Future Faking: Recognizing This Toxic Dating Tactic

July 10, 2024

In the world of modern dating, many of us are familiar with the term "situationships." However, there's another harmful behavior that often flies under the radar: “future faking”. As the co-founder of a matchmaking and dating company, and having personally experienced future faking, I believe it's important to shed light on this manipulative tactic.

What is Future Faking?

Future faking is a manipulation tactic often employed by narcissists or toxic individuals who promise to fulfill your desires in the future to get something they want in the present. This could be to avoid a commitment, obtain resources, gain favor quickly, or simply to dodge conflict. The person doing the future faking will shower you with love, overwhelm you with affection, and cast romantic promises of a grand future together, only to never follow through.

My Personal Experience with Future Faking

Admitting this isn't easy, especially being in the dating industry now, but it's important to share. I started dating someone, and it was going incredibly well. He said all the right things to make me start falling for him and allowing him closer faster. He began making big promises and sharing dreams right off the bat. He said things like, "You are everything I've ever wanted," "I want to build a life with you," "I want to travel the world with you," and "I can’t wait for you to meet my friends and family." While these phrases lined up together seem like red flags in hindsight, in the complexities of a relationship, these crumbs can go unnoticed. In the end, or when it counted, he never followed through. Plans were changed last minute, and he started teasing about the things he had promised initially. Imagine being incredibly hurt by the behavior of someone you love—it can be devastating.

The reasons behind future faking can vary. Sometimes, it's because a person wants attention, to gain favor quickly, or to feel in control. Other times, this harmful dating tactic helps someone avoid responsibility or enjoy the benefits of a relationship without putting in any real effort.

The Impact of Future Faking on Relationships

When someone future fakes, your perception of reality can be altered. It can negatively impact relationships, making people feel lonely, distrustful, and confused. Future faking erodes trust and communication, leads to insecurity, and impacts the self-esteem of the person being faked. The damage caused by future faking can linger, affecting future dating and relationships. It can create deep-seated trust issues, making it difficult to believe in the sincerity of new partners. The constant disappointment and emotional manipulation can also lead to anxiety and reluctance to open up, ultimately hindering the ability to form healthy, genuine connections.

The Red Flags of Future Faking

  1. Rushing Physical or Financial Commitment: They want to move things quickly, either physically or financially.
  2. Fairytale Experience: They make you feel like you're in a fairytale and speak in grandiose terms.
  3. Unfulfilled Promises: They constantly fail to do what they say they will.
  4. Avoidance of Detailed Planning: They avoid detailed planning and escalate when faced with doubts or the prospect of you leaving.
  5. Immediate Gratification: They emphasize immediate gratification and manipulate your emotions.

Strategies to Safeguard Against Future Faking

  1. Establish and Communicate Boundaries: Define what you are and are not willing to tolerate in a relationship and communicate these boundaries firmly and respectfully.
  2. Look for Actions that Match Words: Watch closely to see if your partner’s actions align with their promises. Discrepancies are red flags.
  3. Take Time to Know Your Partner: Spend ample time getting to know your partner’s character, values, and consistency.
  4. Maintain Your Independence: Keep your social circles, hobbies, and interests alive. Independence promotes personal growth and a balanced perspective on the relationship.
  5. Seek Perspectives from Friends, Family, and Professionals: Emotional involvement can cloud judgment. Friends, family, therapists, matchmakers, and date coaches may offer objective insights into your relationship. It’s important to pick the right person to confide in.
  6. Trust Your Instincts: If promises seem too good to be true or you feel uneasy about your partner’s commitments, trust your gut feelings.
  7. Be Willing to Walk Away: Recognize your self-worth and be prepared to leave a relationship if it consistently falls short of genuine commitment and fulfillment.

Overcoming Future Faking 

Walking away from a future faking situation can be incredibly difficult. Once you break free, you'll see the picture more clearly and realize you are better off. There's someone out there who will match your vision, values, and vibe, so don't waste time with the wrong one. I can say this from personal experience—I walked away. He wasn’t my person, and I am better on the other side of it.

There really is a multi-step process to overcome the effects of future faking, which we can delve into further in another blog. But for now, we want to offer hope and the assurance that you deserve someone who fully values and commits to you. At After Hello, we specialize in helping people find their ideal match for a genuine long-term relationship every day. Through tools such as multiple interviews with matchmakers, thorough background checks, detailed personality assessments, understanding attachment styles, diligent tracking of communication and follow-through, and feedback, we help you avoid future faking situations. If you've experienced something similar, discussing it with a date coach and matchmaker can be transformative. Invest in yourself now, and you'll be prepared to meet the person who truly aligns with you.

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After Hello is more than a matchmaking service; we're your partners in crafting a love story that lasts. Whether refining your approach to online dating, enhancing your first-date dynamics, or guiding you through the dating etiquette maze, our expertise is at your service.

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