Love bombing is confusing and overwhelming, leaving you questioning yourself and your relationship. We’ll discuss some examples of love bombing and why it’s so dangerous.
You may have heard of love bombing, but what exactly is it? A 2017 study describes it as “…excessive communication at the beginning of a romantic relationship [to] obtain power and control over another’s life…” That means bombarding your loved one with sweet nothings, gifts, compliments and messages, making the recipient feel special, loved and valued.
But being showered with gifts and romantic gestures from your partner is good, right? Yes — usually. However, there’s a difference between showering someone with something and bombarding them, the latter being more constant and intense. Love bombers aim to manipulate and control their target. It can be done consciously or subconsciously by the love bomber. The love bomber gains their target’s trust, switches tactics, and becomes controlling and manipulative — an ego boost for them.
The confusing thing for the victim of love bombing is that it usually feels good. A new relationship where you’re getting swept off your feet — sounds like a dream come true, right? Maybe not.
We’ll discuss the signs of love bombing to look out for and do if you think you’re being love bombed. Let’sLet’s start with some examples of love bombing.
1. Excessive Gifts as a Sign of Love Bombing
So you’ve just started dating someone new, and you can’t believe how romantic they are. On the first date they bought you flowers, the next day it was a cute teddy bear and a couple of days later a box of chocolates. Not only that, but on your second date, they took you to the most expensive restaurant in the city and surprised you with beautiful jewelry. Despite your protestations, your new partner insists on spoiling you because you deserve it.
These things may make the receiver feel loved, wanted, special — and definitely swept off their feet. Your partner may also be keen to show lots of PDA and want others to see them as the perfect partner. But these things may be used against you a few steps down the line.
2. Getting Serious Too Quickly
With love bombing, declarations of love may be made pretty early in the relationship — perhaps catching the receiver off guard if they don’t yet feel the same way, but at the same time, making them feel good and like they should reciprocate. Not only saying “I love you” even though they don’t know much about you, but also discussing your future together.
The love bomber may also get the receiver to commit to them very early in the relationship, for example, by moving in or buying a pet together.
3. Love Bombing Sign: Invasion of Boundaries
The love bomber showers the receiver with gifts and bombards them with messages or phone calls, claiming to miss the recipient or want to know what they’re doing. Whether it’s multiple chat messages every day or phone calls, love bombers work on slowly reducing personal boundaries and claim it’s because they care.
They may even check who is contacting you on your social media accounts or ask for your passwords out of alleged concern for your online safety.
The love bomber’s responses about only doing these things because they care make the receiver feel guilty for questioning their partner’s actions. Because of this, they accept the invasion of boundaries. That means things can escalate as the love bomber claims to feel ignored or rejected if their messages aren’t answered quickly enough, or they see that you don’t read them right away.
All these demands for attention may take away your time and make you feel isolated from friends and family, as it becomes difficult to communicate with them without being watched.
4. Too Many Compliments
As well as showering them with gifts and declarations of love, love bombers also rain compliments on their victim. They put you on a pedestal, almost like they worship or idolize you. This may be flattering, but it can also be overwhelming, especially early in the relationship.
Love bombers are good at complimenting people on their insecurities — saying what you want to hear and making you feel good, thus increasing their control.
5. Love Bombing Sign: Devaluating
After the initial stage of a relationship, love bombers switch up their behavior. Now they’ve built up the public image of being the perfect romantic partner, their private behavior starts to change. The compliments turn into negative comments and degradation, and they blame the other person for the change — victims may accept the blame immediately, as their partner has a certain amount of control over them.
What Does It Feel Like to Be Love Bombed?
The initial gratitude for gifts, flattery and compliments can quickly change. For example, when love bombers guilt someone about not responding to messages fast enough, their victim can feel anxious and like they need to be available at all times. The mix of compliments and insults are confusing. Furthermore, any success the love bomber has had separating their partner from their loved one means they will become more dependent on them.
What Should I do If I’m Being Love Bombed?
There are a few steps you can take if you think you are the victim of love bombing.
- Check in with your partner — Set personal boundaries and make it clear that you will retain your hobbies, friends and family during your relationship with them.
- Talk to loved ones about your partner’s behavior — Do they agree that it is love bombing, or does this person just really like you and want to impress you?
- Remove yourself from the situation — If you think it’s a problem, it’s time to move on. Safely find a way to terminate the relationship, and confide in a friend or relative if necessary. You can also seek advice from the National Domestic Abuse Helpline (800-799-7233). Remember that abusive or controlling behavior is never acceptable in a relationship.
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