Future Faking

Did your narcissist make promises about your future that never came true? Promises that aligned exactly with what you were looking for? These may have seemed like empty promises, but it could be a prime example of future faking.

My name is Tracy Malone and today we are going to define and explore future faking, why narcissists deploy this tactic, how it keeps the victim hooked, how it hurts your future, and what to do to break free.

When people ask you why you stayed, of course there are many reasons, but future faking could be one of them.

Future faking is manipulation based on an elaborate lie.

Future faking steals our time and our future causing regrets later when the multiple promises go undelivered. The victim is left devastated over the losses and this disappointment and shock can potentially cause PTSD.

The narcissist mirrors our dreams, sells us a fake future, and repeats the promises so often that we believe them to be real.


Examples of future faking – did any of these happen to you? I fell for it hook, line, and sinker, repeatedly.


  • I want to marry you
    • For example, my ex would play the video ‘I want to marry you” while dancing around the room, snapping his fingers and pointing to me, insisting that I was his dream come true. It kept the light of hope burning and I was convinced that he was serious.
    • HOW IT SOUNDS – “One day when we get married, we will [blank]” – always promising a ring or even going so far as to ring-shop with you – telling your children (or theirs) that you are getting married.
    • This future faking scam keeps you in limbo as you wait for the promises to become reality. As soon as you get tired of waiting and set a boundary, they go right back into the love bombing and false promises.
  • I want to have children with you
    • Discuss baby names and make plans to raise them.
    • I can’t wait to teach our son how to play baseball.”
  • I want to buy a house with you
    • House hunt on weekends or pour over real estate sites to pick out the perfect home together.
  • I want you in my life forever
    • Everything you want, like, and inspire to do is being handed to you on a silver platter. Everything you want, they want. You are in such perfect alignment, it feels too good to be true! How can you walk away?!
    • We are twin flames, soulmates, no one has ever been this perfect for me. I can’t imagine my life without you.”
  • I want to travel the world together
    • Buys books on your dream destinations to convince you that they also always wanted to visit that city/state/country.
    • If they’re lucky, the poor narcs hook victims with money who can start taking them on trips. They didn’t say they wanted to front the cost to travel the world with you.
  • I want to financially take care of you
    • While this sounds sweet, it leads to financial control and dependency.
    • You don’t have to work. I will take care of you!” This tactic stops the progress of a career. It would take you out of the job market so you have no job history, no 401k, and no social security (retirement) accruing. All of these will paralyze you if the relationship begins to fail.
    • When my parents die, we will be set for life.” If you actually stayed in the relationship until this happens, you will most likely be cut off financially and use it against you to ‘keep you in line’.
  • I want to start a business with you
    • Understand that you are investing in something that will never come to fruition.
    • This might involve your needs being put on the back burner to support them through school so they can improve their skills.
    • They might suggest that you invest in their ‘great’ idea.
    • They find ‘you’ clients and you give them a commission.
    • You put forth all the effort to build the business while they make excuses as to why they can’t make the time to help or be involved. Yet it’s still half theirs. You may have also been convinced to put up all the seed money too.
  • Efforts to get you to stay when you have had enough
    • If you aren’t married yet, they promise to marry you and if pushed, agree to a date that never arrives.
    • Stay… I am different now. I will do better. I am a new man/woman.”
    • I won’t go out as much. I will improve [blank].”
    • I will start paying my way. I will give you all my money towards the bills.” [this never happens]


  • Boss promises raise, promotion, or partnership
    • This keeps the victim working hard to prove themself and earn that promotion. You become the most dedicated employee who after years of hearing all the excuses are either forced out or someone else gets the job you had been promised for years.
    • This keeps the victim from career growth [wasted years].


  • Inheritance hooks – my father recently did this to my son. Elaborate stories that reinforced his lies were repeated every time we saw him. Who does that to a kid?
  • Education – “We will pay for college if you…” As an example, my in-laws promised my son that they would pay for his education with the condition that he get accepted into a high-tiered school.
  • Narc parents trying to alienate the children from the other spouse will often make them financial promises: cars, phones, clothes, or fancy vacations.
  • There is no need to save for retirement. When we die, you will inherit all our money.”

Future faking keeps us focused on this fake future while we blindly let the things that are happening right now slide. This makes them not accountable for the sins and abuses of today, so their goal is achieved. Looking back, most victims can now see that they were being sold a dream, a promise that kept them stuck in the relationship rut.

Ask yourself – was this a dream or a nightmare?

It works… and to keep us hooked as supply.

Ultimate conmen (or women) have a clear agenda.

  1. Analyze your desires and dreams.
  2. Create the script to hook you into their promise.
  3. Reinforce the promise as needed.
  4. Demand loyalty and devotion or the dream will disappear.
  5. They get what they want without losing any skin in the game (just words).


Future faking preys upon our hopes and creates a false story to keep us hooked. Remember when something is repeated often enough, it becomes accepted as the truth. To the victim, it all seems so real. The intermittent reinforcement creates a cognitive dissonance which keep us trauma bonded to them.


  1. Learn to recognize this as an abuse tactic.
  2. Slow things down. Don’t allow yourself to get swept off your feet with false hope. If you slow it down and they get angry, RED FLAG and bullet dodged!
  3. Ask yourself: how many times does a promise have to be repeated without action before I allow myself to see the pattern?
  4. Set dates for them to follow through with their promises.
  5. No matter how it looks on paper, don’t fall for the future faking financial ‘I will take care of you’ promise. Ask yourself: what if this doesn’t happen? I have given my career away and now must start over.
  6. Hold them accountable – get something in writing if you can. Then watch how fast the truth gets exposed! If they get angry that you are calling their bluff – RED FLAG!!
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