Narcissists are not very good at sustaining a normal relationship. During courtship, they created positive relationship drama. Now they start creating negative relationship drama. Instead of praising you, they start pointing out your flaws. You will feel a sudden coldness and indifference to your feelings. If you stay, you are likely to be devalued, ignored, or discarded.
Future faking is cruel because it is exactly what it sounds like, a big fake. What initially brought you great happiness is likely to end up as a series of traumatic disappointments.
What does future faking look like?
Imagine you are ready for a serious relationship and you meet this very appealing person on a first date. Everything moves fast. By your second or third date, this new person seems wildly in love with you. He or she praises everything about you. Your new lover has already decided that the two of you are the perfect couple and to your surprise, starts planning a future with you.
You may be a bit hesitant. After all, you barely know this person. You are thinking: “Isn’t this too soon to make this type of commitment?” But, on the other hand, it is nice to finally be in the company of someone who seems to really like you.
This is all done so convincingly that you to start to buy into the vision and begin to imagine a possible future together—a future with no more bad dates and no more wondering whether your date really likes you as much as you like him or her. So, you decide to go with the flow and see what happens next. You do not want to risk missing out on true love by being too skeptical.
Now this person whom you hardly know starts describing the great times the two of you will have this summer. Your lover describes in vivid detail all the amazing things the two of you will do together—the romantic walks along the beach, the trips you will take, and even relatives and close friends that he or she wants you to meet.
You get caught up in it and invite this person to be your plus one at a family wedding in two months’ time and your new lover immediately agrees. You breathe a sigh of relief and think: “They must be serious. Why would they agree to go to a family wedding, if they weren’t in love with me?”
Here is an example of how future faking might sound:
You have never been to Paris in the fall? I can’t wait to show you around. I know Paris like the back of my hand. It is the most romantic of cities! I have an idea. Let’s make the trip longer and end up in Rome. There is nothing more beautiful and atmospheric than the Tivoli Fountain lit up at night.
How common is narcissistic future faking?
Not all people with NPD start planning an entire life together after a first date, but it is very common. How common? Well, I hear about it frequently from my clients who are dating, especially those clients who are meeting people through dating apps. It is common enough for people to talk about it online and for lots of non-narcissistic people to be wondering about how wary they need to be when their new lover starts to plan a future together.
What is wrong with future faking?
Even when people with NPD are not consciously trying to fool their new lover, most of the time this type of premature planning ends badly. Narcissists jump into the deep end too fast. Narcissists are often quite impulsive and uncritically go with their current emotion without thinking it through.
In addition, because narcissists are incredibly self-centered and lack emotional empathy, they are not worried about the possibility of raising unrealistic expectations and then disappointing you. The reality is that as soon as they get bored or start to discover your normal human failings, that will be the end of the relationship. Narcissists who future fake will renege on every promise they made you—including being your date for your cousin’s wedding.