Love bombing: Have you ever been with someone who showers you with so much love one minute and then suddenly changes into a whole new person?
Not everything is always what it seems to be, especially in the realm of love. Some people love genuinely, while with others, there is always an ulterior motive. We always want to know where our prospective partner stands before we start dating, but sometimes it can be challenging.
Abusive and controlling partners make use of various diverse techniques to ensure that they have as much control as soon as possible. In some cases, their techniques can be confusing and create blurry lines between love and abuse.
Love bombing is one of those confusing tools used by abusive partners.
Love bombing basically refers to the excessive display of affection and attention early in a relationship.
It can feel like an undeniably positive experience, especially when you are eager to meet someone who will love you the way you want to be loved. It feels like you have found ‘the one’.
You might wonder, so what’s wrong? This love bombing seems like a not-too-bad thing. It’s being loved, right? Wrong; it’s part of an abusive and manipulative cycle.
Once the victim gets comfortable with the love, the relationship takes a turn for the worse.
Dr Kyle Zrenchik, a licensed family and marriage therapist, says, "The relationship may become abusive, controlling, manipulative, or codependent. It may not look like physical abuse but could be filled with lots of guilting, caretaking, and sacrifice."
Love bombing comes in different shapes and forms, but some of the common signs include the following.
One of the main features of love bombing is being ‘loved’ too much too soon.
We all know falling in love with someone takes time and patience. That’s why we normally go on several dates and spend time together before blurting out the L word. If you meet a love bomber, they don’t have time for all that. They will say ‘I love you’ within weeks or even days.
They will start showering you with intense and strong love and affection as soon as possible. And to add to that, they can’t seem to stop complimenting you. They will take every opportunity to make you feel ‘special’ and overwhelm you with compliments.
Another hallmark of love bombing is the extreme lavish gifts that come too soon.
Obviously, gifts from someone you are dating are always nice. But over-the-top expensive gifts such as all-expenses paid trips and expensive jewelry can be a cause of concern.
However, depending on cultural background, things like vast gift-giving can be interpreted differently. In some cultures, it is okay and acceptable for people to go out when gifting. You should therefore keep this in mind before concluding that someone is love bombing.
One minute they are all over you, showering you with gifts and compliments; the next, they are withdrawn, quiet and moody.
You will typically take the blame for this sudden switch and wonder what you might have done wrong. In some cases, you might even find yourself apologizing for whatever reason behind their shift. Usually, this shift is one of their manipulative tactics.
Because their intentions are not pure, they do their best to make sure none of your family and friends is close to you enough to point out their manipulation and abusive tendencies. They will cling to you and isolate you from everyone else.
They want to spend all your free time with you, and once they know that you have other people around you, they get jealous and angry.
Understanding whether someone is love bombing or simply a sucker for romance can be tricky; that’s why it's important to pay close attention to pattern of behavior as well as verbal communication.
Love bombing often comes along with other manipulative tactics such as gaslighting, overprotectiveness, extreme jealousy and isolation.
In some cases, you might need to have one of those serious and seemingly uncomfortable conversations so that you get an idea of where your partner actually stands.
If you notice some red flags, you will have to set some firm boundaries. Let your partner know that you are uncomfortable with the pace at which things are moving between the two of you. How they respond to your boundaries is important in helping you understand their intentions.
Someone who truly loves you will take a step back and respect your boundaries.
When you realize that you have been entangled with a love bomber who most likely has a hidden agenda, it is important for you to remove yourself from that situation as soon and as safely as possible.
You are not in a position to change someone, so staying in a possibly toxic situation hoping that you will change your partner will not work in your favor.
Talking to a trusted person can also help you lessen the burden and get an unbiased point of view.
Maybe you’re the one love bombing unknowingly.
Oftentimes we view ourselves as victims, but sometimes, we are the ones on the wrong side. There is nothing wrong with admitting our mistakes and working towards improving ourselves.
If this article made you think that maybe you are love bombing someone, that is a good thing as that means you can now work on it. The first step will be to figure out what is making you act this way.
Love bombing could be because:
Once you know the exact cause in your case, you can work towards improving that aspect of yourself. Sometimes that might require you to go to therapy, and in some cases, you might have to exit the dating scene for a while so that you have enough time to work on yourself.
No matter where you stand, you’re not alone!
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