When you think of your partner, all you can think of is how good they are to you. They say all of the right things. You feel adored and cherished. It hasn’t been that long, but they seem interested in something long-term. A relationship is supposed to feel like this. They might be a little intense, but that shows how much they like you. Right? Although they seem like the perfect partner, something feels off. They say they are all in with the relationship, and although things seem to be moving quickly, you go along with it. You may brush it off because they haven’t done anything wrong. The reality is this person could be love-bombing you.
What Is Love Bombing?
Love bombing is a manipulation technique where the person is overwhelmed by romantic gestures designed to make them feel more than flattered.
Love bombing disorients you, so you miss warning signs. Since these actions are considered “nice” gestures, it is hard to view them as anything other than that. Over-the-top gestures are often praised, especially in the media, so it can be hard to view them as negative.
The “nice” gestures can eventually become weaponized as a reason to ignore certain behaviors, like them verbally abusing you in public, but it shouldn’t be an issue because they bought you an expensive necklace.
Narcissists are known to use love bombing as a key technique in different kinds of relationships. The goal for someone who does this is to dominate or control the relationship. They try to make themselves look perfect by manipulating their partner further. They will then suddenly withdraw their affection, hoping you will do whatever they want to receive that intense attention again.
It is vital to recognize love bombing because it typically signals abuse in relationships.
Signs Of Love Bombing
Signs of love bombing aren’t always apparent. Any romantic gesture could be the start of a love bombing.
Signs of love bombing include:
- Giving elaborate gifts
- Excessive calling/texting
- Lavishing their partner with compliments
- Expressing strong feelings early in the relationship
The important thing to remember when looking for signs is that these are things done in excess and very early on in the relationship. Receiving a dozen roses is different than receiving a room full of them. Texting throughout the day isn’t an issue unless they are constantly texting, even without your response. A compliment from someone is nice, but if they are saying things such as “You’re so perfect” or “I don’t want to spend time with anyone else but you” it could be a red flag.
They can continue throughout the relationship as the cycle of abuse continues, but you want to recognize these in the beginning stages of the relationship.
How Does Love Bombing Feel?
There is an appropriate timing to receiving romantic gestures; if they feel mismatched to you, it is most likely because they are. Vacations and expensive gifts at the beginning of a relationship sound nice, but how do you feel accepting them?
Do you feel hesitant?
Do you feel obligated to do something for them, whether they ask for it or not?
These are warning signs within yourself to explore. Again, because they are “nice” gestures, it is very easy to make excuses for the behavior despite how you may feel.
However, if receiving these gestures creates positive reactions within you, then it may not be love bombing. A good rule is if you have to question it, explore it. Ask questions. Check their response if you don’t accept the gift. How much do they pressure you to accept?
Anyone can experience love bombing, but not everyone will spot the red flags. People pleasers and those with lower self-esteem are more susceptible to love bombing. Narcissists typically target people with these traits because they are easier to control and manipulate than those with higher self-esteem and who are more focused on themselves.
Surviving A Toxic Relationship
If you believe you have been love bombed by your partner, experts suggest you cut off all contact with them. Although it is easier said than done, the sooner you can remove their access to you, the sooner you can begin healing from the relationship.
It is also important to begin reconnecting with loved ones you may have isolated from during the relationship. Having a support system and reconnecting with people can help maintain distance from your partner.
Therapy can help with processing the relationship, as well as rebuilding your independence and self-esteem. Therapy facilitates growth and healing by providing a safe space to talk about the things you may not be comfortable sharing with your loved ones.
Recognizing love bombing can be difficult, but trusting yourself and not ignoring any red flags that appear can help protect you from it.