”When a married man says he misses you, what does it mean?”
We all crave to hear a comment like “I miss you” from our friends and loved ones, don’t we?
It makes us feel connected to them
We feel special, wanted, needed, appreciated, and important to them.
Then we feel the need to express gratitude and reciprocate with a positive gesture.
If your married male friend tells you he misses you, you probably feel different, don’t you?
This time, your conscience kicks and forewarns you of a possible mishap or heartache.
You probably feel flattered that he values you but also feel uncomfortable that he may violate his marital vows.
The dilemma of how to respond now sets in.
You get a little confused about how to react.
Then inwardly, you begin to ask some serious questions:
Is he looking for an outlet to vent his possible marital frustrations, or is it simply a harmless banter?
Is it just a platonic expression of friendship, or is there an underlying current of flirtation?
Why does he say he misses me?
Well, a little bit of friendship goes a long way, but take note that too much with a married man can be damaging.
Here are possible reasons why a married man says he misses you and tips on how to respond when he says it.
When A Married Man Says He Misses You: Things It Could Mean
1. He’s genuinely interested in your friendship
A married man may tell you he misses you with no strings attached or any ulterior motive.
He may simply be telling you how much he appreciates your friendship.
If a married man genuinely wants your friendship, it’s essential for you to keep a healthy distance while you are friends with him.
I understand that you may not want to appear cold or distant from him (because his friendship holds a positive influence on you), and at the same time, you don’t want to lead him on or give him a wrong impression.
In such a situation, ensure that your response is warm and stern but with a friendly undertone.
Avoid responses that suggest you are open to becoming emotionally intimate with him or ready to cross any emotional lines.
You could say something like, “I enjoy the time I spend with you. But for this friendship to survive, we must ensure that we respect each other’s boundaries and relationships. I am glad to know that you value our friendship and the time I spend with you”.
2 He is looking for companionship
Does he like to hang out with you all the time or chat all the time?
Be alert; your married male friend might be looking for companionship!
If you have observed this in the past, and he tells you that he misses you now, it is crucial to set clear boundaries.
I understand that sometimes you may feel the urge to be supportive, but here is how to set limits.
As you respond with a pleasant remark, remind him that you’re not available for constant companionship.
You could say, “I’m happy and proud to be your friend, but I’m not available to hang out with you or chat all the time. That will be very unhealthy for our friendship.”
His wife should be his companion, not you.
You can be friends, but you don’t need to encourage him to spend more time with you than he already does.
Remind yourself that your married male friend has an obligation to his wife and family, even if it is not easy for him at the moment.
Be friendly and supportive of him, but make sure you do not cross the line and become too close.
You can show support by asking him questions about his current situation and listening to his response without judgment.
If he’s not happy in his marriage, encourage him to seek professional help.
You are not his therapist, and you should never have to take on that role.
3. He has an unmet emotional need that he’s hoping you can satisfy
If, by reason of a previous conversation you had with him, you discovered that he has some unmet emotional needs, and then he later tells you that he misses you, he may be giving you a hint that he wants you to help him satisfy those emotional needs.
I believe it is best to respond firmly in this kind of situation.
Let him know you understand what he is going through, but you can’t be his emotional crutch.
Immediately he makes the comment “I miss you,” redirect him to your previous conversation and subtly say something such as:
“I sympathize with your complaints. I hope you can find the support you need from your wife or another appropriate source. I’m not comfortable being a substitute for your wife.”
Then, encourage him to approach or re-approach his wife about the issue or to seek the support of a therapist.
This will help you lay a foundation for a healthy boundary with him and save you from getting pulled into an emotional affair.
4. He’s experiencing marital problems and is looking for a sympathetic ear
If he told you or you found out he is having marital issues, this may be a clue to why he says he misses you.
If this is why he says he misses you, then your priority should be to avoid getting drawn into the drama.
The first thing you should do is disengage from the conversation!
Secondly, except you are a marriage counselor by profession, you are certainly not the most appropriate person to give advice on his marital woes.
Well, of course, you can offer him words of support and encouragement.
However, be careful of making statements that could make him vest you with the title of his “go-to-person for relationship troubles.”
So, for example, while you tell him you’re sorry to hear about his problems, ensure you tell him that you can’t be involved in his marital higgledy-piggledy.
You can encourage him to talk to a counselor instead.
Girdle up because that time may pass.
He may get a solution to the problem and rebound with his wife.
It will hurt to realize you are just being used to pass the time.
5. He’s looking for an ego boost
A married man may tell you he misses you simply because he needs you to make him feel good about himself.
You may have a gut feeling that the married man is looking for an ego boost, especially if he is your ex.
He probably feels insecure or uncertain about his marriage, and he wants you to boost his self-esteem by telling him that he is desirable or that he does a good job.
If you feel this way, resist the temptation to feed his ego.
It is not a good way to treat a person.
Please don’t give him the reassurance or validation he’s seeking.
Instead, say a quick “Thank you” if you don’t know what to say, and redirect the conversation to other topics.
6. He is bored
If a man is bored in his marriage, he may seek fun in the wrong places.
He may simply be telling you he misses you and asking to see you just because he is bored.
He does not mean it; he is only in need of someone to help him while away his time.
Perhaps his wife is out of town, and he needs to do something new.
Be wary of a married man who seeks to use you as a tool to kill time by telling you he misses you.
It is great to feel special, wanted, needed, appreciated, important, and connected to a friend.
Friendship is a wonderful thing, but it is important to be mindful of boundaries and respect the relationships of others.
Not setting clear boundaries with a married man who misses you can have some serious implications.
It may lead to miscommunication, mixed signals, or an embarrassing emotional entanglement.
Without clear boundaries, it may be difficult to maintain a healthy friendship, especially with a married man.
Meanwhile, it is also important for you to consider the feelings of his wife too.
She may not appreciate her husband spending a lot of time and energy on a friendship with another woman.
Of course, I agree that it is pleasant to have a friendly connection with a married man.
After all, marriage is not a prison cell, and a married man has the liberty to make friends too.
However, you must not let your friendship with him get too close or personal.
The best friendships are built on healthy boundaries and mutual respect.
So, go forth and be friendly, but always keep in mind the potential implications of your actions.