Love bombing involves bombarding someone with signs of attraction, affection, and adoration. It could be flattery, compliments, romance, or breathtaking promises – from daily flowers and hourly text messages, to surprise visits to your workplace and love notes on your windshield.
He made me feel like a real princess. He’s my knight in shining armor, who saved me from my misery. It’s like a fairy tale. Every day he was showering me with love and affection. Until one day, he changed and left me, turning my dream into a nightmare…
Sad to say, she was a victim of “love-bombing.”
Love bombing is one of the common weapons used by the narcissist. But why would the narcissist give you attention when he himself wants to be the center of the world?
The narcissist uses love bombs to build himself up as the perfect partner, and thereby gain your love and affection.
When he gains your trust, he takes control and will start manipulating you to get what he wants.
But what if your partner is sincerely romantic?
How can you differentiate love-bombing from real romantic gestures? Here are some signs:
They say “I love you” too quickly and extremely.
While “love at first sight” may actually happen for some couples, hearing “I love you” on your first date could be a warning sign for you. Mature people know that falling in love is a process. They take some time to get to know each other before expressing their feelings.
Moreover, love-bombers go over the top expressing their love. It could be saying, “I love you,” via phone call or text message every hour, or using exaggerations like telling you they’ve found their soulmate in you when you just met a few days ago.
They’re always lavishing you with gifts and making grand romantic gestures.
Nothing’s wrong with gifts and romantic gestures; in fact, they keep the relationship exciting. However, if your partner sends you flowers every day, or gives you jewelry and holiday trips when you’ve just started dating, that’s a clue that it’s love-bombing.
They constantly compliment you and tell you what you want to hear.
A sincere and well-intentioned compliment can make you feel good, but a love-bomber will bombard you with sweet words that feel shallow or inauthentic. He will even praise you for aspects of your personality or behavior that are not true. He’s simply flattering you and buttering you up!
They want to move very fast.
While a “whirlwind romance” can sound, well, romantic, you should take caution when everything is way too quick. If your partner whom you’ve been dating for only a week tells you that he wants to meet your family or he wants to move in together, that’s a big red flag out there.
Something doesn’t feel right.
Are you getting the wrong vibe from your partner? You can’t specifically pinpoint it, but you know something isn’t quite right about him. Maybe what used to feel charming has now become creepy?
Love bombing is superficial; and when something’s not real, it won’t feel right. If something feels too good to be true, most likely it is too good to be true!
At the end of the day, we know that love bombing is self-serving. The love bomber showers you with everything to make you feel that you owe him. This gives him the “upper hand” to make demands later. It’s like this: He turns you on today, to turn on you tomorrow!
Jessica Baum is a licensed and experienced relationship therapist in Palm Beach County, specializing in codependency and love addiction. To learn more about love addiction or to book an appointment, please feel free to call her at 1-800-274-8106.