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How Narcissists Use “Future Faking” to Lure Victims

future faking

Future Faking is actually a form of manipulation that aims at giving you a false sense of happiness by making the kind promises that you want to hear about the future. The idea ‘they’ put into your mind that they will take care of everything can actually trap you psychologically. By Dr. Elinor Greenberg PhD, CGP

Key Points:

Future Faking is actually a form of manipulation that aims at giving you a false sense of happiness by making the kind promises that you want to hear about the future. The idea ‘they’ put into your mind that they will take care of everything can actually trap you psychologically. By Dr. Elinor Greenberg PhD, CGP

Key Points:

Future faking is a courtship strategy in which a narcissist paints a detailed picture of the wonderful future that they will have with a partner that is actually unlikely to happen.

In some cases, narcissists do not intentionally fool their lovers. They may jump into the deep end too fast without thinking about how they might disappoint a partner.

Many narcissists are also poor conversationalists, and they may use future faking as a substitute for real conversations.
Future faking is a courtship strategy in which a narcissist paints a detailed picture of the wonderful future that they will have with a partner that is actually unlikely to happen.

In some cases, narcissists do not intentionally fool their lovers. They may jump into the deep end too fast without thinking about how they might disappoint a partner.

Many narcissists are also poor conversationalists, and they may use future faking as a substitute for real conversations.

Most normal relationships follow a fairly predictable pattern. If the couple’s religious views do not forbid it, the couple dates have sex, meets each other’s friends, moves in together, and gradually gets to know each other’s family. Over time, they either become more serious about the relationship and get engaged or they decide that they are not well suited and break up. 

There are variations on this basic pattern, but generally, most people do not make serious plans for a future together until they both feel fully committed to the relationship. This usually takes a year or two.

However, people with a narcissistic personality disorder do not do a normal courtship. They are so focused on winning you over that they speed everything up and increase the intensity. It is a bit like dating on adrenaline. Everything that a normal couple does in the course of a year, they do after a few dates. 

Narcissists rarely stop to assess whether the two of you are really a good match. Instead, they use a variety of strategies in an attempt to get you to fall in love and commit to them before they have fully committed to you—even though they are telling you that you are the love of their life and their perfect mate. It is only after you are fully committed that they actually decide whether you are what they really want. This in itself is really bad, but it gets worse.

Related: Weird Things Narcissists Do

One of the cruelest courtship strategies that some narcissists use to reel in a new lover involves making elaborate and detailed plans with you for a future life together. Most people have heard about “narcissistic love bombing,” showering someone with over-the-top compliments and gifts, but not everyone is aware of “future faking.”

Note: I am using the terms narcissist, narcissistic, and NPD as shorthand ways to refer to someone who qualifies for a diagnosis of a narcissistic personality disorder.

What Is Future Faking?

Future faking is a courtship strategy in which narcissists talk to you in elaborate detail about all the wonderful things that the two of you will do together in the future—the cute little restaurant you will absolutely love, how the two of you will explore the most romantic cities in the world, or even how many children the two of you will have and what to name them. All the while, they sound very enthusiastic and sincere.  

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Dr. Elinor Greenberg PhD, CGP

Elinor Greenberg, Ph.D., CGP, is an internationally renowned Gestalt therapy trainer who specializes in teaching the diagnosis and treatment of Borderline, Narcissistic, and Schizoid adaptations in a lively and practical way. She has trained psychotherapists in her approach in the US, Norway, Sweden, Wales, England, Russia, and Mexico. Dr. Greenberg is the author of the book: Borderline, Narcissistic, and Schizoid Adaptations: The Pursuit of Love, Admiration and Safety.View Author posts