Is It Ever OK to Date a Married Guy?

15 Sep

Since my dating life is taking an unexpected and unwelcome standstill, I figured I would pose a simple question out to the world. Is it ever ok to date a married guy?

Here’s why I ask, I have a friend who I adore, who is well…sleeping with a married man.  Last night, she and I traded IMs and it went something along the lines of:

  • Friend: I have to clean my house for tomorrow night.
  • Me: Why? Is so-and-so coming over?
  • Friend: Yes
  • Me: I thought you were breaking it off with him?
  • Friend: I did too, but I figured it was better to have him than not have anyone at all.

WOW!  Not wow that she is sleeping with a married man, but wow that she would say it is better to be with him than not have anyone else in her life. Again, not judging b/c lord only knows I can’t judge anyone after I had my little stint in my early 20s sleeping with an older man who was engaged. But I just can’t believe I would date anyone just to date someone or to sleep with someone.

So I guess the larger question isn’t, is it ok to date a married guy, but is it to right to have someone in your life who you know isn’t good for you, just for the sake of having someone in your life?

My answer is a clear NO! I’m not going to preach about having self-respect, but I think I’d rather focus my life on positive relationships with positive affects on my life and mood. Having this person – who obviously can’t be faithful or happy with one woman – is a big downer for me and I could never imagine just have him show up in my bed just to have him leave one hour later. Just so I have someone to sleep with. HELLO – that’s what a pink vibrator is for!!

Call it maturity or self-respect or whatever, but I don’t think I could do it. Again. Could you?

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27 Responses to “Is It Ever OK to Date a Married Guy?”

  1. Lindsay September 15, 2010 at 4:59 pm #

    I’m with you. A definite no. I found myself in a I’d-rather-be-with-him-than-alone situation with someone who wasn’t married, but had done some pretty bad and hurtful shit, and it made me miserable. Self-respect and self-worth and all that great stuff you’re supposed to have when you go from your twenties to your thirties, gets all messed up.

    • TisWID September 15, 2010 at 5:02 pm #

      Good point. There is an age gap between my friend and I. With me being a few years older (20s vs 30s), maybe I can chalk her thought process up to “she’ll learn when she gets older.”

      • IntrigueMe September 15, 2010 at 5:10 pm #

        I’m 24 and would never do that. I don’t think you can chalk it up to age.

      • TisWID September 15, 2010 at 5:20 pm #

        You’re right. Unfair of me to generalize like that.

      • IntrigueMe September 16, 2010 at 11:18 am #

        That’s not to say SOME young people need to grow up, but I don’t think they all do. A person in their fifties is also capable of making those mistakes.

  2. IntrigueMe September 15, 2010 at 5:09 pm #

    That’s a big fat NO to both questions!

    My rule about dating married men is this: I will not date another woman’s significant other (married or not) because I wouldn’t want to be THAT girl. I think that we women should have more respected for EACH OTHER!

    As for the second part of it, the lack of self respect and self confidence a person must have in order to lower herself to such a standard baffles me. I can see casually dating someone you’re not really into because you’re bored maybe, but to date someone who is MARRIED simply because you have no one else is really selfish and demeaning.

  3. Snark B September 15, 2010 at 5:27 pm #

    No, I couldn’t date a married guy. If that’s what you’re asking. Not even in the absence a pink vibrator. 🙂

    There was a time after my divorce when I fantasized about dating a married woman. But it was mostly because I was drawn to the idea of having a fuckbuddy without all the hassle of a relationship. It probably wouldn’t work for me, though, since I’m such a romantic weeny.

    The obvious answer to your second (rhetorical?) question is, no, it’s not healthy to date someone who you don’t really want to do, merely for the sake of dating anyone. If you won’t judge your friend for that, I will. 🙂

    • TisWID September 15, 2010 at 5:28 pm #

      HA! I do love when you judge. And I always appreciate your romantic weeny (guy) perspective.

  4. itneverrainsinseattle September 15, 2010 at 5:45 pm #

    Okay, we all know the correct answers to these questions. But here’s a question: what if the guy is separated and in the process of divorce? *Then* is it okay? What if papers are serverd? What if they haven’t been served? Where do you draw the line?

    Speaking as a guy who is about to get divorced, I’ll say this: I have no intentions of dating anyone until certain paperwork has been signed by her / filed by me. But must I wait until a judge in [county name] says that I’m no longer legally tied to my soon-to-be-ex?

    (I realize that’s not the crux of your post — you’re more concerned about this woman’s self-respect. I get the sense from your post that this guy is not only married, but has no intentions of leaving. Still, the question remains….)

    • IntrigueMe September 16, 2010 at 11:16 am #

      I think, Inris, that there’s a difference between a married man and a separated man. Yes, he’s technically still married but it’s not really considered cheating or necessarily innapropriate if he’s separated. I would still be hesitant to date a separated man, I would have to know for certain what the situation was with his wife and be confident there was no chance of reconciliation- but the moral wrongs (in my opinion) of dating a married man don’t really apply.

  5. jolene1079 September 15, 2010 at 8:47 pm #

    While I holistically say emphatically no, I think there is a gray area that INRIS refers to…because I was technically still married when I started dating, even though I was getting a divorce. I think it’s a case by case, in that instance, where, if it truly IS over between the marrieds, then sometimes it is ok…but only if it’s over (which I know can be another gray area in itself!)

    • TisWID September 16, 2010 at 9:28 am #

      You and INRIS are correct – there is gray area. I wouldn’t say it is completely black and white. HOWEVER, I think when you’re just in for s-e-x and its just “to have someone around” – its not the best road to choose. Again, not judging anyone whatsoever, I just think, as women, we need to value our self-worth a little bit more. To have someone, just to have someone in bed, isn’t what I would want to do.

      • jolene1079 September 16, 2010 at 9:29 am #

        In that case, completely agree. Just as a sex thing makes it even worse…

  6. suki @ [Super Duper Fantastic] September 16, 2010 at 2:25 am #

    NO NO NO!!

    I dated a guy who was separated from his wife, but not officially divorced. UGH. :/ Not recommended. Still too many strings attached.

    • TisWID September 16, 2010 at 9:33 am #

      I hate the strings attached aspect. Hence why when I had my mini-torrid affair with an engaged dude, it didn’t work out. But I chalk that up to ME, in my case, being young and dumb.

  7. Sarah September 16, 2010 at 9:14 am #

    Well, I don’t think it’s as black and white as a lot of people think it is.

    I was involved with a married guy. . .but we weren’t sleeping together. We’d been friends, I’d known about his trouble with his wife (I’d SEEN the trouble with his wife), and I knew that he was there because he knew his wife would take off to her native Mexico with their little girl if he left. This lady was (is) certifiably crazy, unstable, you name it. He also didn’t want to leave his kid alone with her.

    Yeah, we kissed. Yeah, we spent a lot of time together. But I never asked him to leave her or anything like that.

    Ultimately, once he realized she couldn’t ACTUALLY do any of the things she was threatening to do, he finally left.

    And we’re getting married next month.

    So, I mean, I’m not making excuses. I should have held out. . .anything until they were at least legally separated. But my point is, it’s not always about “The Other Woman” and “The Cheating Bastard.”

    • TisWID September 16, 2010 at 9:32 am #

      Well, I have to say CONGRATULATIONS. Again, I’m not trying to stereotype “the other woman” or “the cheating bastard” – I just think in some circumstances, it is better to be alone if you know he’s A – not going to change his marital status (i.e. most likely not divorcing his wife) and B – its just to have someone around. It sounds like in your case, he truly cares for you and it wasn’t just a physical thing. But if it just a physical thing, I think we need have higher standards.

      Good luck on your wedding and please keep us posted!

      • Sarah September 16, 2010 at 1:45 pm #

        Thank you! 🙂

        And I agree. Having someone just to have someone can be so damaging to the psyche.

        I also need to throw in that I VERY much appreciate being able to say what happened in my particular situation, and not being OMG Judged! for it. Thank you! If more people would take more things into consideration, we’d all be better off.

  8. Miss Over Thinker September 16, 2010 at 10:11 am #

    IMHO absolutely not OK to date a married man or dating for the sake of dating.. I’d rather be single than date someone just to have a boyfriend.. that is why I have been single more than I have been in relationships… but what (sometimes) ends up happening is that you start dating someone thinking everything is hunky dory and then you start noticing things are not going great but you shoo those doubts away and stay in the relationship until you realize you are too far in to just walk out.. that’s when to others it may seem like you are dating for the sake of dating but the answer isn’t always that black and white… OK, I think my comment just went off on a tangent there..

    • TisWID September 16, 2010 at 10:23 am #

      Miss OT – I always love your tangents!!!

  9. Meg September 16, 2010 at 1:04 pm #

    Just think of all the famous “other women” where it actually appeared to be the right move to leave the marriage. Camilla Parker Bowles, Angelina Jolie, Judy Nathan (Rudy Guiliani’s lady). I should totally work for People.com.

    • TisWID September 16, 2010 at 1:18 pm #

      Or PerezHilton…

      • Meg September 16, 2010 at 1:50 pm #

        Or any place that will pay me to judge.

  10. Akirah September 17, 2010 at 11:30 am #

    Ya, as with anything, I don’t think there’s a clear cut answer on this one. I wouldn’t get involved with a married man, but who am I to say that it could never work? My friend is separated and dating and very happy.

    I think what I’m most concerned with for your friend is her lack of confidence. She shouldn’t settle for an unhappy situation because she’s scared of being alone. That’s sad.

    • TisWID September 17, 2010 at 1:07 pm #

      I know – but not much more I can say to her. She needs to make her own choices.

  11. You will know who this is... September 23, 2010 at 10:26 am #

    NO NO NO. No. Let me say it again. NO. It never works out and you are always playing second fiddle to the wife. NO. The only time it works out is if the couple is legitimately separated and the divorce papers are in process, much like my own situation 🙂

    • TisWID September 24, 2010 at 4:44 pm #

      Right, this is true. I mean, in your sitch, it was nearly a done deal. And it wasn’t just for s-e-x. I just don’t understand why people keep such low standards…of themselves.

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