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Married man was flirting with me but now he tries to ignore me. Why?

Tagged as: Crushes<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (24 March 2013) 9 Answers - (Newest, 19 November 2017)
A female United States age 36-40, anonymous writes:

Hi everyone.

Please don't judge because of what I am going to tell you.

I have been flirting with an older married man and he has been flirting back. Long eye contact, a lot of smiling back and forth and all kinds of other things. He is always watching me and starting at me across the room. The other day he and I locked eyes with each other for what seemed to be 5 minutes long before I broke eye contact because I was getting uncomfortable.

Suddenly, he has toned down the flirting and has pulled back.

Why is this?

Is it because he is afraid, because he is attracted to me and does not want it to get out of hand?

Because essentially he went from being very hot to a little cooler. I can tell he likes me but he is making a conscious effort to pull himself back.

So, first question is why?

Is it not obvious because he is attracted to me? Or he would not feel a need to pull back?

Should I just ignore him from now on? Not sure what to do? I feel like I am being discarded like trash here but I never really did anything wrong. And I was never planning to either.

So, there is an attraction. You can't control attraction. Can you just not accept that for what it is? Why does he have to go out of his way to ignore me? It does not make a person feel very good.

View related questions: flirt, married man

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A female reader, Iza United Kingdom +, writes (19 November 2017):

Iza agony auntIt was a mutual attraction, that just happend when you both locked eyes for what seemed like was out of your comfort zone. This guy is clearly attracted to you. How ever he has probably thought on it, and has started to avoid you. Keep away if hes interested you will come to know .

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A female reader, So_Very_Confused United States +, writes (13 November 2014):

So_Very_Confused agony auntI am a married middle aged woman who flirts like i breathe.

My husband knows this and is fine with it. Some folks are just natural flirts and can't help it. Once I learned that I was what i call a 'natural' flirt I became more aware that folks sometimes misinterpret the attentions of folks like me to mean that flirting indicates a desire to have more than a flirt.

Married people can and do flirt. As soon as I realize that the person I am flirting with is considering that I might be interested in more than a lovely flirt I mention something ANYTHING about my husband.... "oh yes, I agree with that, my husband was just saying this morning..."

You are taking the actions of another person personally when in all probability it has nothing to do with you personally.

MY take is this. He's a natural flirt and he's aware of it. He was flirting with you and you interpreted this as interest in you (whether or not you ever intended to have an affair with a married man is not the question or even the issue). Even now, when someone is interested in me and I am totally unavailable, it's a lovely wonderful ego stroke and I enjoy it for the few minutes/hours/days it takes me to put a stop to it.

And how do I put a stop to it? I cut back on my flirting. My comments to them become just about work and such. I do not initiate any contact with them and keep my distance physically and mentally from them until they realize that their feelings are not reciprocated.

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A female reader, ohdeardear United States +, writes (13 November 2014):

I will answer this from another perspective. I am in the same situation, but I am the married one and he's divorced. Same sort of stuff started (with him) heavy heavy staring and being present everywhere I was. This is how I started to notice him. Every time I glanced around, there he was staring. We had the same sort of long stare situation where there was clearly a message being sent in that eye-lock moment. He is handsome and I can't deny the flattery, and we got as far as starting to say hello but I had to pull back as I just got nervous and came to my senses. I'm married and I didn't want to lead him on in any way because I'm not going to have an affair.

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A male reader, TeardropsOnMyGuitar Canada +, writes (1 April 2013):

My bet is that he has been missing and liked the validation that the flirting provided. If we can assume, (it is likely) that his wife hasn't been giving him positives then when you matched his advances he was confronted with the choice to escalate or pull back. The next step was likely too serious for him so he pulled back.

Another explanation (less likely) is that someone spoke to him about it and he was either embarrassed or told to stop.

For reasons others have said, this isn't likely to turn out well. I recommend you move on.

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A female reader, Denise32 United States +, writes (26 March 2013):

Denise32 agony auntIts hard to believe you would come on here and ask such a question.

I mean, you're an older woman, not a young teenager with very little experience of the world - though come to think of it, even a teenager with any common sense would know you don't flirt with married men.

Are you serious in asking us why he is pulling back?

I'll spell it out for you: this man is MARRIED. Which means he is not available for any woman other than his wife to be flirting with him. He's taken. He made a promise when they married to "forsake all others (women)" and for each of them to be faithful to each other.

Well, maybe you don't want it to go beyond flirting. If so, that's good - moreover, your feeling uncomfortable with the long eye contact is your body telling you that what's going on is not right.

You need to be attention to your discomfort.

Finally, yes, married people and others in committed relationships can and do feel attracted to other people sometimes. BUT I disagree with you when you say you can't control attraction. You CAN control it by not acting on it!

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A male reader, Sageoldguy1465 United States +, writes (24 March 2013):

Sageoldguy1465 agony auntHe pulled back because he came to his senses, and realizes that his WIFE is going to take him to the cleaners if he's stupid enough to actually take you to bed and make out with you..... AND, thereby, he is going to be left destitute.... with everything that he's worked for these last oh-so-many years in HER column.... and all he will have to show for being such an ASS, is a little tart (you!) and not much else....

WHY do you young girls not understand that getting it on with older, married men is a LOSING proposition from the start,... a losing proposition when he gets caught? ... and a losing propositon when he dumps you because he got caught?????

Good luck...

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A male reader, eddie85 United States +, writes (24 March 2013):

eddie85 agony auntI agree with VSAddict... why would you care if a married man flirts with you or not? My guess also is that he stopped flirting with you because he was starting to feel guilty or didn't want to cross that line...

I sense there was some sort of connection, but the bottom line he IS married and if he is older, he probably has children with his wife. Just because us guys are married doesn't mean we aren't attracted to other women.

You feel badly and let down because you were fantasizing about this connection actually working out. We all want to feel loved and that someone thinks about us -- especially if we are single, but for whatever reason he decided not to pursue you and you've taken it personally, hence your frustrations.

There are so many barriers to getting involved with someone who is married. Ex's, children, divorce and lies are just some of things you would need to deal with. Why put yourself through that? Instead of playing games with married guys, why not seek one that is available?


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A female reader, anonymous, writes (24 March 2013):

Perhaps that MARRIED man is thinking before he is acting. Perhaps that MARRIED man had one moment of attraction and realized he would not want to screw up his marriage with something temporary.

Stay away from married men. This is not something you really should have to have pointed out to you. Have some self-respect and seek out men who are single and available to you. Don't get messed up with someone who is attached regardless of their moment of weakness or thinking you are worthy of being part of screwing up someone else's life.

Put the shoe on the other foot...if this was your would you feel if another women was sniffing around, knowing full well it was completely out of line and unacceptable behavior. How would you feel if your husband was behaving like this towards other women? Get a grip and get some morals.

You have no right to feel like you have been blown are treading in deep water where you have no business treading whatsoever. Move on and go about your life and don't include unavailable men in it.

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A female reader, VSAddict United States +, writes (24 March 2013):

VSAddict agony auntMaybe he realized that what he was doing was becoming inappropriate and he had to stop. Only he knows why he did what he did. But I wouldn't make a big deal out of it. Like you said, he's married and is probably trying to take precautions so nothing inappropriate happens. But I would leave him alone and not think anything of it. If he feels comfortable making contact with you he will. But just leave it alone.

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