Feeling wanted early on in a relationship can feel good, especially when dating often feels like a game of cat and mouse, but can too much of a good thing become a bad thing? Most people would say, yes. Love bombing can be way too much of a “good thing” according to many of the people who have experienced it.
What is Love Bombing?
Love bombing, according to the New York Times is “lavishing a new romantic partner with grand gestures and constant contact in order to gain an upper hand in the relationship.” It is is a form of emotional abuse used to malevolently lure in and control romantic partners. It can look like generous amounts of attention and affection given by one person to the other early in the relationship. This can include excessive compliments, expensive gifts, and repetitive calls/texts expressing interest.
A love bomber will attempt to make their partner feel like they are falling in love fast. They will do all the “right” things, but to an excessive degree. A love bomber will make grand gestures, put their partner on a pedestal, and give constant affection and attention. A love bomber will not respect boundaries or listen to direct or indirect requests from their partner or loved ones to slow down or back off.
The amount of time the love bomber wants to spend with their partner will feel excessive given the time the two have known each other. A love bomber may show affection through social media posts and likes. However, a love bomber’s excessive attention is often too good to be true.
How to Identify the Signs of Love Bombing
Though it might feel good to have someone show and be forthcoming about their interest in you in the budding stages of the relationship, love bombing is actually and manipulative tactic. A love bomber will often try to become the center of their partner’s universe.
They may do so in a way that isolates their partner from their friends and family. This is how you will know they have gained control in their desired way. A lover bomber wants their partner all to themselves.
Dating a lover bomber can be a sign your dating a narcissist. A narcissist, or someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), often has an inflated sense of self and self-importance. They long for others to attend to them and admire them while lacking real empathy for others. A love bomber pretends to have the love and admiration for others that they are seeking for themselves.
A love bomber will shower you with kindness until they have you “hooked,” then they will use you to fulfil their own needs for love, satisfaction, care, support, and attention. Love bombers use their whirlwind love tactics to sweep partners off their feet just to have them crashing down as they use them for their own needs.
4 Ways to Protect Yourself
Understand Your Own Vulnerabilities
It is important to understand your own attachment style. Those individuals who have an anxious attachment or those who fear abandonment or rejection may be more likely to fall into the trap. These are individuals who seek or desire a partner who is forthcoming about their feeling or feel more secure in a relationship when their partner is outwardly supportive and loving.
Those individuals who are recently out of a relationship may also fall easily into a trap if they are feeling vulnerable or seeking support after a breakup.
Know How to Identify a Love Bomber
It is important to understand how to identify the red flags of love bombing. If something feels too good to be true, there’s a chance it is. If someone is coming on strong, it might be time to take a step back and evaluate their behavior.
Are they showering you with gifts, constantly calling and texting, taking you away from your friends and family? If this is happening it is a good time to have a talk with you partner.
Know How to Get Away From a Lover Bomber
Love bombers might try to isolate you from your loved ones. If that happens, it is important to employ them in your escape plan. Reach out to your connections to seek support. You may want to start spending more time with them and less time with your partner.
Doing so will likely cause your partner to increase their controlling and love bombing behaviors. However, it is important to hold steady in your efforts to leave.
Know When to Seek Help and Support
Being love bombed can be a difficult and confusing experience. It can leave you wondering why and how it happened to you and cause impacts to your mental health. After you leave, it might be important to seek the guidance and support of a therapist to better understand and process your experience. Therapy can help you understand what, if anything, made you vulnerable to love bombing and help you plan to avoid similar situations in the future.
Love bombing can cause a myriad of different emotions. It will likely feel good and exciting at first, but will likely turn ugly fast. It is important to know what you’re looking for in a love bomber and how to safely exit the relationship.
For more information on safely leaving an abusive relationships, please contact The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233.