If you find yourself the object of someone’s affection but you know for a fact they are in a relationship, you’ve found yourself in one of the most awkward positions you’ll ever be in.
You’re now faced with the decision to become “the other woman.” And that is not the stuff romance stories are made of.
So what do you do? How do you handle yourself? And what do you want out of this encounter?
Let’s look at what you can do to help steer this ship away from the jagged rocks and save yourself some heartache and a bad reputation.
1. Decide what you want.
Before you go any further, you need to decide if it’s worth breaking up another couple to get what you want.
Let me say that there is no right answer here, even though you might be inclined to think there is because everyone works with a different set of values and beliefs.
Depending on your values and beliefs, you might think it is perfectly acceptable to do this – and you’d be right.
To someone else, however, it might be a different story.
So get straight on your values and work from there.
2. Find out his motives.
The next thing to do is find out what this guy is all about and if he’s serious about you or just interested in a passing fling.
Again, you might not care either way, but you do need to decide what is acceptable for you and you only.
You can’t let him sway you away from your values and beliefs, otherwise, you’ll end up regretting your decisions down the road.
3. Something’s missing from his current relationship
Have you heard about the hero instinct?
It’s a popular new concept that’s generating a lot of buzz among scientists and psychologists.
The hero instinct goes to the heart of why some men become unsatisfied in their current relationship and seek out someone new.
According to the hero instinct, men have a built in desire to step up to the plate for the woman in their lives and protect them. This is hardwired into their DNA.
They thrive on being there for their partner and providing them something no one else can.
(This excellent free video goes into much more detail about the hero instinct).
The kicker is that it’s up to the woman to trigger this instinct in him. Because when a man isn’t allowed to step up for the woman he’s in a relationship with, he’s going to seek out another woman who can give him what he biologically needs.
Maybe you’re triggering his hero instinct in a way his current girlfriend cannot?
The best way to understand the hero instinct is to watch this great online video.
James Bauer, the relationship psychologist who first discovered the hero instinct, provides an excellent introduction to this game-changing concept.
4. Watch his actions.
He might tell you one thing but do another. He might tell you he’s committed to his girlfriend but he’s all over you in a hot second.
While you might like the attention, it’s important to remember that his values are misaligned with what he’s saying and doing.
It’s hard to break a cycle like that. If he’s saying one thing and doing another, it’s a receipt for trouble.
Who says he’ll be different with you?
5. He’s hot and cold.
Speaking of actions, he might be totally into you one second, and then when someone walks by that he knows, he turns away.
He wants to be with you but he’s not giving you what you need.
If you notice that he’s not paying you the attention you deserve, you need to decide whether or not it’s worth it to keep going down this path.
If you feel that it is worth it, then you should take some time to think about what is reallt making him tick.
The reality is most women don’t know what men are thinking, what they want in life, and what they really crave from a relationship.
And the reason is simple.
Male and female brains are biologically different.
One big difference is that the limbic system (the part of the brain that regulates our emotions) is much larger in female brains and male ones.
This is why women are generally more in touch with their emotions and men can struggle to deal with complicated feelings, such as having strong feelings for another woman.
I learned this from relationship guru Carlos Cavallo. He’s one of the world’s leading experts male psychology and what men want from relationships.
If he’s hot and cold around you, watch Carlos’s simple and genuine video here.
Most men don’t think about relationships in a logical way. At least not in the way women do.
What men really care about is how the relationship makes them feel.
The simple truth is that your man wants to feel like he’s found the absolute best woman for him. Like he’s won the game of love.
Carlos Cavallo will show exactly how to do that. Here’s a link to his free video again.
6. He’ll do anything you want.
While most guys will flip flop for a while before making a life-changing decision like leaving their girlfriends, every once in a while, you’ll meet someone who is so taken with you that they will quite literally do anything to make you happy.
This sounds romantic and amazing but again, you need to make sure you are looking at your needs first.
Don’t rush into anything and don’t assume that because you have a passionate moment or are totally hooked on each other that things won’t get in the way of that.
You need to make these decisions as adults and fully informed.
Otherwise, you’ll end up right where she is now. And that’s the last thing you want.
If he’s in a relationship and wants to take you out, it’s up to you to do what is right for you.
He may tell you that he’s going to leave his girlfriend anyway so it’s not big deal, but if that doesn’t align with your values, tell him to call you when he’s broken up with her and ready to date again.
There’s no rush. If he was into you today he’ll be still into you next week after he tells her goodbye. Make decisions that you can feel good about and you can’t go wrong.
7. Will he really leave his partner for you?
Let’s cut right to the chase here because there’s a simple answer and a complicated answer to the question of whether or not men really do leave their partners for another woman.
The answer is yes. Yes, it can happen.
But the more complicated answer involves asking you a question, assuming you are the other woman: do you really want that?
The reason these kinds of relationships tend to be overcomplicated is that while you pretend you want him to leave his wife or girlfriend, part of the reason you like him is that he’s sort of unavailable.
But if you’re determined to cross that bridge and make him yours, it’s important to understand why he’s with you in the first place.
Because the burning question on everyone’s mind is always: if he cheats once, will he cheat again?
8. He’s not happy in his current relationship.
The fact that he is in a relationship but likes you is fairly easy to dissect.
Lots of marriages end so it’s no surprise when a man leaves his wife or vice versa, but the reasons he leaves is not always clear.
If he’s unhappy in his current relationship and he tells you that you make him happy, you must know he’s lying.
He’s not lying in the traditional sense, but he is lying in a sense.
The reason he is lying is that no human being can make another human being happy. We have to make ourselves happy.
If he leaves his wife or girlfriend for you under the guise of thinking you will make him happier, that’s a lot of pressure on you.
You might be willing to take on that pressure, but soon enough, he’ll find himself unhappy again.
Happiness comes from the inside – not other people.
If however he decides to leave his wife or girlfriend and is happy all on his own, it might just work out between you.
When people chase happiness through people, they rarely find what they are looking for.
Your best bet is to talk to him about making sure he is happy in his life before he leaves his wife.
Sounds strange, but you can’t fill those shoes any better than she can.
9. Would would Sigmund Freud say?
Let’s be real: sometimes it’s hard to know the intentions of a guy who has a girlfriend.
So why not enlist the help of the most famous psychologist of all, Sigmund Freud?
Yes, the grandmaster at understanding sex and attraction can give you a personal love diagnosis.
I recently came across this extraordinarily fun quiz based on Freud’s most famous theories.
Simply answer a few personal questions and let Freud himself dig deep down into your man’s subconscious to reveal what’s really motivating him in your relationship.
I know that might sound a bit…clinical, and you’re not here to get a psychology lesson. But before you get spooked let me be clear:
Taking this quiz was the most fun I’ve had on the internet in years!
10. He’s afraid to actually settle down.
Even though the guy might be married or in a committed relationship, there’s a reason he’s turning to you to help him feel better.
He might tell you that he doesn’t love his wife or his girlfriend, but if he hasn’t left her for you yet it might be because he has commitment issues.
Ironic, sure, but not untrue. He might find it easier to be married or in a relationship to one woman and then do whatever he wants with others.
It’s a lot easier to date a woman who knows you’re married and doesn’t expect anything from you. It keeps things simple, as messed up as they really are.
And this works both ways. Is part of the reason you like being with him because he is unavailable to you?
The thing is, male commitment issues often boil down to something that’s missing in his relationship. He’s not getting what he craves from a woman so he’s constantly looking around for another one.
If you want to be in a relationship with him that lasts the long haul, you need to know about the hero instinct.
I mentioned this concept above.
This is the drive inside a man to live a life full of meaning and to earn the respect from those around him.
Men don’t necessarily want to be Bruce Willis but they do want to protect the woman they care about, treat her right and earn her love in return. And they won’t stay in a relationship where this doesn’t happen.
The best way to learn more about the hero instinct is to watch this excellent free video by relationship psychologist James Bauer.
James outlines the simple things you can do right now to trigger the hero instinct in your man.
11. Is he cheating all over town?
Okay, here’s the part nobody wants to talk about. Yes, he could leave his wife and live happily ever after with you, but you will always wonder if he is running around on you.
Or, what’s worse, you might realize that he could have a side chick for his side chick.
If he’s just looking to scratch an itch and doesn’t care where that relief comes from, you might find yourself the victim of a cheating partner as well.
It’s a hard pill to swallow, but guys cheat for all kinds of reasons, including low self-esteem and lack of confidence.
Ironically, you’d think a cheater had a lot of confidence, but it’s not always true.
So you need to examine how you got together and why and you need to take a hard look at what else he is doing to scratch that itch.
You might find that you are perfect for one another and you’ll be happy for a long time, or you might find that he’s a hot mess and needs a minute to get his life in order because you go any further with this relationship.
Again, just because he could leave his wife for you doesn’t mean you really want him to.
12. You might only be exciting to him because you are new to him.
You’re probably wondering why he flirts with you when he already has a girlfriend.
That’s a good question.
But the truth is, it’s probably just because he is bored.
Ask anyone that is in a relationship for a prolonged period:
What happens is that they eventually become bored.
After all, it’s the same person every single day of the week.
But that doesn’t mean he wants to leave the relationship.
He might actually know deep inside that his girlfriend is the girl of his dreams.
But every now and then, he needs something new. And right now, flirting with you is the “new thing” that is making life exciting for him now.
It doesn’t mean that he is going to make a move for you. Perhaps he doesn’t want to take it that far.
As we’ve said above, if he does, then it shows that he has the capability of cheating. Do you really want to be with a guy like that, anyway?
13. His relationship might be on the rocks.
When you’re involved in a relationship that is making you unhappy, you tend to look to outside forces to lift you up.
Perhaps he is doing that with you. Flirting with you is taking him outside of the realms of his failing relationship and making him feel better.
Will he take it further?
It depends on what his values and intentions are.
While it may seem cowardly to make a move on you, he might think it’s okay to do because he is using it as an excuse to leave his girlfriend.
Of course, that would make you the “rebound girl” and I’m sure that is a position that you might not want to be in.
It would be nobler of the guy to end things with his girlfriend first and then come running to you.
You might have to be honest with the guy and get him to front up about his intentions.
Does he only see you as a booty call? Or is he willing to leave his girlfriend and start a committed relationship with you?
14. He might just be flirting with you because he wants an easy, no-strings-attached fling.
Some men simply want to hook up with someone that isn’t their partner. It’s all about sex and variety for them.
And this could be why he is flirting with you.
But here’s what you need to keep in mind:
If his relationship is already highly established and it’s been going on for a while, then there might not be much chance he will leave it.
In other words, he might just see you as an easy fling.
Look, if you just want a little fun yourself, then perhaps there is nothing wrong with having a fling with him in your eyes.
I’m not here to judge, but if you believe that this guy will genuinely leave his girlfriend for you, then you might be in for a rude awakening when he moves onto his next fling.
15. He might just be just trying to get revenge.
Is he suddenly flirting with out of the blue?
If you’ve known him for a while, and usually he is nice and respectful to you, but suddenly he has changed his tune to be all flirty and sexual with you, then you’ve got to wonder why.
One common reason could be that his girlfriend has cheated on him, or has been flirting with other guys, and now he wants to get his revenge.
So, how can you tell whether you’re just a “rebound fling” for this guy or whether is he actually serious about leaving his girlfriend for you?
According to a relationship coach, Tiffany Toombs in Insider, “a partner who is reluctant to discussing the future is something to take note of” when it comes to assessing whether it’s a rebound relationship.
This makes sense, of course, because if it is just a rebound fling then they inherently know that there isn’t much of a future in the relationship.
Preston NI M.S.B.A says in Psychology Today that a person in a rebound relationship knows that their partner is “mister/miss right now” rather than “mister/miss right”.
After all, why commit when they’re not sure they’ll want to see in a week, let alone a month?
16. Are you waiting around for him?
Has he told you that he wants to leave his girlfriend for you? But he never actually does it?
Are you waiting around for this to happen? I’m willing to bet that you might be waiting around for him a lot.
Either he will only see you as a fling and will try to hide being with you in public, or he has told you he will leave his girlfriend to be with you, but it never actually happens.
Look: You can’t sit around forever. You need to move on with your life. Someone better could be just around the corner and every second that goes by you’re denying yourself the opportunity to meet him.
If you really so like this guy, then you need to take action now.
One way you can do this is by really grabbing his attention over text.
By using “attention hooks” in your texts.
Hollywood screenwriters are famous for using “attention hooks” to draw audiences into their TV shows and movies.
Have you ever been so hooked on a show that you couldn’t stop watching it?
Something at the end of each episode made you click “Watch Next Episode”. Almost as if you couldn’t help yourself.
Relationship expert Amy North has adapted the same Hollywood techniques for texting men.
As she explains in her new video, text messages with attention hooks tap directly into the focus system of a man’s brain.
When you send these texts to a guy, you’ll pop into his head again and again throughout his day. He won’t be able to shake you from his mind.
No matter how far away he is or how long since you’ve seen each other.
Check out this great free video by Amy North to learn more about these text messages.
17. If you were to get involved in a serious relationship with him, can you really trust him?
Let’s just say that he intends to break up with his girlfriend and begin dating you exclusively.
Ask yourself this:
If you’re in a relationship with this guy, can you really trust him?
Who is to say that the same thing isn’t going to happen to you?
If he’s willing to flirt with another girl while he is in a relationship with someone else then he might not be the kind of guy you can trust.
But maybe it’s different. He might have a terrible relationship with his girlfriend and you’re his saving grace.
But if that were the case, he’d be taking action to be with you right now. Seeing as you’re reading this article, I’m guessing that he isn’t taking action to dump his girlfriend and start seeing you.
Don’t believe what he says. Believe what he does.
It’s important to be honest and open about what you want in the future. And you need to make sure you can trust him.
18. Does this guy flirt with lots of different women?
Is this common practice for him?
If you don’t know him that well, you might want to witness how he acts around other women. He might just be a flirty type of guy. Or he’s cheating all around town.
If a guy that has a girlfriend tells you that he likes you need to be ultra skeptical.
He might be having multiple flings right now. That might seem unthinkable but it’s imperative to consider all options.
After all, he is in a relationship.
If you’re falling for this guy, then what I will say is this: Trust is important in any relationship you have, and you need to make sure this guy can be trusted.
And considering he is flirting with you while having a girlfriend, he needs to do a lot more than a man usually would to show he is trustworthy.
19. Cheaters are going to cheat.
Maybe this guy hasn’t cheated yet. I don’t want to make assumptions.
But the chances are higher considering he likes you while he has a girlfriend.
And that means for you it should be a pretty big warning flag that if you were dating him, then he might do the same to you.
I don’t 100% agree with the line, “once a cheater always a cheater”, but you’d be naive to ignore the fact that he has a girlfriend while liking you.
Look, trust has been mentioned a lot in this article, but that’s only because it’s so important.
In fact, trust is probably the most significant factor for a successful relationship.
And if you’re considering having a relationship with this fella, then you need to be able to trust him.
The real reason why men pull away
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