So we reach the final part of this three-parter on whether you can, or should stay friends with a Mr Unavailable and/or assclown. In part one, I explained the immediate factors that make it tricky to stay friends with these men and the real reasons why you will want to stay ‘friends’, and in part two I followed it up by explaining the true dynamics of these dubious ‘friendships’. Both posts continued to beg you to ask the question:
Why the hell do I want to be friends with this man?
You also need to realise this: relationships cannot and should not involve projection and where there is a Mr Unavailable and/or an assclown, projection is there like a great big beacon of light radiating from you.
You project how you feel about him and how you want him to feel about you and hope he will reciprocate.
This means that when you are in the relationship, you project what you think, feel, and want onto him even though he is thinking, feeling, and wanting something else.
When the relationship ends and you are still emotionally invested, you continue to project and now it becomes projecting what you want him to see about you onto him, in the hope that he will recognise how wonderful you are, regret it, and value you.
Staying friends with a Mr Unavailable or assclown is about seeking validation.
Let’s not pretend – we do hope that these guys have a light bulb moment and become riddled with regret, and come crawling back on their hands and knees.
However, many want the fairy tale, so he does all of this and you run off like Carrie and Mr Big to the registry office and the agony melts away… It would be so much better if you at least hoped he’d regret it, came crawling back…and you told him to beat it…
Ultimately, does it need to be so much work to get someone to recognise your value?
In fact, should there be any work?
Why do you want to put so much work into a ‘friendship’?
Why do your relationships have to involve projection?
Your feelings are independent of each other – you can’t love for the both of you…or be friends for the both of you. Don’t make the mistake of switching from dragging someone along for the free relationship ride, to dragging them along for the free friendship ride.
Stop forcing things and spend your time around people who respect, value, care, trust, and love you. But remember, men like this recognise that you may not respect, value, care, trust, and love yourself enough because you give them the time of day.
My golden rule of staying friends with an ex is this:
If you are over him, are no longer emotionally invested in either a positive or negative way (not in love or not angry), there has been at least a few months of space, and you have both moved on, knock yourselves out.
If you are still emotionally invested and are projecting anything, and I really do mean anything, on to this guy, which means you have expectations that go beyond what he is capable of delivering…but you’re hoping for it anyway, I would skip friendship.
You cannot just ‘switch’ to friendship with a Mr Unavailable or assclown because they don’t respect boundaries.
In fact, they don’t respect you, and they do things on their terms…or not at all.
Don’t make the mistake of doing the glass is half full and going on about his good points as if these give you a green light for friendship; if you spent more time seeing the bigger picture, you’d realise that his bad points give you a red light for a relationship and a friendship.
If you have to come into contact with your Mr Unavailable or assclown, it’s not friendship you need; you just need to learn the ability to be cordial and polite.
Cordial and polite doesn’t involve you phoning each other, texting, emailing, or having sex or a cheeky snog on occasion.
Being cordial and polite to your ex means that if and when you should both cross paths and there are people around, or there aren’t other people around, but you’re not good at being cold, you do the bare minimum.
The problem with women who are attracted to Mr Unavailables and assclowns is that we’re over-givers. Case in point: he throws you crumbs, you chomp at the bit and throw back a loaf.
This means that when we stay friends with these men after we break up with them:
they send a one line text – we dial them straight away or send them back a lengthy text expressing our emotions
they call and hang up – we spend the next week wondering what that call meant
they call and get through – you’re thinking about getting back together and imagining going on holiday together or what your friends faces will be like. He on the other hand is thinking about how he can slip having a hook-up into the conversation…
If you over-give in your relationships with men, trust me when I say you will over-give in your friendships with them.
You need to rein yourself back in for the sake of yourself.
You come first. This means that right now, it is in your best interests to put some distance between you both because with distance comes objectivity, and with objectivity, you should start to see that this guy is not worthy of your time.
In you coming first, it does not serve your best interests to be friends with this man as soon as the relationship ends because you already have a prior history with this guy that shows what can happen when you are around him.
If you continue to stay ‘friends’, as I said in part two, the dynamic won’t really change because he will still be in control of the ‘friendship’ whilst you are literally going through some sort of ‘mindf*ck’.
Being friends removes responsibility because anything you say or do that he wants to dodge the bullet on, he can say that you know the relationship is over and that it was only friendship that was on offer.
You also need to remember that unless you were genuine friends before you became ‘lovers’ (this is not the same as being friends with a guy who always had every intention of getting into your knickers…or you being friends with him in the hope that he would get into your knickers…), then you were never actually friends in the first place.
You must set the boundaries from the outset even if it makes you feel uncomfortable.
You can set boundaries verbally or with actions, but even if you opt with the former, it must be followed up with actions.
You, not him, need to be in the driving seat of this, and trust me, when he realises that he can’t be in control of the dynamic, you’ll be of less interest.
When an ex Mr Unavailable said we should stay friends and keep in touch, I said “Well we have just broken up, so if you call me over the next couple of months or so, I’m not going to answer your calls or return them…”
Of course he didn’t believe me so he called and left messages or hung up, but he got no response and he tired of it.
If you bump into him somewhere or he catches you on the phone (these guys love calling from different numbers), be polite, but brief, and make a quick escape, telling him that you’re busy and about to go into a meeting.
Don’t panic and worry about his hurt feelings or whether he was calling up to tell you something majorly important because trust me, he’s not. Don’t believe me? Take his call and discover all too quickly that he’s full of hot air, gagging for an ego stroke, and has not given an itty bitty thought to whether it will have any negative effect on you.
We lose too much frickin’ sleep over what these guys might think!
You don’t need to answer his calls just because he called. It’s just a call.
You don’t need to return a call just because he left a voicemail. It’s just a voicemail.
You don’t need to worry about doing the decent thing; he’s never lost any sleep over how he has treated you. I’m not suggesting you be horrible; I’m suggesting that worrying about how nice and decent you can be is a waste of energy.
Whatever amount of thought you spend on these guys, divide it by any number above 2 and you getting a lot closer to the truth of how much time he is spending thinking about you!
If you work together, set clear, verbal boundaries and make it clear that if they are crossed, the consequence will be that you will cut him off.
When I ended it with the Mr Unavailable I’d been involved with at work, each time he crossed the line, I made it known. I learned very quickly that trying to be all nicey-nice and acting like good friends was stupid – he, like many others, didn’t know how to respect my boundaries. In the end, I worked my way back to cordial and the moment he realised I was dating and that there really was no chance of getting laid or an ego stroke, funny enough, he didn’t want to be friends anymore. What a shame… NOT!
Do not share detail about yourself with these guys. Hello, goodbye, and ‘I’m fine’ is more than sufficient. If you work together, keep the conversation strictly work.
If you have to come into contact with these guys, keep conversations as brief as possible and do not share anything that gives them an opening.
Do not ego stroke, don’t listen to their problems, and no matter how much they beg and plead, and no matter how horny you are, do not give them any sex, foreplay, kisses, whatever. No sexual contact!
You will discover that when you remove all of these things out of the friendship equation, they don’t want to be your ‘friend’…
Remember, cordial and polite..and brief.
The moment that you have to validate his ego, or he starts waffling on about his life, cut the conversation short. Let him go and ‘offload’ on someone else.
If the conversation and his behaviour becomes flirtatious or sexual, cut off immediately and ignore him. If he asks why you’re ignoring him, say that it’s clear that friendship is not what he has in mind and you won’t be used. If you’re not good enough to be in a bonafide relationship with him, you’re not going to be palmed off with a bit part shag…
Learn how to beam mega watt smiles even if you are in turmoil – it scares the crap out of them because they think you’re happy and have possibly moved on…which puts them out of control. Practise in front of the mirror but avoid the crazy look…
Disregard all lazy contact – do not respond to text messages, instant messenger, or emails, especially those pathetic joke ones that they all love to send. They mean nothing other than that they’re engaging in lazy, disconnected contact. Don’t analyse them – it’s these men’s way of tending the ego garden…
Treat them as you do your other friends. Are you in love with them? Do you let them walk all over you? Do you allow them to send you inappropriate messages, often of a sexual nature? Can they call you up in the night or turn up and slip under your covers? Do you flirt with them? Do you obsess about them? Do you cry yourself to sleep at night? Do you hope they’ll see how great you are?
I hope you don’t have friends like this as it sounds like you’re getting taken advantage of at all angles…
If you share mutual friends, ask them not to tell you details about him and if you suspect that any of your friends are serving him info about you, tell them not to, or stop sharing with them. You quickly learn who your friends are in these situations.
If you’re really hurting, mutual friends that have your best interests at heart, will understand if you don’t want to hang out as a big gang for a while.
But I always say you can judge people by their friends… In particular, assclowns often hang with other assclowns.. Mr Unavailables often have eager beaver Mr Unavailable friends only too willing to ‘help’ you through your heartbreak plus hey often have female friends for a great big ego stroke. Be very careful of the company you keep…
Ultimately, you need to decide – do you actually want to move on and find love in a healthy relationship?
If you do, I suggest you shed this excess baggage and hang with some real friends and start to learn to like and love yourself so that you’re not even contemplating remaining friends with these men. Because if you did like, love, respect, trust, and value yourself more and had boundaries as a core part of your life, you wouldn’t be trying to be friends with the very men that will deplete you of these very things.