Love bombing is a form of emotional harm in which anyone makes extravagant gestures to influence another person. A love bomber may “bomb” you with presents, praises, and adoration, but these are not acts of kindness. Instead, a person utilizes love bombing to make a friend, partner, or loved one dependent on them to maintain control over the relationship.

 

Why do people love bombs?

Love bombing is typically motivated by a lack of trust and reliance on others. People often use bombs to acquire control in a relationship and make others feel bad for questioning their behavior. Love bombing can be purposeful manipulation, while others may be unaware they are doing it. 

Although romantic partners are more prone to love bombs, anybody, especially relatives and close friends, can do it. Love bombing is a deceptive method commonly utilized by persons suffering from a type of narcissistic personality disorder. This personality disorder makes people feel self-important and deserves attention and admiration.

Love bombing may also be a learned behavior. People may begin to love bombing after learning about it from their parents, childhood trauma, or previous violent relationships.

What Are the Signs?

Love bombing indicators differ from person to person, but it is usually an unwelcome extravagant gesture. You may first feel uncomfortable rather than liked by the individual. 

Different signs of love bombing include:

Boundaries are ignored: A love bomber dislikes being told no and does not respect appropriate boundaries. If you express your frustration or request that they cease a behavior, they may respond that they are acting in your best interests. 

Constantly checking in with you by phone or text: Your companion may neglect your schedule and disrespect your time by talking continuously. They may also grow annoyed if you do not answer when they are “concerned” about you. 

Excessive praise or complimenting: Your lover always says the right thing, yet compliments appear overblown. They may also become too concerned with your hobbies and successes. 

Giving superfluous or unwanted presents: A love bomber may pay for lavish and unwanted gifts to make you believe they love you and have your best interests in mind. These presents may be excessive, and a love bomber will serve as a reminder of your obligation.

Over-the-top expressions of love or admiration: A love bomber will continually tell you how much they adore and praise you, which is typically too early in a relationship. They may also enjoy extravagant visible displays of affection and seek your attention.

Rushing into a relationship: They may make extensive plans for their future together early on in their relationship. A love bomber may also say that you are their soulmate or hurry into a committed relationship before getting to know them.

These signals differ from behaviors found in a loving, healthy relationship. These activities frequently make you feel uneasy. Love bombing symptoms, such as over-communicating sentiments and continuous communication, also violate appropriate limits. A love bomber will not appreciate you attempting to set boundaries. 

These activities may raise red flags right immediately. You may find yourself second-guessing them since your partner looks kind and compassionate. Love bombing is an example of gaslighting. Gaslighting can cause you to question your sentiments as if you are the issue. You may come to feel that your love bomber has your best interests at heart and that you should be thankful.

Why is it harmful?

Love bombing is indicative of an unstable relationship. The behavior is dishonest and may be emotionally abusive. Love bombing is a common household abuse method used to gaslight a spouse to isolate and dominate them. Love bombing victims are more prone to suffer with their mental health and become trapped in an unstable, violent relationship.

As love bombing proceeds, the emotional assault can escalate and become violent. Love bombing is frequently part of the narcissistic harassment cycle, which involves:

Idealization: occurs when your lover lavishes you with gifts and affection early on in the relationship. You can feel like you’re in an explosive love affair or another strong, loving connection. This individual is continually telling you how much they love you and envisions a future with you. They are also in frequent communication and are interested in whatever you do and say. 

Devaluation: These extravagant gestures and flattery might put you at ease in the relationship. If you do not spend all of your time with your spouse, they may begin to expect more of it or grow angry. If you question your thoughts based on these warning flags, they may gaslight you or resort to physical assault to frighten you.

Discarding: When you see your partner’s behavior is problematic, you approach them and attempt to establish limits. They are unwilling to compromise or blame you for their retaliatory acts. Your spouse may abruptly stop the connection, leaving you feeling like it was your fault. They may even instantly replace you with another partner.

What to do if you are being love-bombed.

If you suspect someone is trying to love-bomb you, trust your instincts. Love bombing frequently causes people to question their genuine sentiments, and the connection can be uncomfortable or stressful. 

Partners, who are close companions, and friends ought to honor your limits when requested. If you believe you are being love-bombed, confront them about their behavior and consider setting limits. 

Working through love-bombing behaviors and maintaining suitable limits can require time, but it may help a relationship recover.

If a spouse or friend reacts negatively to boundary conversations, refuses to change, or blames you for their conduct, it may be necessary to quit the connection. It is never your fault if someone attempts to emotionally influence you. Seeing a mental health expert can help you navigate your emotions following emotional abuse or the termination of a relationship.

A Quick Review

Love bombing is a manipulative method commonly employed by persons with NPD to obtain control of a relationship.  Friends, relatives, or romantic partners might love-bomb you by lavishing you with presents, being too praising, or paying you continual attention. These behaviors make you feel cherished and reliant on the other person, which they will exploit to isolate and manipulate you. Love bombing may start fast in a relationship and gradually lead to an unpleasant and violent connection. 

Setting limits in your relationship might help you avoid unintended love bombing. Seeing a therapist may also help you understand your emotions and learn how to have a good connection. If you are feeling uncomfortable in your relationship due to love bombing or physical violence, call the National Domestic Violence Network.