Are you worried your partner is using future faking to manipulate you? Does your partner promise you the most extravagant things, even though it’s just been a few dates? Could your partner be a narcissist trying to manipulate you? If you want to understand what exactly future faking is and how someone might employ it, this is the right place to be.
This article will look at the different signs of a future faker and how to spot and steer clear of such people. Only when you’re aware of this process can you avoid falling into its traps. Counselor Ridhi Golechha (Masters in Psychology), who is a food psychologist and specializes in counseling for loveless marriages, breakups, and other relationship issues, will share her insights throughout this piece.
What Is Future Faking?
Future faking is a dating approach where the faker shares their dream of a beautiful future with you. Now you might think there’s nothing wrong with that. And indeed, there’s nothing wrong, as long as it’s done after having spent a substantial time together. In this case, however, the person starts doing so from the very beginning of you seeing each other.
They might tell you about the beautiful children you two will have, the countries you’d visit together, and what your house will look like one day. They might indeed sound very sincere and excited about these prospects.
It’s easy to fall for these dreams of a happy life with each other. But all of this is an elaborate setup to get you committed to a relationship with them. All this while, you keep believing in the lies they’ve painted for you, and keep giving them your love and attention. But the person who is faking it might not even be in love with you in the first place. This problematic strategy is used to play with your emotions. This is most commonly displayed by those having a narcissistic personality disorder.
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Examples Of Future Faking
The real-life examples of future faking given below can give you a better idea of how a future faking narcissist might behave. These are by no means exhaustive and only serve to give you an idea of how a narcissist manipulates someone for their selfish ends.
1. His promises were lies, there was no follow-through
Lenny dated a man for 8 months who tried to sell them all kinds of future scenarios based on what Lenny had said during their conversations. This started early in their relationship and only kept increasing with time. He was very convincing throughout, and it was hard to not believe him until they started noticing some patterns. The constant swearing upon their unborn child, the hundreds of false promises.
Of course, none of those dreams ever came true because they were just lies to have Lenny committed and in love with him. He’d always blame something or the other, but never himself. Finally, one day, Lenny decided enough was enough and decided to break up with him despite another round of his ardent promises.
2. We married because of all the false promises she made
William couldn’t believe his luck when the pretty woman in the club was flirting with him and trying to seduce him. Of course, he wasn’t aware of the fact that the woman was a narcissist who wanted to manipulate him into a relationship. She wasn’t doing very well financially, so she put her looks to good use.
As they started dating, William fell into the trap of her dreams. She promised him a lifetime of romance, sex, and passion, describing their future in excruciating detail. It wasn’t long before he married her. That’s when their equation changed. She started withdrawing from him, shopped all the time, and never brought to life any of the dreams she’d shown him.
William still gives his wife all the love, care, and space in the world. He can’t understand the reason for her detachment toward him or what went wrong in the relationship.
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3. He said all the right things
Martha was exploring the dating scene when she came upon one of the typical examples of future faking. All this guy wanted was to have her for himself. He showed her dreams of a life together in Switzerland, her favorite country, and how they’d travel, relax, and cook together. She soon fell for his elaborate lies, committing herself to all his promises and dreams.
It was too late by the time she saw through his deceit. Not only was her energy and love wasted, but her trust in people was broken for a long time after that.
Signs Of Future Faking
We shall now look at the signs through which you can spot a future faking narcissist. While they differ from person to person, these signs are the most common ones seen in narcissists when they try to manipulate their partners.
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Remember, you might think your girlfriend is piling on too many dreams on you every day, or you’re dating a guy and have started seeing signs he is future faking, but this behavior may not be intentional. An honest conversation is required, in such a case, to get to the root of the issue. That still doesn’t change the fact that it can emotionally wreck the person on the receiving end of future faking.
1. It feels like a fantasy
We all have those dreams of finding someone who’ll sweep us off our feet. And when someone promises all of that, it’s natural to be drawn toward it. Your partner might describe that you make them feel like no one else has. They might create these beautiful landscapes that you can’t help but get attracted to. But remember that future faking and love bombing are techniques used by narcissists to manipulate you at their whim.
2. The speed of your relationship is faster than a rocket
It’s very common to feel like you’ve never felt this way before when in love, but to confess their love on the first date or propose on the third one? Yeah, not a good idea. Reality is far away from the land of fairy tales with happy ever afters, and it’s crucial to make rational decisions especially when it comes to choosing someone for the rest of your life.
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Ridhi says, “This is very similar to someone love-bombing you. A term that we use in psychology is love-bombing, where people show a lot of instant displays of love and affection constantly. Like constantly calling you, texting you, wanting to be in touch with you and meeting you, giving you a lot of words of affirmation, a lot of gifts, etc.
“And all of this happens in a very, very weirdly short period of time. That’s why when the speed of your relationship is faster than a rocket, remember that it is not going to stay smooth like this and the love-bombing will eventually stop.’’
3. They keep lying and making promises repeatedly
If your date keeps making promises about taking you somewhere, hold them to that. One of the primary signs he is future faking is when those dreamy promises remain blank words and never cross into the realm of reality. We all have made promises we couldn’t keep, but not the way a future faker does.
“One of the signs of a future faker is that they can’t stop making unrealistic promises and also don’t fulfill them. An example could be a commitment to a meeting. Let’s say, they tell you all the time that they’re definitely going to meet you three times a week. But every week, without fail, they only meet you once. Of course, it’s okay for them to meet you just once a week, but the issue here is that their words of commitment differ from their actual actions. That is something you need to keep a note of,’’ advises Ridhi.
4. They barely know you
Ask yourself how much they know about you. If all they know are superficial details and yet they talk about your future as if it was something they’ve been planning for centuries, then all those dreams were never created for you. Future faking and love-bombing are common strategies employed by narcissists to be the center of attention and attract others. To put it in different words, they’re more interested in themselves than they are in you.
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Ridhi counsels, “A lot of times, in future faking, what happens is that their narcissistic behavior will show up – they’ll mostly be consumed by talking about themselves, their feelings, their desires, their wants, their story, their life. And you realize you know a lot about them but you’ve hardly had a chance to talk about yourself.
“Sure, you might be a good listener, but that does not mean that you don’t put forth your desires and your story to your partner. You need to be recognized in the relationship as much as you recognize and validate them.’’
What To Do If You’re Dating A Future Faker
If you’re certain by now that your partner is a future faker and you keep imagining all these scenarios that are obviously future fakes, then it’s important to act upon it. Confronting them directly might make matters worse because future faking ghosting is also common. So here are some things you can do if you’re dating a future faker.
1. Hold off physical intimacy
Unless you’re very sure of the character of the person you’re dating, and what they mean to you, keeping off sex is a good idea. Sex fills your body with the hormones oxytocin and vasopressin, which make you attached to someone without any reason whatsoever.
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Ridhi advises, “Physical intimacy is sometimes rushed in a relationship with a future faker, because of all the love-bombing. They will ask you specifically for physical intimacy even if you are not ready for it. And in order to not lose the relationship, you will say yes and give in. Or, the love-bombing makes you feel drawn toward them, and you are unable to stop yourself.
“Now what happens is, there’s a rush of dopamine and oxytocin due to physical intimacy. These are love hormones and when these hormones are rushed, they start blocking your logical and rational thinking. And they put you in a starry-eyed world. So you are looking at them through starry eyes, through a filter, through a cloud of oxytocin. You should be really careful about that.’’
2. Draw your boundaries
When they start talking about your future as if you two have been dating forever, it’s best to interject and stop them. If they keep repeating it after many interjections, they’re not worth your time and it’s best to simply leave the relationship.
“Certain boundaries need to be drawn. One, of course, with physical intimacy – take your time. Secondly, recognize when they’re not fulfilling their commitments.
Related Reading: How Do You Set Emotional Boundaries In Relationships?
“Even if they tell you that they will come to meet you, they never actually do it, and you’re the one who ends up going to meet them. So make sure that you know what’s really going on. It would be best if you were careful about boundaries around money too, because you might end up spending on them without realizing that it is their narcissistic way of relationship.
“Emotional boundaries are also really important here, which means that once you get emotionally invested in a relationship, they can take advantage of you. So make sure that certain emotional boundaries are drawn,’’ counsels Ridhi.
3. Prioritize actions over words
Sure, those words sound perfect. Sure, they contain the promise of a beautiful future, but don’t get swayed so easily. Enjoy the time, but don’t let it win you over without any reason. Only when they follow their words with action should you start trusting them and committing yourself to the relationship.
On this, Ridhi says, “You will see how many false promises they are making. They can lie and make promises repeatedly. And under the influence of hormones, under the influence of love bombing, narcissists have a great way of trapping anxious attachment-styled people. In the end, you’ll see there are no actions really, there are only hollow words.’’
The Consequences Of Future Faking
Going through future fakes can be severely dangerous for your psychology and sense of self. From feelings of hopelessness to cognitive dissonance, it can leave you emotionally damaged. Not only did the person you fell in love with turn out to be a manipulator, but all those dreams you believed in were never meant to come to life. These consequences can be long-term which is why it’s best to avoid such people in the first place.
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- Future faking is a tactic often used by narcissists to make you fall for them through false promises and extravagant dreams
- A relationship with a future faker might feel like a dream or a fantasy
- Things happen very quickly in a relationship where future faking tactics are being employed
- You should try to abstain from physical intimacy in the very early stages of a relationship
- It’s important that you draw boundaries and prioritize their actions over words in the relationship
If you think your partner is future faking and has been doing so for a long time now, it’s best to identify and act upon it. Take action and leave the relationship, no matter the amount of pain you feel. It’s better to do it now than go down a spiral where you’d be even worse off than now. It’s crucial to not jump to conclusions, but once you know their truth, it’s necessary to prioritize yourself above their needs.
For those with narcissistic personality disorder, it can be extremely hard to make them see how their actions can adversely impact people. To change a future faker, it’s necessary to inject some empathy toward others so they can see how their self-centered nature is harming others. However, those with milder signs of narcissism can improve with proper therapy.
You can spot a future faker by the difference between their words and actions. Do they promise too much and fail to live up to that every time? Do they shift the blame to you or someone else when confronted or start future faking ghosting so as to gaslight you? If yes, then they’re probably future fakers.
While yes, most future fakers are narcissists, this doesn’t always have to be true. Future faking in people with BPD or Borderline Personality Disorder is also observed. Those with BPD tend to have rapidly changing emotions and an unstable self-image. This reflects in their relationships as well. They are not trying to manipulate you, they just happen to have intense emotions.
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