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Bonny Albo

How Friendly Is Too Friendly?

By February 10, 2008

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I chat somewhat regularly with a married man, who contacted me through Plenty of Fish. His profile said he was married and not looking, and since mine clearly says I`m only looking for friends right now because I`m taking a dating break, I thought there was no harm in conversing, especially since I`m new to town and haven`t met a lot of people yet.

Problem is, he greets me by telling me I`m sexy. Which isn`t really a bad thing per say. I`m flattered, yet very uncomfortable - and told him as much. He replied was that his wife was fully aware he`s a flirtatious man by nature, and there is no harm in showing your appreciation for another human being. Quite true, I`ll be the first to admit. I still find it a very slippery slope, and said so.

So. What do you think? Should married men - or women not looking to date - have active profiles up on dating sites? And does a married man telling a single woman she`s sexy mean anything? How friendly is too friendly?

Comments
February 10, 2008 at 8:48 am
(1) Anna says:

I think it’s okay for married women and men to be online, but NOT dating sites. This married guy telling you are sexy is fine once. I mean what woman really forgets a nice comment? But every time you talk to each other? It doesn’t matter if his wife knows and understands he’s a flirty guy. If you are uncomfortable and he brushes it off, he’s not respecting you. If you think you are going to get attached to this guy, I suggest you stop talking with this married guy. It’s not healthy and will just cause problems.
Hope I helped, and good luck.

February 10, 2008 at 9:02 am
(2) Amanda says:

What are either of you doing on a dating site??? Dating sites are for singles looking to date! I think he’s a pig that’s looking to cheat … and regardless what he says, I’m sure his WIFE would not approve of him being on there (I don’t know any woman that would be accepting of her husband having a profile on a dating site). I also think you’re insecure and looking for attention (why else would you post a profile on a dating site if you’re not willing to date anyone). There are plenty of ‘friend’ sites out there … myspace, facebook, friendster, etc that you two could be on, if friends are what you’re really looking for!

February 10, 2008 at 12:22 pm
(3) Bonny says:

Anna: I’m not worried about becoming attached to the guy. He’s married. I was only expecting friendship, if that. I’ve made it clear to the gent what is and isn’t okay, so if he decides to cross the line that I’ve drawn in the sand, then I will most definitely end contact.

Amanda: Some dating sites are definitely only for people looking to date (eHarmony comes to mind), but Plenty of Fish is part social networking, part forums and part dating site. The fact that they have the categories to choose from (friends, single but not looking, married, etc.) said to me it was perfectly fine to be on there without wanting to date. I mean, our own dating advice forums here at About have several married members who are very active posters. Ask them why they still hang out here, and they’ll tell you its because they made friends here while they were still single, and thought sticking around to answer questions and chat with friends was the right thing to do for them.

Additionally, I’ve found that many of the ‘friend’ sites out there that you’ve mentioned actually net people more dates than the dating sites. I can’t remember a time when someone has contacted me on Friendster and they weren’t looking for anything other than a date! Mind you I don’t use their service much, as I find their membership numbers are artificially inflated by the other sites they run, but that may all change now that Penthouse has purchased that network. Only time will tell.

Having said that, I did ask for people’s opinions, and I’m thrilled to see you didn’t hold back in sharing yours! :) Thanks for the comments.

February 12, 2008 at 11:16 am
(4) Janet says:

Dating sites are specifically for dating. Perhaps a married person would be better served on a social network site where all the profile details can be unfolded for all to see. I am a partner in a dating site, lookingforlove.com, and it is exactly as its name professes, for people who are looking for love. There are divorce courts for those who no longer are in love and there are specific sites for those who want to cheat. Give up the lie…

February 12, 2008 at 10:22 pm
(5) kim says:

Are you kidding? Do you really think his wife knows about him being on a dating site? If you believe him I have some land in Florida to sell you.

Stay away from him. You will soon have a stalker.

February 18, 2008 at 4:33 pm
(6) kat kit says:

I agree with kim!

February 22, 2008 at 4:14 pm
(7) Damaris says:

“Slippery slope” is interesting language since you are obviously already caught in a landslide. Married men have no business being on dating sites. Come on now. You knew the answer to that one. People get married and stop dating. Those are the rules girls and if they weren’t well then none of us would bother to marry.
A man who is looking for “friends” on a dating site is not looking for a pal to go bowling with otherwise, he would be at the local Elks club. He is looking for a “sexy” vulnerable (hopefully naive) woman with no boundaries and just enough curiousity to let him meet her for coffee or come over to see her puppy. Don’t do it.
How friendly is too friendly? He is friendly enough to make him creepy. Kick him to the curb girlfriend!

February 22, 2008 at 4:39 pm
(8) dating says:

My warning bells went off too when I first started talking with the guy, but he assured me over and over he was just looking for friends too. Ok, I thought. Why not, if he doesn’t toe any lines of impropriety. The “sexy” comment did in my mind, so I no longer talk with the gent. I was more curious as to what others thought on the topic than looking for advice myself.

September 26, 2008 at 12:35 am
(9) Susan says:

Many of a married man has begun an affair by setting a get-together, telling the woman it was just friendship.

It can begin friendly and innocently enough, and then the sales pitch and rationalizations begin.

Glad you’ve gotten rid of him. Good luck finding friends and real prospects in your new town.

January 22, 2009 at 5:24 pm
(10) stephanie says:

May I suggest a quick read of Marriage and Morals by Bertrand-Russell ? Morals are what we use when we want to stop someone else doing something we dont like , usually for the most obscure reasons, and most often of all because we were TOLD to think that something was innappropriate. Come on girls , cover your faces when you go out, after all we all know its immoral for a woman to be seen by a man in public…… dont we ? excuse speeling to tired to check !

January 30, 2009 at 12:15 pm
(11) Phillip says:

I don’t think this is really that complicated, sorry.

March 10, 2010 at 12:09 pm
(12) Brett says:

Why do you need to bother with this, tell him its not appropriate and he needs to keep himself in check. Woman set themselves up many times with situations like this, and allow for the misinterpretation of signals. You may have told him you only want to be friends, but since you seek any relationship at all he might want something more. Does his profile say he is looking for men to be friends with too? Also, if you should meet him tell him to bring his wife with too so you can meet her-that’ll send a signal.

April 2, 2011 at 11:22 pm
(13) Penina says:

I am late to this thread… let me begin by saying I have many friends who are men… and they are friends, not friends with benefits… some are married, and I am also friends with their wives, significant others…some are straight, some are gay… none of these friends were met on social networking sites, nor are any of them in polyamorous relationships ( a term I hadn’t heard before OKCupid.com)… secondly, this guy was manipulative… not only did he cross the friend boundary in the first place with the “sexy” remark which was way too familiar and off putting, especially coming from someone you didn’t know well ( consider this unctuous) , but he found reasons to not only ignore your expressed wish, but tell you how you are wrong by undermining your wishes and telling you that his wife is ok with it… so he is ok with it, his wife is ok with it (really?) and dismissed the fact that is wasn’t ok because you weren’t ok with it… he is disrespectful, smarmy, agressive, manipulative, and it’s great you are not speaking with him… I’m answering this because I received a message from someone who is married, and his profile says he remains married due to undisclosed reasons… however he has been on there for more than a year… what is suspect is one’s definition of friend… my guy friends do give me some of that guy energy sometimes needed and are good for advise, fixing the leaky faucet, emo support that is different that the support that comes from my gal friends…and I hope that I return the friendship in kind… so there is something to be said about that… I do wonder though, why when people on sites like okc or plenty are looking for friends, they are only looking with the opposite sex… so there is some unspoken thing going on here… friendship at first, then perhaps leading to something else… better to stay away from the married ones… waste of precious time… :)

April 4, 2011 at 11:08 pm
(14) Megan says:

I agree with Amanda, and I think you are naive. You need a lesson in boundaries…Your first mistake was thinking that because YOU are just looking for “friends” that it’s acceptable to converse with a married man–regardless of what he has on his profile. Respect yourself! If all he wanted was “friends” , he’d be open to talking to men too. I have been on several dating sites, and I have not and never would knowingly converse with a married man. I think too highly of myself and my time. If he wants to chat with someone, he should chat with his wife.

Your second mistake was thinking it was acceptable to talk to a married man who greeted you with “you’re sexy”. Do you know what the definition of the word”sexy” means? It means to inspire sexual feelings—in the person who referred to you as sexy–in your case the married man. And you took this as a compliment? I was on plenty of fish not even two days ago as I’m looking for a relationship. Well, this attractive guy whose profile said he was also looking for a relationship sent me a message. He didn’t say hi, how are you or anything respectable. He said “very sexy”. And because I have standards, morals and boundaries, I was offended. No greeting from a respectable man contains the word “sexy”. I don’t know how old you are, but I sincerely hope you are in your early 20′s.

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