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Just a Guy Flirting (But He's Married)

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When does being friendly cross over to being flirty?

man flirting

Bruce Sallan: Can a married man ever be "friendly" with another woman without it being potentially misinterpreted -- or worse, being hurtful, dishonest or even non-sexually unfaithful to his wife? I struggle with this, given my outgoing personality and my wife's somewhat reserved nature.

I also struggle with "looking," and there's no question in my mind that it is completely disrespectful and inappropriate. My "fix" (guys always have to have a fix, don't we?), other than being aware of this deficiency in my makeup, is to walk a little behind my wife so she doesn't notice the occasional lapse. When we're in a restaurant, I strive to seat myself facing a wall and hopefully have my wife facing outward, so I focus just on her.

We are wired differently, as men are much more visually stimulated in general than women. So, even when committed via marriage or a monogamous relationship, we men can get distracted. The degree and amount of it are the issues, along with the sensitivity of your partner. Ultimately, the "looking" gets us nowhere if our intention is to stay faithful -- as is mine.

But the flirting thing is different. Because I work behind a computer at home, I tend to interact with everyone I encounter when I'm out. To be honest, I may favor the good-looking women more than the fat old guys, as it brings me a little sense of validation (and it's fun). Am I crossing the line, or am I just a guy?

next: Is My Accelerator Stuck?
10 comments so far | Post a comment now
denise February 13, 2010, 6:08 AM

Bruce I know you and I know your “flirting” as you call it is as innocent as it comes - trust me, as I’m from South America so I really know. That said, pay extra attention to your wife this Valentine’s Day!

Jacquelyn February 13, 2010, 7:22 AM

Oh my, how you guys struggle. Personnally, I think if you have a strong, honest, loving relationship, looking at other women would not be an issue. When my husband is ‘stimulated’ by his indiscrete wondering eyes, I find it endearing. When he gets that ‘little boy’ fun loving attitude as he shares conversations with attractive women, it builds his confidence and confirms his manhood and he brings that to our relationship and helps to keep it alive! I really think being honest and secure in ourselves and the relationship keeps us strong and any outside distractions only brings a sense of newness in an otherwise mundane routine existence.
It, also, works both ways, guys! When a guys notices us, we feel a little rise on our own confidence meter. Just remember what attracted you to each other in the first place. Don’t we want that to stay?

Canadian Bald Guy February 13, 2010, 10:29 AM

I think you’re “just a guy”. I’m extremely happy and committed to my current relationship, but I don’t think I could go a day without at least looking and appreciating beauty around me. And I’m a flirt by nature, so I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that as long as you don’t cross any lines with the behavior.

Linda Sherman February 13, 2010, 11:41 AM

I completely trust my husband so I don’t mind if he looks. I think everyone enjoys looking at good looking women. We even gossip to each other about them. I might say “hey catch the girl in the red dress over there” and he gives his vote. That seems healthy to me. And no we’re not looking for threesome. I am equally allowed to point out good looking men without repercussion. We’ve been married 16 years and still on our honeymoon. We have both stayed in great shape which doesn’t hurt in preventing either of us from feeling threatened. And we have an interest in clothes - so we also point out things like - hey you would look good in that dress or that shirt…

Wendi February 13, 2010, 1:54 PM

I think the looking is not so bad if you are looking and not staring. That is very disrespectful. My hubby will not really even look if we are together. As far as the flirting goes, I believe it is not acceptable at all. My hubby has always told me that if it is something that he could not do in front of me, then it is wrong. I agree and it goes both ways. I fully trust my hubby, but he also trusts me and we have a lot of respect for each other as to not flirt so that we do not risk the chance of hurting each other.

Black Iris February 13, 2010, 2:28 PM

We women may not want to admit it, but we look, too. Ask any woman where the attractive guys are in a room, and she’ll know. Maybe we’re just less obvious because our peripheral vision is better.

In fact, even though we tend not to think “I’d like to sleep with him,” the truth is, we all know which men we’d want to sleep with. But please don’t ask us.

And I think we’re really just as visual. Male movie star crushes are all good-looking after all.

Anna February 13, 2010, 5:53 PM

What’s the big deal? Don’t you think your wife is checking out and flirting with other men? It’s natural and healthy to notice others. What’s disrespectful is to be blatantly looking at others when you are with your wife. That’s a time when you need to concentrate on her.

michelle February 14, 2010, 1:40 PM

Agree with Anna. Everybody looks. Women are just much more subtle about it. Hot guy at the next table? We see him, trust me.

Jose Pesavento May 28, 2010, 1:46 PM

Great blog you have, the information here are very helpful. Thank you!

Ana January 9, 2011, 4:32 PM

As a woman I can’t stop staring at men’s butts. They always turn around and catch me staring! And so does my boyfriend! Grrr….

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