Dating Over 40: Why am I Attracted to Married Men?

This is such a tough question – why are you attracted to married men? There are so many possible answers, but I’ll try to give you a few to see if we can clear up at least part of this mystery. Let’s look at this situation from the perspective of a woman who does want love in her life and would like to get married or have a long-term committed relationship.

Some married men are just plain attractive!  So it’s natural that you would find them attractive.

But what you do with that attraction? That’s really the question. Do you start to walk by him more often? Find ways to start conversations? Become a good friend? If you find yourself investing in a relationship with a married man – even if it never gets close to adultery, you are still investing in a dead end.

Why would you waste your flirting energy on a dead-end situation? Another good question right?

I remember when I was 25, I had a mad crush on a married guy – his name was Lou.  He was a talented graphic artist, very cute, quite social and a superb flirt.  While he sat just six desks away, he’d call my extension and whisper silly things into my ear. Nothing that was really that inappropriate – but very exciting.

Prior to this, I never understood the whole "married man" thing.  I foolishly thought – well you just don’t get into those situations. But there I was.  And I knew I needed to do something that would break off the connection. I hadto shift gears and change my focus because this was going no where – yet it was driving me crazy. And consuming me.

At the time, I did the only thing I could think of  – I went to visit friends in another state, and removing myself from contact for a week.  Thankfully – this worked very well.  I had a full seven days off from his little whispers which gave me the strength to separate and smarten up.  It wasn’t easy, but I was successful.

This comes up more frequently with clients than you might think. Many times it’s still innocent – but the attraction is undeniable.  And this can cause a person to get lost in the future of possibilities – which may or may not actually exist.

So, why would a woman expend energy going down this path of certain frustration and heartache? Here are a few reasons that might make sense to you:

-Maybe it’s safer to flirt with a man who is unavailable – less risk of rejection
-Maybe the flirting started out innocently enough, but then escalated
-Maybe you don’t really want what you say you do
-Maybe you’re afraid of getting what you want
-Maybe you have your own issues about commitment
-Maybe you don’t want to give up your own freedom and you don’t have to with a married man 
-Maybe you don’t believe there are any good single men

Ahhh, you can see the list could get very long.

I can’t say why you, personally, are attracted to these unavailable fellows. – Only you know what lies beneath this behavior.  And if you don’t know for sure – at least you’re the one with access to dig down deep.

But I can share three suggestions that may help shift your focus – away from him and towards what is better for your love life.

1. Start believing that there are great single guys out there. Think positively along these lines several times a day.
2. If you’re in the process of a flirtation with a married man that concerns you – catch yourself thinking about him and say to yourself, "This man is evidence that I am attractive and I thank him for that. Now I turn my attention to finding available men."
3. Ask yourself, "What am I gaining from the situation?" and "What am I giving up when I flirt with this unavailable man?" This exercise can be very revealing.

Falling for a married guy happens a lot.  If you’re in this situation, don’t beat yourself up.  Instead, support yourself by taking steps to disengage and move on to the find the love you want and deserve.



Single for too long, Ronnie wanted to find love. So, she made a few tweaks and then dated 30 men in 15 months to meet her adorable husband Paul. Discovering the keys to midlife dating, she founded It’s Never Too Late for Love to help other smart, successful women find love too! Her mission is to share her proven dating advice  and keen insights about men with women everywhere who are serious about finding love with the right man. Ronnie Ann Ryan, MBA, CCC is a Certified Coach who has helped 1,000’s of midlife women with her Love & Dating Coach services. She’s been featured on BBC’s 5 Live Radio, NBC, ABC, and Fox News, NPR, eHarmony,,, Connecticut Magazine among others around the world. An established author, you can find her 6 books on Amazon.

11 thoughts on “Dating Over 40: Why am I Attracted to Married Men?”

  1. Hi Nadia,

    You say you are a victim of your own mind. You enjoy dating married men and claim you can’t help it. But you did ask me for help right? So there is a part of you that does know better. That is the part of you needing to step in and take over. Seems you may have a little “bad girl” alter ego who gets in the driver seat and enjoys being naughty.

    So, you need to decide, does it make you feel good when all is said and done? It might be fun in the moment, but how do you feel afterwards, knowing you hurt another woman? Knowing you tempted a man who wasn’t free to be yours? I’d be surprised if looking bad – this makes you feel good.

    You might feel powerful and alluring in hte moment. You may get a thrill from the naughtiness of it all. But my bet is your conscience is hurting because you seem to know this is not the best way to find love.

    I encourage you to let the part of you who knows this isn’t right take charge and keep the vixen in her place. Happiness at the expense of another does have a way of catching up to you. think about the karma you are creating…

    I send you a blessing to free yourself from this habit and move on to healthier ways to find love that are good for and serve all concerned.

  2. I think i might need a few pointers myself. Ive been attracted to married men since the age of 16 and i have no idea why. I do want love one day, and i do want a fufilling relationship and i have tried to date guys who are single, however, i simply do not get attracted to them, even if they look like greek gods! However, give me a 18stone, balding middle aged married man, and i swoon! Give me a greek god look a like married man and i melt. I think i know why im attracted to the married man idea.. the forbidden thing. If you know what i mean. I also (shamefully and i cant stop myself!) take pleausre at knowing im dating these married men behind their wives’ back! Please help me, i dont know how to solve this issue! And i think my mind has picked out my next married victim, and unfortunately its a close family friends husband! I dont want to go there, but i do, deeply. Im so confused, any tips would help.

  3. I am not having any luck finding the answer I am looking for? I have found that I am attracted to married men but not like one would think…I would never be with a married man intentionally. I always ask even though there is no ring! I am finding that I am attracted to married men WITHOUT knowing they are married?!?! I am going crazy! Why can’t I just find a guy that is not married!?!

    • Cossie – Sounds like you are attracted to men and they happen to be married. Just check within to make sure your heart is open to love. Don’t read into it too much. Another suggestion is to look for men where single men are sure to be – such as singles dances, singles events, speed dating, etc. That’s one sure way of eliminating the married guy issue!

  4. Hi Anna,
    It’s easy to understand how you can be attracted to this man. He’s talented and more experienced – it’s a classic situation. Getting to know him could be good for your career of course. But I’m not sure how good it might be for your heart because that could really make things complicated and then jeopardize any career assistance.

    I would recommend guarding your heart and career. How? By keeping things strictly professional. Stay clear of tempting situations like late nights or close physical proximity. Build a friendship yes, but do your best to build a romance with someone else. All the best to you.

  5. argh. attracted to, and attractive to a successful artist who is, yes married. he has offered we work on a project together; which as you understand could skyrocket my career.
    he is not flirtatious.
    nor am i.
    however, we have had many engaging conversations. as we get to know each other more, the attraction grows.
    we work in the same building, hang out in the same cafes. know the same people.
    i am concerned our attraction may not be kept to a minimum: coffee, conversation but may escalate into something more.
    advice, thoughts, ideas welcome.

  6. I think the better question is when married men – and so few single men – are attracted to US.

    No one seems to want to comment on that. Not even the “professional” dating coaches.

  7. Mona,
    Wow – that’s a tough one. I’d advise extreme caution. One type of outside fraternization can lead to another. I wouldn’t spend a moment alone with him – who knows what might transpire and you want to keep your job and relationship intact.

    It’s so hard when you want attention and it shows up from the wrong source. Maybe there’s a way to get more attention at home and that will help to quell the fires. All the best to you,

  8. This was pretty helpful.
    However I am in a committed relationship with a great guy, but can’t get my mind off of my married boss who sits right across from me and makes blatant advances.
    The problem is; thinking about him is like hitting a drug button in my brain. I’m addicted so I need to tapper off here.

    I think it started out as him going through a mid-life and me basking in an ego boost,yet now he wants to do drinks after work. I’m inviting another coworker to keep it honest.


Leave a Comment