When a Taken Guy Flirts with You: The Dos and Don’ts

Flirting can be fun and exciting, but it becomes tricky when the person flirting with you is already in a committed relationship. It’s a delicate situation that requires tact, sensitivity, and respect for all parties involved. In this article, we’ll discuss the dos and don’ts of dealing with a taken guy’s flirting.

The Dos

1. Be Clear about Your Boundaries

When a taken guy flirts with you, it’s crucial to be clear about your boundaries. Let him know that you’re not comfortable with his advances and that you respect his relationship. Being clear about your boundaries is not only respectful to his partner, but it also prevents any misunderstandings and confusion.

2. Show Empathy towards His Situation

Being the subject of a taken guy’s flirting can be uncomfortable and awkward, but it’s essential to show empathy towards his situation. He may be going through a rough patch in his relationship or feeling neglected by his partner. Showing some understanding towards his situation can help diffuse the tension and create a more comfortable environment for all parties involved.

3. Encourage Him to Work on His Relationship

It’s natural to crave attention and validation, but it’s not fair to anyone if a taken guy decides to seek these things outside of his relationship. Instead of encouraging his flirting, try to encourage him to work on his relationship. Suggest that he communicates his needs to his partner or seeks counseling if necessary.

4. Maintain a Professional Distance

In cases where you interact with a taken guy on a professional level, like a coworker or a client, it’s essential to maintain a professional distance. Avoid getting too personal and keep your conversations focused on work-related matters. Remember that your professional reputation is at stake.

5. Respect His Relationship

Finally, the most crucial of all dos is to respect his relationship. Remember that he’s in a committed relationship, and any advances from you can cause chaos and hurt for everyone involved. Keep things respectful and avoid any actions that can be seen as potentially flirting.

The Don’ts

1. Don’t Flirt Back

When a taken guy flirts with you, the last thing you want to do is flirt back. It can give him the impression that you’re interested in him, which can be confusing and potentially disastrous. Flirting back can also chip away at your self-respect and cloud your judgment.

2. Don’t Gossip about His Behavior

It’s important to be discreet when dealing with a taken guy’s flirting. Gossiping about his behavior can cause unnecessary drama and hurt his partner. Show respect for all parties involved and keep the situation between you and him.

3. Don’t Judge Him Harshly

It’s easy to judge a taken guy for flirting with you, but it’s essential to remember that relationships can be complicated. Instead of judging him harshly, try to empathize with his situation and show some compassion.

4. Don’t Validate His Flirting

It can be tempting to validate a taken guy’s flirting, especially if you find him attractive. However, doing so can create false hope and lead to a messy situation. Remember that he’s in a relationship, and any validation from you can cause problems.

5. Don’t Pursue a Relationship with Him

It should go without saying, but pursuing a relationship with a taken guy is a big don’t. Not only is it morally questionable, but it also sets the stage for mistrust, deceit, and heartbreak.


Dealing with a taken guy’s flirting can be uncomfortable and awkward, but it’s important to handle the situation with grace and professionalism. Remember to be clear about your boundaries, show empathy and respect, and avoid actions that can be perceived as flirting. Don’t compound the situation by flirting back or pursuing a relationship with him, and always be discreet.

Common Questions

  • Q: What if I have feelings for the taken guy?
  • A: It’s natural to develop feelings for someone, but it’s important to respect his relationship and avoid acting on those feelings. Pursuing a relationship with a taken guy can cause problems and hurt for everyone involved. Focus on finding someone who’s available and interested in you.
  • Q: Should I tell his partner about his flirting?
  • A: It’s not your place to tell his partner about his behavior. Doing so can cause unnecessary strife and tension. Instead, focus on setting your boundaries and maintaining a professional distance.
  • Q: What if the taken guy makes me feel uncomfortable?
  • A: If the taken guy’s behavior makes you feel uncomfortable, be clear about your boundaries and let him know that you’re not interested. If the behavior continues, consider escalating the issue to HR or a supervisor.
  • Q: Is it ever okay to flirt with a taken guy?
  • A: No, it’s never okay to flirt with a taken guy. It’s disrespectful to his partner and can cause hurt and chaos. Maintain a professional distance and avoid any actions that can be perceived as flirting.


  • Moore, R. (2018). Flirting: A Social and Interactional Behavior with Sexual Overtones. Online Readings in Psychology and Culture, 4(4), 1-23. https://doi.org/10.9707/2307-0919.1276
  • Stieger, S., Burger, C., & Formann, A. K. (2011). “Birds of a feather flock together” – Exploring partner similarity in preferences for specific sexual behaviors. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40(5), 983-994. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-010-9703-3
  • Vorauer, J. D., Cameron, J. J., Holmes, J. G., & Pearce, D. G. (2003). Invisible overtures: Fears of rejection and the signal amplification bias. Journal of personality and social psychology, 84(4), 793–812. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.84.4.793

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