"Hitting on someone" is a term used to describe a form of dating ritual practised in every culture around the world. It is synonymous with the phrases "coming on to someone" and "heavy flirting," and its purpose is to draw the interest of a potential mate. Being "hit on" by a woman is often a welcome, socially acceptable activity. Yet there is the potential for awkward or unwanted circumstances, particularly if the woman is married. Know the signs to look for to determine whether a married woman is hitting on you.
The flirtatious signs of married women are virtually the same as those of single women, though often exhibited in a more discreet manner. During one-on-one social encounters, a woman's posture can offer clues as to her romantic intentions. An open posture, with the woman's shoulders squared to her companion and body leaning slightly forward, is a sign of interest. "Mirroring" is when a person's body and limb positions appear to mirror those of her companion. If a woman's posture becomes a mirror image of yours, chances are that she feels an affinity with you.
Certain gestures are specifically associated with flirtatious behaviour in women whether married or single. Studies have shown that female hair-flipping and head-tossing are among the gestures (outside of touching) that are most often regarded as sexually flirtatious. The crossing and recrossing of legs and the arching of the back are also considered heavy flirting, as the former draws attention to the legs while the latter places focus on the breasts.
Short of physical contact, how and what a married woman says will provide the clearest indication of whether or not she's hitting on you. Giggling and laughing, even at jokes that you consider unfunny, are signs of female interest. If a married woman openly disparages her husband or neglects to mention him at all, it's a sign she may be looking at other options. Increasingly probing questions about your physical and financial well-being are possible signs as well.
Outside of universally recognised greetings (handshake, hug), physical contact is usually intended to send a clear romantic signal. In most societies, a light touch on the arm or shoulder to get someone's attention is permissible, but touching someone other than a close friend, family member, or romantic partner anywhere else on the body (hand, knee, face) is not. If a woman is not your doctor or massage therapist and she is rubbing your leg, you are definitely being hit on.
Research has shown that men have a tendency to mistake friendly behaviour for sexual flirting, as men tend to see the world in more sexual terms than women. Men should beware of automatically assuming that the signs outlined indicate sexual interest. A married woman may (perhaps in everyone else's eyes but her own) flirt shamelessly without ever intending to break her wedding vows.