In the recent guest post by Trish, her Mr Unavailable made a lot of noise about spending Christmas together and then went dark on her the day before. Instead, he spent it with his ex-wife and ex-girlfriend! And if that wasn’t bad enough, he messed her about for another couple of Christmases. This begs the question:

Why does someone pretend that they’re going to be and do more than they actually intend?

Why does someone talk about the future (often unprompted), make plans with you, and take you down a merry path of believing them, when, in actual fact, they have zero intention of coming anything close to doing any of these things?

My inbox is filling up with emails from people who are bewildered by the deceptiveness of their romantic partners.

Faking a future with you or, as I call it, Future Faking, is when someone intimates or promises a future to get what they want in the present.

Particularly at a time of year when everyone around you seems to be making plans, Future Faking can be downright nasty and wounding.

Telling porkies isn’t just for Christmas, though. It happens all year round. When you’re involved with someone who’s reactive and inclined to say and do whatever it takes to get what they want now, you’re dealing with a Future Faker.

It’s the cheater that says, ‘You know my situation’, and ‘Of course I’m gonna leave her and be with you!’ And that person that says, ‘So what are we doing this Christmas?’ Then disappears days before, only resurfacing after Christmas has passed. They pretend that nothing happened or that you misunderstood.

It’s the person that says, ‘I want us to be together every day. Give up the lease on your flat and let’s move in together. Next thing, they’re suddenly ‘overwhelmed’, ‘busy’, or ‘unsure about us’.

So many people get caught short by Other People’s Fantasies.

Why do people fake a future with you? To get what they want in the present.

There are two sets of people who proffer these damaging fantasies:

The ones who intentionally say and do the right things so that they get what they want.

Maybe they benefit financially, get their ego stroked, a shag, a shoulder to lean on, less hassle about them delivering on promises, whatever. These people are particularly passive-aggressive. They appear to be going along with you when, all the while, they’re creeping around behind your back doing something else so that they do what they always intended to do anyway.

Then there are the ones who mean it as much as they could at the time.

They want to believe that they’ll do these things, and they’re quick to jump into relationships. However, due to their overall nature of their actions not matching their words, they’re reactive. They’re very Out Of Sight, Out of Mind. This means that the moment the dust settles a little and the realisation dawns that they have to commit to what they’ve said and follow through, they panic. It then becomes about extricating themselves out of things. They’ll do this either in a dramatic manner by just disappearing, for example, or by subtly and passive-aggressively shifting their way out of things. Maybe they orchestrate a fight by behaving like a jackass so that you react and then they can find an excuse to dodge whatever bullet they’re trying to dodge.

Future Fakers say and do what they need to minimise confrontation and obstacles that prevent them from getting what they want.

Let’s be real: If they were upfront and didn’t make plans, it would create the potential for conflict. We’d see who they really are. That, and they wouldn’t get what they want. Or, at least they think they wouldn’t. It’s this sense that they have to engage in this subterfuge, otherwise, they won’t get sex, attention, etc. They actually think it makes them attractive. And to be fair, it often works.

The thing is, either way, it’s shoddy, shitty behaviour that has a devastating impact on the person that takes them at their word.

If, for instance, the cheat said, ‘Actually, I have no intention of leaving my wife and all we’re ever going to do is shag a couple of times a week and meet up for the occasional lunch with texts and emails in between’, you might think it was a bum deal and opt out. You wouldn’t think they, or the paltry ‘relationship’ on offer, are attractive.

What you have to realise with the type of person who would actually fake a future with you is that much like with assclowns and Mr/Miss Unavailables not just being born yesterday, neither is the person that fakes a future.

The Future Faking isn’t a one-off! They’ve done it before.

They don’t wake up at 35 or 44 or 53 or whatever and think, ‘Oh I’ll just start lacking in integrity and leading people on a merry dance’. They’re always overstating and then having to extricate themselves out of awkward situations. It’s a tendency to overestimate their capacity for a relationship or their level of interest. They exaggerate themselves.

They are practised at Future Faking.

How do I know? Because the type of people that fake a future with you take no responsibility for the fact that you get drawn into their illusions.

It’s one thing if you’re coming up with your own illusions and adding two and two and making ten. At least then you’re getting carried away and not sanity checking your ideas. That’s where you’re future faking yourself. However, Future Fakers often don’t have to say and do the things that they do. They don’t have to say they want to marry you, move in, spend Christmas together, have babies, spend every waking moment with you, love and cherish you and blah, blah, blah. They definitely don’t have to do it a hot minute after meeting you. But they do.

This arises when they’re in a ‘hot’ phase where they feel desire and excitement and fall into their pattern.

Future Fakers mistake intensity for intimacy. Or, at least, they want you to.

The booby trap is when, after they’ve blown hot and you’ve been drawn in, they become frightened that you may expect, want, or need ‘too much’ based on what they said and did. So they manage down your expectations by blowing cold or lukewarm. Or, yes, straight-up disappearing or ending things.

Future Fakers are users and flip flappers. You’ll never know where you are with them.

They create the mess and then take no responsibility for it, claiming, ‘You’ve got the wrong idea’. Or they say, ‘I don’t know what gave you that impression’. Um, they gave you that idea and impression! And when you’re blindsided by the shift in their behaviour (and trust me you will be), you might become filled with self-doubt and believe them. Side note: that’s gaslighting. It will be the start of a ride down a slippery slope where you feel you can’t trust yourself or call them on their behaviour.

You can’t always protect yourself from Future Fakers because, depending on when you discover the first ‘fake-off’, it might be the first time you experience a code red alert.

But remember that the ‘fake-off’ is just another example of someone’s actions not matching their words.

It’s critical to slow down and listen to yourself.

Acknowledge and process the fact that someone is all talk and very little action. Or that their behaviour might be intense and too fast. Would this behaviour normally make you feel uncomfortable or wary? Have you been in a situation like this before and so recognise intensity isn’t the same as intimacy? It can also be a sign of destabilisation. Listen to the warning signs!

If you’re used to someone saying one thing and doing another, make sure that when they discuss anything big with you, you get them definitively on it. Make concrete plans. This way, if and when things go tits up, they can’t pull the ‘You misunderstood me’ line on you.

And always make sure there are consequences.

If they, for one moment, think they’ve gotten away with it, it won’t be the last time you put up with their fakey ways!

Being involved with Future Fakers, who don’t always reveal their ways immediately, means you may not be able to avoid them pulling a stunt on you. If, however, you keep your feet firmly in reality, have boundaries, and call them on their behaviour, you can implement damage control rather than buying into subsequent lies and illusions to try to make the previous ones true.

If you’ve already been caught out by a Future Faker, my heart goes out to you. And whatever you do, do not blame yourself for their fakery. If it’s happening to you now, step back. Take refuge with people who have more integrity and care, such as family and friends.

If you’re worried that you’re with a Future Faker and think you’re about to have a disappointment thrown your way, take control of the situation. Don’t wait for them to determine how you spend the Christmas/Holidays. Please don’t start playing Columbo trying to catch them out, though. Game-playing is never the solution. Call them up and double confirm your plans. Have a plan B ready.

Ultimately, stay away from Future Fakers. Aside from messing with your mind and your plans, they’re flakey, deceptive, and lacking in empathy. If you’re serious about being happy, you can’t be with someone who can’t keep it real and act with love, care, respect, and trust. People who do have genuinely good intentions are uncomfortable saying that they can be and do more than they’re capable of. They’ll be keen to keep it real with you so you can have a real relationship.

Your thoughts?

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