations. 

As talking about intimate feelings between friends can be challenging to do in person, many clients choose to find a therapist online. Experts have found telehealth formats of counseling as effective as in-person options in many cases, and online therapists can treat various concerns and symptoms. You do not have to have a mental health diagnosis to contact a counselor. 

Through an online platform like Regain, you can meet with an individual relationship therapist to discuss the aspects surrounding your relationships. Upon signing up, you can get matched with one of the thousands of therapists available and set your preferences for phone, video, or live chat sessions. In addition, you can use a nickname through the platform if you hope to remain discreet. 

Takeaway

Facing potentially romantic or sexual feelings from a married friend can be challenging. There are a few ways to know if your friend is attracted to you, including eye contact, flirty behavior, and how they prioritize your place in their life. However, if you're unsure or want to discuss these behaviors more deeply, consider contacting a mental health professional, like a relationship counselor, for further guidance and support. 

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