The dating world is a wild kingdom of colorful, interesting, and sometimes morbid and scary creatures. It truly is a jungle out there. On our last Frontline Findings we learned about the stealthy Narcissist, so today, I thought we'd make a pit stop on the dating safari in order to examine another one of the jungle's most fascinating specimens. Behold:
aka The Future Faker.
Beware, ladies. This creature is the chameleon of the dating jungle, often altering his personality and presenting you with phony intentions of the amazing future of your relationship in order to get what he wants. His initial charm comes across as flattering, mature, and ready to commit to a real relationship and by the time you realize who you're dealing with, you're left dizzy from the sudden whirlwind change in his demeanor and actions. With this in mind, I give you:
You Might Be Dating A Future Faker If...
...he starts talking about your future a little too soon into the dating process including topics of meeting parents, future homes, marriage, taking vacations together, etc.
...his initial actions reinforce this idea of a future relationship (i.e. spending lots and lots of time together in the very beginning).
...the dating process goes from 0-60 in an unusually short amount of time.
...he often makes promises or plans and then fails to follow through.
...he overstates his own accomplishments and goals to portray an ideal match.
...you find yourself plotting a fairy tale ending before you've really gotten to know him on a deeper level.
...you ignore and justify the flaws, red flags, and inconsistent behavior.
...he never addresses his lies or false promises, but simply ignores them or acts like they were never stated.
...you move faster into the sexual aspects of the relationship than you normally would.
...said sexual aspects seem to leave you emotionally underwhelmed and are lacking in connectedness.
...you start noticing patterns within his lies and inconsistencies such as them often leading you to be lured into situations that are most beneficial for him.
...you begin to feel used.
...all of a sudden, almost overnight, the ruse fades and he becomes a totally different person.
...he disappears/you never hear from him again.
If you've found that you've been dating a Future Faker, try not to beat yourself up. They are very skilled in the art of changing to match whatever environment they are in in order to get what they want. Their doting and perceived devotion can be extremely convincing. In fact, it is common for women to become so wrapped up in what they perceived to be a chance for happily ever after, that they end up blaming themselves and asking "what did I do wrong?" or "how did I ruin my chances?". What needs to be realized is that the entire "courtship" was an illusion. A mirage. A well played trick that allowed him to get what he wanted (sex and attention) by presenting a false self. Sadly, there was no actual "chance" for a future.
So now you're angry, frustrated, and confused. Now you've realized "hey, I wasn't crazy, my instincts were correct". Yes, they were. How does one go about thwarting this creature in the dating world? While the Future Faker's actions are heinous, it really is all about women taking a stand and making a conscious effort to date responsibly in order to avoid finding oneself in such a situation. By "dating responsibly" I mean curbing the habit of focusing on fairy tales, taking things slow and getting to know a person before you start planning family reunions and china patterns. Trust your instincts in dating. If it feels strange or wrong, or you feel like you are sacrificing parts of yourself more readily than you normally would, take a step back. Don't put up with or make excuses for someone who is constantly making false promises. We're all human, things come up and plans change, but if it's happening regularly and you're constantly feeling dumbfounded by the inconsistency then YES, it's a red flag. Lastly, don't allow yourself to be intoxicated by his overstatements regarding his success, his goals, or his all around touted amazingness. All of those things can fade or disappear at the drop of a hat (um, recession, hello!). Instead focus on discovering a person based on their morals and values which fluctuate less over time and they can be assessed not only through conversation, but through observing a person's mannerisms and actions. If they don't appear to be aligning with your own, it's time to go! This is what dating is all about. It's essentially an extended interview in which both parties must decide whether or not it is worth moving forward. Not every date will morph into a relationship. Don't be discouraged and don't settle. Every person that you veto for good reason makes you that much more empowered and puts you that much closer to meeting a quality match.
Knowledge is power, ladies. I hope this little excursion into the native rituals of The Future Faker aids you on your dating journey ;)