It’s great at the start when you finally meet ‘the one, isn’t it? The kind gestures, the good morning texts, and the promises of an amazing future together.
But have you ever reached that point so quickly, that you feel a sudden dependency on your significant other?
Maybe you have not been as in control of your own emotions as you thought you were. The boundaries you are used to set in relationships seem to not apply in this case. And if you are indeed being love-bombed, then you’ve likely asked yourself:
‘How is it possible that I’m so infatuated already?’
‘Why am I so dependent on what they say?’
‘Why aren’t they showering me with nice compliments like before?’
‘Where has the pedestal gone that he worshipped me so highly on?’
These can be small signs of being love-bombing!
What is love bombing?
Love bombing is a type of narcissism; when a person’s self-love is so low that they shower their significant other with gifts, love, affection, promises, and compliments.
The problem with this is that the person often expects the same treatment in response, which leads them to become upset or frustrated when it’s not reciprocated.
It’s easy to get caught up in such a situation, and it’s even easier to be manipulated into a clingy and uncomfortable relationship with them. For most, it’s hard to recognize their partner’s love bombing as they are constantly caught between an immense amount of love and attention and the love bomber’s subtle manipulation.
Read also: What is unrequited love?
How to tell if your partner is ‘love bombing’ you?
There are many ways to tell that you are being love-bombed by your partner. The following traits are almost always applicable:
1. Excessive compliments
Continued flattery could be a sign that you are being love-bombed. It is a means of emotional manipulation and control for the love-bomber.
We all get a rush of happiness and excitement when someone expresses their liking for the way you look or the way you act.
The chemicals released from our brain when we receive a compliment make us feel amazing! This fills us with the need to compliment the love-bomber back, which was part of their plan all along.
Read also: How to deal with narcissist abuse.
2. Intention to isolate
The love-bomber aims to create complete control and dependency. This is usually done unknowingly, with the love-bomber using phrases such as:
‘Let’s do something, just the two of us’
‘It gives us more time alone to get to know each other’
‘I don’t feel like going out, why don’t we stay together
If you’re the victim, then this can give the impression that you’re very valued, and that they appreciate the time spent together. But it’s also done in such a way to isolate you from friends and family.
Your friends don’t bother inviting you out anymore since you are always ‘busy’ or simply decline. This gives the love-bomber the upper hand and shows them that you are under their control.
Read also: How to deal with a controlling partner.
3. Going hard and fast
No, I’m not talking about what you think. What I mean here are the fast and overly intense behaviors from very early on in a relationship. Saying the L-word, talking about living together, or even discussing family outings with the parents.
While feeling comfortable and secure with someone from early on in a relationship can be harmless, that is true, only if the feelings are mutual.
4. Over-the-top gestures and gifts
Being showered with gifts can be great, but not when there is an ulterior motive. A love bomber’s aim is to be appreciated and recognized for their acts of kindness towards you.
Their desire to be idolized and be the envy of others is of great importance, and when their actions are not reciprocated, the love bomber’s attitude can change instantly.
5. Inconsistency in their emotions
When a love-bomber feels their ‘good deeds’ are unreciprocated, their behavior can change – and fast.
It’s easy for the victim to start blaming themselves when this happens. When someone who’s always been kind and wonderful does a one-eighty you begin wondering if it’s because of something you did.
This also throws most victims of love bombing in an overwhelming feeling of guilt. It also pushes them to try harder in order to win the love bomber’s forgiveness and affections.
And when that happens, the love-bomber knows you are completely under their control.
Now, I’m not here being all doom and gloom and saying that anyone who gives you a compliment is a narcissist! Just because they bought you flowers and complimented your outfit, does not mean you need to run for the hills!
The aim here is to make you aware of what love bombing is, and help you notice some tell-tale signs. If you feel it is happening in your relationship, you can take a step back and reevaluate the path that it is taking.
How to steer clear of love-bombers
There are ways to help protect you from love bombing that can still provide you with a healthy, long-lasting, and loving relationship.
Clear and firm communication from the onset on what is acceptable, and setting boundaries on time spent together can help avoid falling victim to love bombing.
Paying attention to how your partner responds to your requests to slow things down or give you some breathing space will help you both understand what you are looking for in a relationship.
Confiding with a close friend or family member is a good way to see how your relationship is looking from a fresh perspective. I think it’s fair to say that you know they’re going to tell you how it is, even if it’s not what you hoped to hear.
Sometimes, we need that friend to bring us back to reality before we get hurt again. They may tell you they have seen you in this situation before, or that it seems you are going too fast and need to slow down.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to take things slow, so enjoy every minute of it!
So, now you know what love bombing is, different ways to identify it, and also the best ways to avoid it.
Being able to recognize whether your partner is love bombing you (… or whether you are love bombing your partner) gives you the upper hand and allows you to take the necessary steps and set your boundaries so as to not end up being the victim or victimizing your other half.
Just keep in mind that being overly eager to get into a relationship makes you an easy target to love-bombers. So, even if you are feeling lonely, you don’t have to settle for just anyone. Especially someone who’s not respecting your pace or freedom.
And if anything we’ve listed above rings a bell, then don’t dismiss it! It could be your sibling’s partner or a friend of a friend. Whichever the case, remember you can be one of the reasons someone is no longer a victim of love bombing.
So, don’t be afraid! Speak up!