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


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.

Written by

Follow Dr. Karen on Twitter or Facebook. Media Psychotherapist Guest Expert; Relationships, Parenting, Hot Topics In The News. Appears on: The O'Reilly Factor, FOX & Friends, FOX & Friends FIRST, America Live, Hannity, regular go-to for FOX Boston, and more. Can be heard on Radio: FOX News, 96.9 Boston Talks, and more. Columnist, quoted in various print media: FOX Business, Boston Globe, Boston Herald,, USA Today, Parents, TIME, Woman's Day, and more. Owner/Director of Dr. Karen Ruskin & Associates, Inc. Based in Massachusetts. Author of: 9 Key Techniques For Raising Respectful Children and Dr. Karen's Marriage Manual. Copyright 2012.


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