In the dating world, future fakers are people who sell the idea of a future to get what they want in the present.
If you’re looking for a genuine, serious relationship, it can be incredibly frustrating and painful to fall victim to a future faker.
They come across charming and keen and know just the right things to say. They lead you to believe that you’re the world to them only to drop you at a drop of a hat when you’ve become attached to them.
You have no idea what was real and what was fake. You end up getting hung up on them and making excuses for their behaviours while feeling foolish for letting them treat you that way.
Now, it’s not your fault that these future fakers exist and hurt the people they date, including you. But getting involved with them might give you valuable insight into your dating approach and mindsets.
One of the reasons why future faking works is because people love to be liked, especially by someone attractive. Whirlwind romance fogs your brain fast. It puts you in the passenger’s seat of a thrilling ride, waiting for something to happen to you. You get hooked on the promises and fantasies.
While you anticipate being dazzled and chosen, you end up feeling cheated and powerless. Paradoxically, it might intensify your feelings for the future faker even more, but it’s futile.
To protect yourself against future faking, you need to make sure you’re always in the driver’s seat of your love life.
Just because someone wants a future with you doesn’t mean you should want that future with them.
Just because someone wants to speed up your relationship doesn’t mean you should go along with them.
You need to have your standards, boundaries, and be the one who decides whether your date is right for you instead of waiting to be chosen.
Here are 7 ways to weed out future fakers — or anyone who only loves the chase but not you — and find a genuine relationship.
1. Ask yourself, “What do they actually know about me?”
If all they know about you is your name, phone number, and some superficial facts already listed on your dating profile, and they talk enthusiastically about your future together, it’s about them, not you.
In other words, they’re more interested in feeling good about themselves than building a real relationship with you. It’s false intimacy.
2. Identify the sources of your beliefs about them
If you have the impression that your date is really into you, ask yourself, “What makes me think so?” and try to link each of your beliefs about them with a real event or something they did.
So, if you’re led to believe they want a future with you, try to think of a time when they showed you their intention in words and actions. If you can only recall the texts they sent you, sorry, it’s false intimacy again.
3. Take time before having sex
If you’re looking for a long-lasting relationship, it’s best to hold off physical intimacy until you have a clear idea of your partner’s values and life goals and have agreed on exclusivity with them.
4. Draw your boundary the first time
When your date talks as if you two are a long-term couple or tries to progress the relationship at a pace you’re not ready for, call them out the first time it happens.
For example, they make a joke about being your future spouse or taking you to meet their parents when you’ve only known each other for a short time, tell them respectfully that you’re not comfortable, or simply don’t acknowledge what they say.
If you’ve drawn your boundary and it happens repeatedly, they don’t respect you — stop taking them seriously and leave.
5. Reward actions, not words
Don’t reward your date’s sweet words with more attention and affection — enjoy the moment, but act like normal.
It also means that when they fail to back up their words with actions, there’s no need to show your disappointment — that’s also rewarding them with attention.
For example, if your date mentions doing things together without any specific details, 1) assume it’s not happening until there’s an actual plan, and 2) express that you’re interested but move on to talk about other things.
In some cases, you might even want to ask them directly “When?” and see how they respond.
If they actually make a plan and follow through with the plan, then you can show your gratitude and increased investment in the relationship.
On the other hand, if nothing is happening within a reasonable timeframe, conclude that you don’t have the same expectations for a relationship and move on.
It brings you to the next point —
6. Know your timeline
Your relationship should meet your expectations: You should know how close you prefer to be with your partner, at what pace you want to progress the relationship, what is normal and not normal, and so on.
So, decide for yourself how often you want to meet your partner in person and when the milestones of your relationship should happen (e.g. becoming exclusive, going on a trip together, meeting the parents, etc.)
Though, keep this information to yourself and take your time to observe your date. The point isn’t to teach them to act the way you want (which doesn’t work anyway) but to find out who they are and whether they match you on fundamental levels.
7. Trust your instinct
If your gut tells you that something is off or your date is too good to be true, it’s probably right.
It’s a sign that there’s a disconnect between what they lead you to believe and what actually happens, between the level of intimacy they want you to have and the true depth of your connection with each other.
If you’ve been in constant communication with them, it’s time to take a step back and dial down your attachment to them and their words. Write out your doubts or confide in a trusted friend to get a second opinion.
Future fakers can only fake so much.
They can’t fake knowing and caring about you on an intimate, meaningful level forever. That’s why your relationship with them is often intensely short-lived. Though, in some cases, it might last for years and cost you a lot more than time.
As you can’t tell real from fake, your mind is muddled with speculative questions, which makes you easily obsessed with them and struggle to get your closure.
But it’s not productive to analyse a future faker and your relationship with them — they might not even know why they did what they did. It’s more important for you to focus on your dating goal and move forward to find emotionally healthy people.
Remember that it does not matter whether a future faker meant what they said to you or not. If they can’t deliver on their promises and nothing happens, you don’t have a relationship and they’re wrong for you — that’s the only closure you need.