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Future faking is a manipulative tactic used by individuals, often narcissists, to lure others into a relationship or gain something they want.

It involves making grand promises about the future that they cannot deliver on, in order to emotionally hook and manipulate their target.

While the term is often used in the context of dating, future faking can occur in any type of relationship, such as between bosses and employees or coaches and athletes.

It’s important to note that this behaviour only works on those who are already vulnerable to it, and the manipulator can only get away with it on certain people.

This article will provide insights into when it happens, why people do it, examples of future faking, how to spot and test a future faker, and what to do if you’re dating someone like this.

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Key Takeaways

  • Future faking is a manipulative tactic used by individuals, often narcissists, to lure others into a relationship or gain something they want.
  • This type of behavior can occur in any type of relationship, and it only works on those who are already needy or unsuspecting.
  • To protect yourself from these types of people, it’s important to know the signs, how to spot and test them, and what to do if you’re dating one.

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When Does Future Faking Happen?

This behavior is a manipulation tactic that happens most intensely and frequently at the start of a relationship.

This is because they have the advantage of time on their side, and they can make over-the-top promises without being discovered.

It’s important to note that future faking can happen at any point in a relationship, even years into it.

Narcissists use future faking as a way to manipulate their love interests.

At the beginning of a romantic relationship, this manipulative behavior allows a potential suitor to appeal to your vulnerabilities and emotions quickly. This establishes greater control over you, which is precisely what the are after.

Here are some reasons why they resort to this strategy in relationships:

  • Idealization: Future fakers often idealize their love interests, creating a picture-perfect vision of what your future together could look like. They may use grand statements and plans to get you to fall in love with them quickly.
  • Commitment Avoidance: Some men may use the tactic as a way to avoid making a long-term commitment. They may make big promises to keep you around without ever intending to follow through.
  • Control: It is a way for a man to establish control over his love interest. By painting a picture of a perfect future together, he can manipulate you into doing what he wants.
  • Insecurity: Men who are insecure about their ability to attract and keep a partner may use future faking as a way to compensate for their perceived shortcomings.
  • Delaying Tactics: this type of manipulative behavior can also be used as a way to delay a commitment. A man may make grand plans for your future together to keep you interested while he figures out what he wants.

To avoid falling victim to this manipulative behavior, it’s essential to pay attention to a man’s actions rather than his words.

If he’s making grand promises but not following through, it’s a red flag.

Trust your instincts and don’t let a man manipulate you into doing something you’re not comfortable with.

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Why Do People Future Fake?

Some reasons people use this tactic are not malevolent, while others are more dangerous. Here are some of the reasons why people do it:

  • To control you: One of the main reasons people future fake is to control you. They may want to prevent you from leaving or abandoning them.Future faking is a form of coercive control, and it can be difficult to get out of the situation once it gains momentum. If you’re worried that you might be in a controlling relationship, check out this article on the 17 early signs of a controlling man.
  • To keep you around: Another reason people future fake is to keep you around for attention, sex, and approval.They may not have genuine feelings for you, but they want to keep you close in case they need something from you.
  • Due to early life adversity: Some people who future fake may have experienced early life adversity, which can lead them to develop a “fast life strategy.”
    This strategy is associated with personality traits like subclinical narcissism, subclinical psychopathy, and Machiavellianism. People with these traits may also engage in love bombing and lying.
  • To cover up their real intent: Some people future fake to cover up their real intent, which may be to use you or trick you into a relationship with them. They may make promises they have no intention of keeping to get what they want from you.
  • To paint a flawless image of themselves: Some people lie and distort reality to paint a flawless image of themselves and stop you from choosing other options or partners. They may make themselves seem like the perfect love interest, even if they’re not.
  • Due to low self-esteem: People with low self-esteem may future fake to make themselves feel better about themselves. They may make promises they can’t keep to boost their own ego.
  • To avoid feeling any pain of rejection and to protect the ego. Narcissits don’t cope with reality very well, especially rejection or abandonment. So they are just trying to avoid having to process something they have to skills to process, much less accept.


Always be aware of the possibility that someone may not be genuine, and don’t be afraid to ask questions or hold the other person responsible for their actions.

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Future Faking Examples

Here are a couple of examples used in different contexts:


Psych Central tells us that our boss may tell you that you are doing exceptionally well and will soon be promoted to a higher position with a significant raise.

However, after working longer hours and even on weekends for months or years, you find that your boss always has a reason to keep you in your current position.

For instance, your boss may say, “Oh, you’ll have that new position as soon as it’s approved by the big boss,” or “I’ll get around to promoting you in the new year.”

When Parents Future Fake

If you have a controlling and narcissistic parent, they may use future faking to manipulate you.

For instance, they may promise to spend time with you or take special trips just the two of you, but never fulfill those promises.

They may also promise to come to your sporting games or school concerts, only to either never show up or spend the entire time on their phone when they do show up.

Additionally, they may offer you copious amounts of money or financial support if you do what they say, but the money never comes when you do what they say.

future faking

8 Telltale Signs of Future Faking

When you are in a new relationship, it is natural to feel excited about the future and the possibilities it holds.

However, some men may use your excitement to their advantage and manipulate you. Here are 8 telltale signs that your love interest may be future faking:

  1. Whirlwind Romance: You feel like you were pulled into a whirlwind romance overnight, and it seems too good to be true.
  2. Defensiveness: They go on and on about how you are going to have a wonderful future together, but when you ask questions, they get defensive or angry.
  3. Intensity Doesn’t Match: The intensity of their warmth towards you doesn’t match the promises they’ve made to you. They don’t actually want to connect with you, feel for you and be warm to you – instead, they want to control you. In healthy relationships, you’d always feel the warmth from them.
  4. Broken Promises: When you point out their broken promises, they blame you for doubting them.
  5. Skepticism from Others: Your family members seem skeptical of your new romance when you excitedly inform them of how wonderful and generous your new lover is (going) to be.
  6. Loss of Resources: You’ve lost a lot of money, family, friends, time – or even a job that you quit – all in the name of this person’s false promises.
  7. Hot and Cold Behavior: If you dare to question their sincerity, they change overnight, becoming a completely different person.
  8. Red Flags: You have a gut feeling that something is off, but you ignore it because you are caught up in the excitement of the relationship.

If you notice any of these signs, it is important to take a step back and evaluate the situation. Don’t ignore the red flags and make excuses for your love interest’s behavior.

How Can You Spot a Future Faker?

It can be difficult to spot a one, especially if you’re in a vulnerable state and in need of what they’re offering.

Add to that the reality that this behavior is more common than you think in modern romantic relationships.

However, there are ways to reveal and test them in intelligent ways. Here are some tips to help you spot them:

  • Pay attention to their actions: A future faker will often make promises of a grand future, but fail to follow through with actions that match their words. Look out for inconsistencies between what they say and what they do.
  • Test their boundaries: Set clear boundaries and see if they respect them. A future faker may push your boundaries or try to manipulate you into doing things you’re not comfortable with.
  • Look for signs of conflict avoidance: They may avoid conflict at all costs, even if it means lying or making a false promise. They may also try to change the subject or deflect blame when confronted.
  • Check for empathy: They may lack empathy and only focus on their own needs and desires. They may not take your feelings into consideration or show genuine concern for your well-being.
  • Test their sincerity: Ask them questions about their plans for the future and see if their answers are consistent. They may struggle to keep their story straight or make unrealistic promises.

Don’t let a love interest manipulate you into doing something you’re not comfortable with or make promises they can’t keep. Always prioritize your own well-being and set clear boundaries.

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How Can You Test A Future Faker?

There are a few ways to test them. Here are some effective methods:

1. Use Playful Banter

Introduce spontaneity into your conversations with your love interest by using playful banter. This will help you get a glimpse of who they really are beneath the grand statements.

They will often get carried away with their need for glory and their desire to present themselves as an ultra-powerful savior.

But this requires rehearsing and acting on their part, leaving no room for playfulness. Your playfulness will cut through the rehearsed BS.

Their obsession with their false promises leads to them being highly myopic, focusing on the image they’re creating, as they’re incapable of actually connecting with you.

This facade and insincerity can be revealed very easily if you introduce some high-value banter and spontaneity in your questions.

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2. Ask Specific Questions

Ask your love interest specific, intelligent questions to reveal their true intentions.

These are questions that you should be asking every guy you date anyways. Here are some examples of revealing questions:

  • What are your long-term goals?
  • What are your thoughts on marriage and children?
  • What are your priorities in a relationship?
  • How do you handle conflicts in a relationship?
  • What is your definition of love?

Asking these questions will help you gauge their sincerity and intentions. A future faker will likely give vague or evasive answers, while someone who is genuine will be more forthcoming.

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3. Pay Attention to Actions

Actions speak louder than words. If your love interest is constantly making grand promises but never follows through, then they are likely future faking.

They’ll will make big plans for the relationship but will never take any steps to make them a reality. Pay attention to their actions and see if they match up with their words.

4. Take Your Time

It’s important to take your time when getting to know someone new. Don’t rush into anything too quickly, especially if your love interest is making grand promises.

A future faker will often try to rush things along in order to keep up the facade. Take your time and get to know them at a comfortable pace.

Also, take some quiet time to reflect on their behavior and how you’re feeling.

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5. Trust Your Gut

Finally, trust your gut instincts. If something feels off or too good to be true, then it probably is. Don’t ignore your intuition, as it can often lead you in the right direction.

If you feel like your love interest is future faking, then it’s better to be safe than sorry. Act on that intuition, it’s not here to hurt you.

Yes, you might have to cut off their narcissistic supply, which comes with possible consequences, but as long as you keep yourself safe while standing your ground, this will go a long way to preserving a possible future with someone who genuinely cares.

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Is Future Faking Intentional?

Actually, not always. Some people may not even realize that they are doing it.

Behavioral patterns that lead people to engage in future faking can be so unconscious and well-practiced that they never give their own behavior a second thought.

Honest self-reflection is not a skill that everyone possesses, including narcissists and “normal” people alike.

Sometimes, old patterns are running and it’s not a conscious attempt to make life miserable for you. In some cases, they may not even know that they’re hurting you.

However, there are also people who are more calculating and intentionally use future faking as a tactic to manipulate and control their love interest.

These individuals may see their love interest as a pawn in their twisted game of succeeding in romance and reproduction.

It’s important to be aware of the signs of intentional future faking and to trust your instincts if something doesn’t feel right. Remember to always prioritize your own well-being and don’t let anyone manipulate or control you.

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What to Do If You’re Dating a Future Faker

If you’ve found yourself in a relationship with a future faker, don’t worry, there are things you can do to protect yourself and your emotions.

Here are some tips to help you navigate the situation:

  1. Pay attention to their actions, not just their words. Future fakers are notorious for making grandiose promises that they never intend to keep. If your love interest is all talk and no action, it’s time to take a step back and reevaluate the relationship.
  2. Trust your gut. Narcissists use future faking because they’re unable to give you the real deal. So if something seems off or too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t ignore your intuition just because you want the relationship to work out.
  3. Communicate your concerns intelligently and softly. If you’re feeling uneasy about the relationship, talk to them about it – but ease into it gently, without accusations. Ask them to clarify their intentions and hold them accountable for their promises. If they’re just future faking, they’ll not be able to give you any material manifestations of the things they’ve promised because they’re empty promises.
  4. Set boundaries. This type of person will often push boundaries and try to rush the relationship. Don’t let them. Take things at your own pace and don’t be afraid to say no.
  5. Take time for yourself. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious about the relationship, take a step back and focus on yourself. Do things that make you happy and give you a sense of peace.
  6. Recognize the signs of gaslighting. Future fakers often use gaslighting tactics to make you doubt your own perceptions and feelings. If you feel like you’re being manipulated, trust your instincts and seek help if necessary.
  7. Don’t be afraid to walk away. If the relationship doesn’t feel right, it’s okay to end it. Remember, you deserve to be with someone who is honest and committed to building a healthy partnership with you.

Don’t be afraid to walk away if the relationship doesn’t feel right. Remember, you deserve to be with someone who is honest and committed to building a healthy and happy relationship with you.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are Some Common Examples of Future Faking by Narcissists?

Narcissists are notorious for using this as a manipulation tactic to control their love interest. Some common examples of this behavior used by narcissists include:

  • Making promises they have no intention of keeping
  • Talking about a future together but not making any concrete plans
  • Using grandiose promises to keep their love interest hooked
  • Making excuses for not following through on promises

What is the Meaning of Future Faking in a Long-Term Relationship?

In a long-term relationship, future faking can be a sign of a deeper issue. It can indicate that one partner is not fully committed to the relationship and is using this behavior as a way to keep their love interest hooked.

How to Deal with a Spouse Who Engages in Future Faking?

The first step is to have check into your gut. The second thing is to gently bring up the inconsistencies in their promises. Hold your partner accountable.

If they refuse to change their behavior, it might be time to seek professional help. Some tips for dealing with a spouse who engages in future faking include:

  • Setting clear boundaries and expectations
  • Being honest about your feelings and concerns
  • Seeking professional help if necessary

What are Some Signs of Future Faking in the Workplace?

Some signs of this tactic being used in the workplace include:

  • Making promises about promotions or salary increases that never materialize
  • Talking about future projects but not following through on them
  • Using grandiose promises to keep employees motivated

What is the Difference Between Love Bombing and Future Faking?

Love bombing and future faking are both manipulation tactics used by narcissists.

Love bombing is the act of showering someone with affection and attention to gain their trust and affection.

Future faking is the act of making promises about the future that the person has no intention of keeping.

The key difference between the two behaviors is that love bombing is focused on the present, while future faking is focused on the future.

Penny Hoffman

Penny is a writer and part time dating coach. She lives in Brisbane, Queensland with the love of her life, their two daughters and their three dogs. Penny is passionate about helping women realize their high value and harness the innate feminine energy that they were born with.

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