Steal Another Woman’s Man? You Are A Mate Poacher

If you are a woman who tends to fall in love with men who are already in a committed relationship, you are likely to be what is termed; A Mate Poacher. Stealing another woman's boyfriend, finance, or husband says only negative things about you. This pattern can be helped. Learn why some women mate poach and how they can make a healthy shift.

Are you a woman who tends to fall in love with men who are already in a committed relationship? Does the man then leave the woman he is with to be with you? Then, that relationship you are in does not work out (for some reason or another) and then the next man you like or love – the same thing happens? Typically women of whom this scenario is the pattern of which describes them do not view themselves as a mate poacher, yet that may likely be exactly what they are. The term used to describe women who steal another woman’s man is: mate poacher. Mate poachers do not want to view themselves through this negative lens, and typically do not refer to themselves as a boyfriend thief nor as a husband thief nor as mate poachers.

Mate poachers when asked why they would choose to be with men who are already in a relationship, and whether they consider what they are doing as stealing another woman’s man, these women typically respond as follows:

My love for another just happens, I am not intentionally trying to find men in relationships to be with, they find me.

Men in relationships  fall in love with me because I am giving them what their woman at home is not.

I am not really stealing another woman’s man if he chooses to be with me. The other woman never really had him to begin with if he left her, it’s her own fault for not giving him what he needs at home.

Note: There are female and male mate poachers. This article today is focusing on female mate poachers.

Top 3 most commonly asked questions about mate poachers, along with their answers:

Question #1: Why would a woman want to be with a man who is in another relationship and not simply choose to only be with men who are not in a relationship?

Answer: There are two main theories:

  1. Theory of Evolution AKA The Mate Poacher- Women want to be with a man they know has the capability/interest to be a mate since we all have the innate drive to mate. A man who is already in a relationship is displaying that capability/interest, thus the ideal mate.
  2. Theory of Childhood History Creates a Mate Poacher- There are women who have a subconscious desire to resolve unresolved deep emotional pains from childhood. It is their adult actions that are attempts to resolve the past hurt in the present. A common example/scenario: father left mother when you were a child of which led to abandonment feelings for you. Those feelings of abandonment created within you the desire for you to feel/believe/think that the only way to feel loved is for a man to leave another woman for you. It is that very act of the man leaving the other woman that will prove to you he really loves you, that you are loved and that you are deserving of love.

Question #2: The man who leaves the woman he is with should be at fault, why do women who are cheated on and then “dumped” get so upset at the the other woman?


Women who have been left by their man for another woman are typically quite angry at the man. They do blame the man for making the choice to be with another woman and are quite hurt and feel betrayed by their boyfriend/fiance/husband. They are also angry at the other woman. It is both people they are angry at. Sometimes they are angry at themselves as well, and wonder what they could have done differently.

As far as why are women so upset at the other woman and do not simply only blame the man is as follows:

Women who actively choose not to enter any type of a relationship with a man who is already taken are often well aware that women have power to say no to a man’s advances or yes, just as men have the power to say no to a woman’s advances or yes. Women also know that a woman has the ability to potentially lure a man in with their womanly charm. Women recognize there are tactics that can be used to lure a man in and gain their interest. Although a mate poacher does not believe they are using any tactics, nor do they view themselves as luring the man in, it is those of whom are not mate poachers who believe that there are women who are. One of the top tactics female mate poachers use includes words along the lines of: “She is not good enough for you, you deserve more.” In addition, typically a mate poacher is a woman oozing with sexuality and sexual flirtation that is like chocolate cake on the floor in the walk way for your pet dog. The reason why this tactic works on some men is that the combination platter of words that value who he is and thus deserves more, combined with sex is a great sell, specifically a great sell if the relationship he is currently in is not doing well.

There are women whose relationship code of ethics is clear and strong. There are women with clear boundaries of right versus wrong. It is those women who live by a clear relationship code of ethics and with clear relationship boundaries who are disgraced by and cannot comprehend those women who do not consider this code and boundaries when making decisions. Thus, they are infuriated at the woman for not being on their team, so to speak.

Question #3: Are there any tips for mate poachers to help them to change?

Answer: If you find yourself in the pattern described in this blog article and you wish to stop this cycle, there are four key tips:

  1. Be mindful of the fact that you are not happy with your own self and are likely to have low self worth to be with someone who is in a relationship. Therefore, make an active effort to self introspect what you are not happy with about you and each day choose one small step you can take for your self growth to feel better about you. If you feel good about you, in turn you will make healthy choices. If you are whole you will choose someone who is also whole.
  2. Choose to control yourself. Decide that you can find a committed man attractive, but taking action on that shows you are not in control of self. We as humans are not impulsive animals we can choose to control our own self. A self talk technique that can help you with choosing to control yourself includes: “I want a man that is a match for me, not who is matched with another. I deserve ‘pure true love’ not manipulated love.”
  3. Be honest with yourself that a choice to be with another who is in a relationship says only negative things about you. A few examples of the negative things being with someone who is in a committed relationship  says about you includes; a) you are de-valuing who you are as a human being, as a woman, b) you have a lack of caring, compassion, and empathy for others, c) you have a lack of interest in finding a true connected relationship with a man that will lead to true happiness.
  4. Recognize the odds. Typically mate poaching relationships do not end well. Therefore, choose to see what it feels like to be with a man who is available and choose to allow yourself the gift of enjoying that.
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6 thoughts on “Steal Another Woman’s Man? You Are A Mate Poacher”

  1. Hi Dr. Ruskin

    I stumbled across the term ‘Mate Poaching’ while researching Abuse in Relationships – with a specific lense on how social media is used to control & abuse a partner. I had never heard of this term, which seems to be a relatively new term and new phenomena (read an article dated 2012 suggesting this).

    I read a few different sites on Mate Poaching, and I must say yours provides the best content I’ve come across so far.

    I wonder if it is important to ask the question about the roots of abuse, unfaithfulness, cheating & mate poaching … and how mass media representation & social media foster, enable and condone this type of behaviour.

    What are your thoughts here?

    1. Hi Nancy,
      Certainly, understanding the root cause of certain behaviors is a helpful piece of the puzzle. To understand how one’s behavior makes sense in context, can help one to re-evaluate their choices, and decide to make healthier choices despite their life experiences that may have and are influencing their behavior.

      I am not one to blame social media for a person’s behavior, whatever that behavior may be. Social media is another aspect of an influencing force on our beliefs and thus actions we take as a culture. Though, I do not believe it is the initial root cause, though it can certainly play a role.
      Dr. Ruskin

  2. I recently ended a “friend-zone” relationship with a much younger woman, after she informed me that she was involved with a man who was currently in an 8 year long relationship. Your observations concerning the theory of childhood history rings true with my very sexy-beautiful ex-friend! I was a type of father figure to her, and she told me in very sad detail of the sexual, physical, and traumatic issues that she suffered as a young girl. She also had suffered years of drug abuse-in short, she was, and still is, a “hot mess” of a woman. I feel sorry for her, but could no longer be close to her, considering her choice to be a “mate poacher”! She is furious with me for taking a stance against her bad behavior! This is a typical response from a woman of this type…I guess most folks do suffer in some way from hurtful childhood experiences-I had tried to give her good advice about making careful choices with her personal life…to no avail.

  3. Here’s my recent response to an admitted man poacher’s blog post.

    Seriously, you need to take an in-depth moral inventory. Okay, you’re the “other woman”. Does this make you proud? I’m, personally, confused by your lack of empathy and human integrity. Wives aren’t jealous of you. You are living in a fantasy world, which is in reality a world of delusional self loathing. You do NOT respect yourself, so it’s impossible for you to respect others. Smart, confident, beautiful women don’t date married men because they do not have to. Confident, self-assured women don’t put their entire self worth into their ability to attract married men. Statistically, over 90% of men who cheat do not intend to end their marriages. Divorce is financially devastating for a successful man with a high maintenance wife and children. You need to ask yourself if you are actually comfortable being mocked and used? These men you speak of don’t love you. Men tend to MARRY women they love. Hahaha. Your disrespectful behavior and arrogant nonchalance is just a facade. Anyone can see that you are an insecure husk of a woman who needs professional therapy to fix whatever disorder you have. Good luck and , in all seriousness, thank you for the laugh. One day you will come across a “wife” who is crazier than you and may actually teach you a thing or two about respect. You should really make sure you are prepared to go head to head with a woman who’s far more intelligent than you give her credit for.

  4. Sad, then child does not like new wife so you don’t get to see your child or grandChild nay if you travel to them as they do not like new wife! A big LOSS!!😩🤭😡😢😱🤥🤫🤐

  5. Sad when this happens! Poor fellow in town here used to see his daughter and Grandaughter but something happened? Don’t see no one visiting! Sad!

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