Imagine finding yourself on a perfect first date with a captivating stranger who, over the course of a single dinner, seems to effortlessly check off every box on your ideal partner list.
You both share an idyllic vision of your future lives together, complete with a charming house in the countryside, two children, and even your very own art studio.
But could this dreamy scenario be too good to be true? For some individuals with narcissistic traits, this could be a deliberate manipulation tactic called future faking, designed to captivate and control you.
While it may feel almost impossible to recognize future faking as it unfolds, being prepared to identify and understand this manipulative behavior can be the crucial first step towards breaking free from a narcissist’s web of control.
Building a healthy romantic relationship and partnership requires genuine connection and trust, so be aware that future faking may pose a significant threat to maintaining a long-term, fulfilling bond.
Healthy relationships are not built on a bunch of over the top promises. They’re built on trust, attraction and being with each other in the present moment.
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What Does the Term “Future Faking” Mean?
According to experts, “future faking” is a manipulative tactic used by narcissists to create a false sense of intimacy in romantic relationships and other relationships.
They manipulate people by making a false promise (or many) about the future, such as grand romantic gestures, plans, and promises, in order to string someone along in the present.
It involves casting romantic promises of a future together, overwhelming someone with affection, and showering them with love.
The problem is that the wonderful future that future fakers paint in the eyes of their partner is not at all achievable – it’s all just grand statements.
When Does Future Faking Occur?
The first thing for you to know is that it is a manipulative tactic often employed by narcissistic individuals who shower their love interests with affection and grand promises of a shared future.
This behavior tends to happen more frequently at the beginning of a relationship, as it’s meant to quickly establish a connection with the other person.
As the relationship progresses, the bond may be strong enough that future faking becomes less effective and easier to recognize if insincere.
(Future faking is also quite common with a certain pool of lower quality men on dating apps.)
The main purpose of future faking is to engage in exaggerated discussions about your future together, making grandiose promises to keep you emotionally invested and committed to the relationship with the narcissistic man.
If you feel like you might be dating someone who’s just future faking, I recommend you try some high value banter on them. This is because banter introduces an element of unpredictability into your interactions, and if they’re just future faking, you’ll see them revealed very quickly.
Future Faking Examples
Example 1: Dreaming of a perfect life together
Imagine you and your new boyfriend have fallen head over heels in love. You both want the same things: a house, a beautiful yard, the perfect dog, and even children.
You spend months looking at houses and talking about your future together.
However, half a year later, you notice he hasn’t saved any money. You find out he’s in debt and doesn’t seem committed to changing his habits. Despite his promises, you start wondering if love truly conquers all.
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Example 2: The elusive promotion
In this scenario, your boss continually promises you a promotion with better pay and a more fulfilling career path.
You take on additional responsibilities, work longer hours, and prove your dedication.
But months go by, and you still haven’t received that promotion. You feel defeated when your boss keeps giving vague excuses for the delay, and eventually, the whole thing is forgotten.
Example 3: The never-ending travel plans
You and your new love interest bond over your shared dreams of traveling to Europe.
You spend your time researching, reading travel books, and watching videos about your dream destination.
Your man keeps reassuring you that it’ll happen soon, but every time you bring it up, there’s always a new reason for postponing the trip. You’re left wondering if the journey will ever take place.
Example 4: The unfulfilled marriage proposal
You’ve been dating your guy for years, and the topic of marriage frequently comes up.
He continually says he wants to marry you and grows old together. You’ve even looked at rings together!
However, he never takes the next step of committing to a wedding date. You can’t help but feel confused and frustrated about the future of your relationship.
Example 5: Persistent promises of change
You find that your spouse rarely helps with housework or your kids’ tasks, and you’re always the one left with all the responsibilities.
When you confront him about it, he promises to change and be more involved. But that change never seems to come, leaving you emotionally drained and uncertain about the future.
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The Consequences of Future Faking
Reasons Behind Narcissists Employing Future Faking Tactics
People with narcissistic personality disorder are the ones who engage in this behavior the most.
They often make future promises they cannot fulfil in real life. These false promises are meant to manipulate you and keep you invested in the relationship.
It could be anything from promising to move in together, get married, or even start a family. Some reasons why narcissists use future faking are:
Control and manipulation: Narcissists want to maintain power and control in the relationship, and future faking helps them achieve this.
By making these grandiose promises, they can manipulate your emotions, which in turn, helps them manipulate you. Psych Central highlights that future faking is one of the most subtle tools used by narcissists.
MORE: 7 Sure Signs of A Controlling Boyfriend.
Securing commitment: The narcissist wants you to be committed to them. By promising you a bright future together, they can secure your loyalty and devotion.
Avoiding accountability: Narcissists are notorious for avoiding responsibility. By making vague promises of a bright future, they can avoid having to answer for their actions in the present.
To protect yourself from a future faker’s broken promises, it’s important to be aware of the signs and understand the narcissist’s motivations.
Keep an eye out for promises that feel too good to be true, especially early on in the relationship.
Remember, actions speak louder than words, and it’s essential to pay attention to the love interest’s actions instead of their empty promises.
As you continue to navigate the world of dating, stay armed with this knowledge and trust your instincts.
Understanding the Reasons behind Future Faking
When Future Faking Happens Before a Breakup
The primary reason for future faking is to protect one’s ego and prevent any real or perceived abandonment or rejection.
People who future fake essentially attempt to maintain control over others by keeping them from:
- Considering alternate plans without the future faker
- Questioning the motivations behind the future faker’s words
- Contemplating other potential partners
Identifying a Future Faker in Your Love Life
It’s essential to recognize the signs of a future faker, so you can protect yourself from emotional manipulation. Here are some indications that you might be dealing with a future faker:
- Overpromising and underdelivering
- Making unrealistic or false promises
- Frequently breaking promises or lying
- Shifting responsibility onto others
Narcissists, who are prone to future faking, have a hard time accepting reality in their interpersonal relationships.
They often deny the truth to avoid any real or imagined rejection from others, as they lack the essential coping skills to handle rejection in a healthy manner.
It’s crucial to remain aware of these red flags and protect yourself from ending up in a toxic relationship.
How Do You Respond to Future Faking?
Firstly, it’s crucial not to get caught in the emotional whirlwind. Instead, take control of the conversation and protect your emotional well-being. Here’s how:
- Breathe deeply: Pause and take a few deep breaths to regain composure and efficiently assess the situation.
- Ask for a pause: Politely request a break in the conversation to give yourself time to process the information and restore balance.
- Take a break (if chatting electronically): Step away from the device for a few moments to gather your thoughts and protect your boundaries.
- Switch topics: By changing the conversation’s focus, you’ll disrupt the future faker’s attempt to captivate your attention and maintain your sense of self.
- Cease communication: If necessary, cutting ties with the future faker will protect your emotional well-being and help maintain your personal power.
Be attentive to your feelings and trust your instincts when evaluating your love interest’s promises. Self-reflection can help you recognize red flags and distinguish emotions and physical reactions early on. Listen to the insights of your close friends and family; if they express concerns, take the time to reflect on their opinions.
Integrating these strategies will help you break free from any future faking tactic and preserve your individuality.
Remember, if you find yourself on a date that seems too good to be true with a potential future faker, it’s perfectly acceptable to politely excuse yourself and depart. Your emotional well-being is always a priority.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What are indicators of future faking in relationships?
- Feeling like you are living a fantasy
- Rapid progression of the relationship
- Repeatedly making empty promises
- The person barely knows you
How can one recognize future faking in a narcissist?
- Focus on the person’s actions, not just their words
- Watch out for excessive love-bombing
- Observe patterns of commitment avoidance (MORE: Why Won’t He Commit To Me? 7 Honest Reasons Explained.)
- Sudden change of behavior after getting what they want
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Can you provide examples of future faking in a workplace?
- Promising promotions or raises that never materialize
- Offering false opportunities for career growth
- Designating unrealistic project goals and timelines
- Feigning support or interest in employee development
How is future faking connected to love bombing?
Both future faking and love bombing are manipulative behaviors, often displayed by individuals with narcissistic tendencies. While future faking involves making false promises of an ideal future, love bombing consists of excessive displays of love and affection within a short period of time. Both tactics aim to create a sense of emotional dependency.
How can one differentiate genuine promises from future faking?
- Evaluate whether their promises are realistic and achievable
- Pay attention to their patterns of keeping or breaking promises
- Observe their sincerity and consistency in actions
- Assess if they follow through with their promises even in challenging situations
What are the effects of future faking on long-term relationships?
- Emotional distress and confusion for the victim
- Erosion of trust and security within the relationship
- Potential manipulation and control by the future faker
- Difficulty in forming healthy and genuine relationships moving forward