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woman on telephoneAmy asks: For about 8 years, starting in college, I’ve had this friend, “William” who is a classic EUM. William and I have never been romantically involved, nor do I have any romantic interest in him. He’s never expressed any romantic interest in me either. I’m really not sure why this is, since I have a known tendency to fall for EUMs, but William and I have always been platonic. Maybe I’m part of his narcissistic harem!

However, because of my extensive and devastating experiences with several EUMs, I feel guilty when William tells me of the women HE’S being an EUM to. He talks about sleeping with them, dating them for short periods of time and dumping them if they don’t do exactly as he wants. He often says these girls are “crazy”, but based on what he tells me, I think these women are probably just insecure Fallback Girls like me.Since I’m not romantically involved with William, is there anything I can do to help him and any potential women he might use? I don’t want to see more women hurt the way I’ve been, but William is respectful to me, so I don’t see him as a lost cause or feel a need to end our friendship. Am I wrong?

NML says: It is interesting that you are friends with William and also attracted to Mr Unavailable’s but not him, but don’t mistake the part he has in your life because he is still an example of gravitating towards emotionally unavailable men although I imagine around him you feel safe and secure because you are the trusted confidante, and indeed you are part of his ‘narcissistic harem’.

But that aside, to answer your question about whether you can help him – it’s very difficult to help those who don’t want to be helped and those who are disconnected from their behaviour – that is usually Mr Unavailable’s.

He calls the women “crazy” because it makes him feel better about treating them in a shitty way – classic Mr Unavailable behaviour where they absolve themselves of any responsibility for their poor actions because the problem is surely everyone else but them. This in itself suggests to me that he is a very typical Mr Unavailable in that he is disconnected from his behaviour so I’m not sure how receptive he can be to help. The reason why Fallback Girls change is because generally at some point they experience something with a guy that becomes a way of showing them the light where they seek to be different and want different things because they’re connected enough to recognise enough is enough. He’s having a good time – it’s the women who get the shitty end of the stick.

The only thing you can do to help the women he might use is to warn them off him but you have to ask yourself if a female friend of a guy you were interested in warned you off, would you welcome her help or tell her to get lost because you’re suspicious of her motives?

With him, as you are his friend, only you can say if he has ever enlightened you as to why he behaves the way that he does. If he has opened up enough to discuss this, it could certainly help to create an open dialogue between you both, however be careful of what you say and approach steady and cautiously, because the first thing these men do is withdraw or even turn nasty when too much light dawns on their marble heads…

I think you are putting your energy in the wrong places – it’s not your place to try and change yet another man who will undoubtedly resist change. You would do far better to get in touch with your own desire to engage with Mr Unavailable’s so that you can tackle your pattern and lose your attraction to these men. Of course one side effect is that your friendship with him may not be so attractive….

With regards to losing his friendship and his respectfulness towards you, Mr Unavailable’s are often liked by many others, and can treat others kindly or what they perceive to be kindly – often actually they are not hugely connected with their friends and when people dig deep, they often discover their friendships with these men have little substance and are often one sided where they play sidekick or amateur psychologist as they listen to all of his problems. When they ask themselves how much they really know about this person, on reflection it turns out to be not very much. They’re certainly abysmal partners to be involved with in a romantic relationship. Their particularly typical behaviour is tied to mistreating people who they perceive to expect, want, or need something from them. That’s why he is always calling these women “crazy” even though he’s led them on a merry dance, and then withdrawn when he suspects that they want more than he can give often because he’s implied he can give it…

Am I telling you not to be his friend? No. But make sure you’re friends for the right reasons and that he’s not just another Mr Unavailable in your life under the guise of friendship. Most of all, sort your own stuff out before you get involved in his.

Update: Since I replied to Amy, she has added that “The thing that really helps me keep distance from William is that we live in different states now, so I don’t have to deal with him as often. But you were SPOT ON when you talked about me being his “personal psychotherapist”. She also said that “William has never come right out and told me, but based on the gossip that goes around our circle of friends (and I realize that’s not entirely reliable), he was hurt very badly by a girl in college, before he and I were friends, and that may explain – but not justify – his behavior.”

Man, these Mr Unavailable’s are soooo predictable!

Your thoughts? What would you do? Do you have friendships with Mr Unavailable’s?

If you want to learn how to understand your involvement with Mr Unavailable’s and how to move on, check out my new ebook Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl. Find out more and download.

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