9 Signs You’re Dating a Married Man and What You Should Do About It
This guy seems too good to be true. Dream dates, breakfast in bed, romantic gazes…he’s giving you the full Prince Charming treatment. But the fact that you’re researching “signs you’re dating a married man” tells me that you have some serious concerns about his availability as a partner.
As well you should.
It’s shocking and unforgivable that anyone, let alone the man you’re dating, cheats, but according to the Associated Press and the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 22% of men have admitted to cheating on their partners. Note that only includes the men who admit to it! We have to assume the actual number is higher.
And as a point of interest, only 14% of women admit to cheating. I’m not letting you ladies off the hook, but it is interesting that men seem to do it more.
While the last thing you want is to be on the receiving end of that cheating (and you very well may have been in the past), you also don’t want to end up being the Other Woman. But what happens if you’re unaware you’ve fallen into that role? You’ll feel sick over the idea that you’re destroying someone’s family, even if you had no intention of doing so. Better to look for signs you’re dating a married man and make sure that he’s actually single and available than to fall for him and have things get more complicated months down the road.
All right, all right. I know you’re biting your nails, ready to get into this murky topic, so let’s dive into those signs you’re dating a married man.
Sign You’re Dating a Married Man #1: He Wears a Ring
Okay, big duh. He’s wearing a ring. That should be an obvious sign you’re dating a married man. Don’t try to convince yourself that it’s a fashion ring or something else.
If it’s on his left hand, he is married.
Sure, he may tell you he’s separated (classic married man move), but even if he is (and don’t assume that it’s true), you really don’t want to get involved with a man who’s still tied up emotionally and fiscally with his wife. Who may still live with her and their children. Messy.
And realize how easy it is to slide that ring off his finger and into his pocket. Then all physical evidence of him being married is gone…or is it? If you pay attention, do you notice a lighter strip of skin on that left ring finger where the sun hasn’t touched in years (maybe decades??)? That’s a good sign you’re dating a married man.
How to Call Him Out: If you see recent photos where he’s wearing a ring or notice that tan line where a ring should be, flat out ask if he’s married. He may be so surprised at your ingenuity that he ends up telling the truth.
Sign You’re Dating a Married Man #2: He Is Sketchy About You Calling/ Texting Him
Him: [in a whisper] Hey, uh, now’s not really a good time. Can I call you later?
If every time you call him he either doesn’t answer or seems otherwise occupied, this might be one of the signs you’re dating a married man, unfortunately. As you get to know this guy, you will know when he should be at work, so why can’t he talk at 7 pm? Most single men aren’t consistently busy in the evenings, and if he doesn’t have a good excuse as to why he has limited availability to talk to you (like he’s a volunteer fireman saving children and puppies), then run for the hills, lady.
Also, pay attention to how he responds to getting calls or texts while you’re with him. Does he immediately reject the call before you can see who it is? Does he jump up in the middle of dinner to answer it? While some people are just rude like that, there are few people besides this guy’s mother that he should interrupt a date with you to talk to.
How to Call Him Out: Here’s a good test for finding out he’s married: the next time you’re with him, send him a text, then see what name pops up on his phone. If it’s your name, great. But if it’s “B” or “Joe,” this should raise a red flag. Unless your name is B or Joe!
Sign You’re Dating a Married Man #3: He Won’t Add You On Social Media
You’re all about Instagram and Facebook, and you’ve sent friend requests to your new guy, but he hasn’t accepted them. His excuse? I’m never on social media.
Only…you’re not so sure you believe that.
His account has such high privacy settings that the Pope himself couldn’t even access your man’s photos. You wonder why a guy who’s never on social media needs such privacy.
In today’s social-savvy world, a guy who won’t add you on social media, let alone publish photos with you or tag you, is one to be suspicious of. What exactly is he hiding? A wife and four kids? Could be.
How to Call Him Out: If you know he’s active on social media and he’s just ignoring your friend request, ask why. Tell him it’s important for you to share each other’s worlds, and you do that through Facebook (or whatever channel). It’s hard to come up with an excuse against that…unless he’s got something to hide.
Sign You’re Dating a Married Man #4: He Won’t Introduce You To His Friends or Family
Things are progressing in the relationship a few months down the road and you think it’s high time you meet one another’s friends and family. Only…he’s being sketchy about it. He’s always got an excuse about why you can’t meet anyone on his side (his friends are traveling, his family lives far away), and he’s conveniently unavailable every time you try to schedule something with your friends or family.
He may not want to meet your friends for fear that someone will recognize him as someone else’s husband. Talk about awkward!
You: Jill, I’d like you to meet my boyfriend, Ted.
Jill: Ted!! You’re married to my best friend! What are you doing with her??
He gives you every other indication that he’s into you and wants to be your boyfriend, so you can’t understand why he doesn’t want to take things to the next level.
Certainly, there are a few reasons why a guy might not be ready to let you into his world. If he has children, for example, he may be reluctant to introduce them to someone new until he’s sure that it’s serious. You can’t push that.
But if you can’t even get him to invite you out with the boys for a beer, and if his family is important to him but you never get to meet them, this sign you’re dating a married man is one you can’t ignore.
How to Call Him Out: Push for a reason as to why he refuses to meet your friends/family or introduce you to his. If he has no good excuse (like the kids one), then toss that fish back into the sea. You deserve a man who wants to incorporate you into every aspect of his life. If you’re important to him, he’ll introduce you to the other important people in his world.
Sign You’re Dating a Married Man #5: He Always Stays at Your House and Won’t Invite You Over
You’re staying the night together once every few weeks…only it’s always at your house. You’re dying to see where he lives if only to find out if there are a wife and kids hiding somewhere. But he’s always got an excuse:
You live closer to my work. I like the short commute.
My house is being remodeled. It’s a wreck!
I’d have you over, but you’re allergic to dogs.
Even if you don’t stay the night at his place, there’s no reason he shouldn’t be able to invite you over for even a few hours unless, again, he’s hiding something.
Sure, there are reasons he might be too embarrassed to have you over. Maybe he’s a slob. Maybe your house is nicer, and his is in the ‘hood, and he worries for your safety. But if you’ve gotten close, he should know that none of this is important to you. Being invited to his home shows he trusts you.
A real relationship is about balance, about give and take, and that extends into alternating whose house you stay at. This guy seems to be wearing out his welcome, so it’s time to do something about it.
How to Call Him Out: If you know the general area where he lives, pick a day when you know he’ll be home and call him: Hey honey! I’m in your neighborhood and wanted to drop something by. Can I get your address?
You already know he’s at home watching the game or doing laundry, so if he shuts you down, you’re facing one of the signs you’re dating a married man. What will you do about it?
Sign You’re Dating a Married Man #6: You Never Attend Any Special Events With Him
Birthdays. Weddings. Bar Mitzvahs. All go by without so much as an invitation from your fella. Should you be concerned? Is this one of the signs you’re dating a married man?
You bet your ass it is! Most men would love to have a beautiful lady to accompany them to events like these, to show her off to their friends. So why isn’t your guy doing that??
The hard, cold truth is: he may already have a built-in date for every special event: his wife.
How to Call Him Out: Pay attention to his behavior leading up to big events like his birthday. If you’re his one and only, it makes sense that you’d get top billing and get to spend this actual birthday with him. Ask him what he wants to do to celebrate. If he puts you off or says he has plans but won’t elaborate on what they are, take that as a sign you’re dating a married man and dump him.
Sign You’re Dating a Married Man #7: He Pays For Everything in Cash
You’re starting to notice a pattern: every time you go out and he pays, he lays down hard cash. That in and of itself isn’t that odd, especially if he is in a cash-heavy business like running a restaurant (or…stripping?), but if he’s doing it for larger purchases like hotel rooms, you need to wonder why.
Sure, maybe the guy doesn’t want to have credit card debt. That’s understandable. But every red-blooded American I know has a debit card…a debit card that can be tracked if, oh, I don’t know, his suspicious wife decides to check the transactions. A $200 dinner at the local steakhouse might cause her to raise an eyebrow, and then this player’s game would be over.
How to Call Him Out: The next time you have a large expense together, like a hotel stay, tell him in advance that you’ll cover it. Then when you get there, pretend like you lost or forgot your credit card. Babe, if you cover with your card, I’ll pay you back when we get home. Most hotels charge an extra fee if you don’t pay with a credit card, so he’ll be going to some lengths if he pays in cash. Sneak off in the night, because this guy is clearly already taken.
Sign You’re Dating a Married Man #8: He Only Takes You Secluded Places
While at first glance, going to a secluded beach to make out seems romantic, you’ve started to wonder why this guy only wants to see you in places where there are no other humans. Is he embarrassed by you? What gives?
If he’s going out of his way to go to neighborhoods in your city where no one would know him, or else only takes you places after hours when the lighting makes it hard to recognize a cheater by candlelight, this dude is clearly married. He’s concerned that he’ll run into someone who knows him as a faithful husband, and he does not want his cover blown.
How to Call Him Out: Keep pressing to go somewhere in broad daylight, in your part of town. If he keeps resisting, confront him about the reason. If he can’t give you a good explanation (and really, what would one be?), cut ties.
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Sign You’re Dating a Married Man #9: He Only Sees You at Odd Hours
You’re dizzy from trying to figure out this guy’s schedule. While most couples you know meet for dinner or drinks, or maybe even coffee during the day, your guy usually wants to meet late at night or else texts you last minute to see if you want to hang out, like, now.
He’s got odd windows of time he can spend with you, and he almost always leaves right after you have sex. Maybe he’s never stayed the night. Why is that?
You’re definitely operating on his schedule, not yours, and that sucks for many reasons. But you’ve got to ask yourself why his schedule is so erratic? Is he an ER doctor who’s on call and constantly saving lives? Or is he playing house with a family you have no clue exists?
How to Call Him Out: Limit your availability during his weird hours, and keep suggesting you get together during more reasonable hours. When he balks, demand an explanation. I’m willing to bet you don’t get one.
What Should You Do if You Think This Guy is Married??
So now that I’ve given you a few signs you’re dating a married man, what’s your conclusion? Yea. I thought so.
It sucks to find out that the guy who seemed to be pretty much perfect for you is actually a liar and a cheat.
It’s important for you to keep your eyes open about the fact that this guy has been dishonest with you. You can’t assume that because he’s a well-paid management consultant with a Benz that he’s not a low-life. In fact, according to Andrea Bonior, PhD, a clinical psychologist who specializes in relationships, affluent men are more likely to cheat (though the reverse is true for women). Chalk it up to power and money going to their heads (I mean, think about how many presidents we know who have been unfaithful. It’s a thing, people.).
If you’ve already invested time and energy into this man, and if you worry that ending it with him will hurt you badly, I need you to listen to me very carefully.
He will never leave his wife for you.
You can never trust this man.
The best thing you can do for your emotional sanity is to walk away.
I know how hard that is. I do. This man may treat you so well — better than any guy you’ve been with, maybe — that it can be hard to let him go. He’s built this fantasy around the two of you, but in reality, it’s a bubble that will burst the second life gets real.
Just walk away. Confront him if you think it’ll make you feel better, but be prepared for him to lie about being married.
He will tell you he doesn’t love her anymore.
He will tell you they live under the same roof for the kids’ sake.
He will tell you he’s planning to leave her.
They all do. You can’t believe anything he says. And should that fantasy actually come to fruition and he leaves his wife for you, how can you ever trust that he won’t do the same thing to you? Men who have cheated once are three times as likely to cheat again. And again. So why you might try to convince yourself that she was the problem and the reason he strayed, you have to accept that you might be his next victim.
You are sexy and confident, my fair lady. I need you to hear me when I tell you that you deserve more than a man who’s just trying to feed his ego by being with multiple women. A man who can’t even respect the vows he took at his wedding.
You’ll find the guy who actually is available, who would never in a million years cheat on you or anyone else. I know it can seem like every guy out there is a cheater, but take it from a guy who’s totally dedicated to his woman: unicorns do exist. Men who value women enough to be faithful to them are real. This guy is preying on your vulnerability. Don’t let him. You’re better than that.