Q. I am curious as to why more women are interested in talking to me now that I am married and wearing a wedding band, as opposed to when I was single. What makes women talk to married men more than they talk to bachelors?
A. There are many reasons. Part of it might be your perception, but there are plenty of men who agree that, after they are married, more women want to talk to them.
Some single women are nervous when they interact with single guys. If both are available, there is always the possibility (however remote) that one or the other is thinking about a potential relationship. If she isn't interested, she could be worrying he will ask her out. If she is interested, she could be worrying he won't!
With a married man, there is none of the game-playing. Both of you know you can talk, banter, even flirt, and the relationship will remain as it is. So the comfort level is greater with a guy who is clearly off-limits. There is no real possibility of risking involvement, rejection and all those complicated things that come with a relationship. (Of course, married men sometimes do cross the line and enter into affairs or emotional affairs, but that is emphatically NOT what we are talking about here.)
Men themselves, after they are married, are often more comfortable around women, so they project a whole different vibe. They are not worried about whether they are making a good impression, are expected to ask her out, are being judged or rejected.
Along with that, married men are often more happy, confident and secure than they were as bachelors. This makes them more emotionally accessible and even more communicative.
Also, to some women, a married man can seem more interesting and desirable. This is because somebody else wanted him — which makes it seem he must be worth talking to.
For women with an unresolved Oedipal conflict, who are unconsciously competitive with their mother for their father, a pleasant interaction with a married man has an edge of triumph. It means she has won out over the competition. Some women work through this more than others, but there is often a component of competitiveness.
Remember, again, we are not talking about affairs here.
Dr. Gail's Bottom Line: Women are often more at ease talking to men who are married. This is largely because, once the men are off the market, they are “safe.”
Dr. Gail Saltz is a psychiatrist with New York Presbyterian Hospital and a regular contributor to “Today.” Her latest book is “Anatomy of a Secret Life: The Psychology of Living a Lie,” by Dr. Gail Saltz. She is also the author of “Amazing You! Getting Smart About Your Private Parts,” which helps parents deal with preschoolers’ questions about sex and reproduction. Her first book, “Becoming Real: Overcoming the Stories We Tell Ourselves That Hold Us Back,” was published in 2004 by Riverhead Books. It is now available in a paperback version. For more information, you can visit her Web site, .