Man love bombing girlfriend with gifts and affection

Modern relationships have coined so many new terms, it’s sometimes hard to keep up. Buzzwords like ghosting, breadcrumbing, gas lighting, and more appear in our social network and stories online and offline everyday. “Love bombing” is one of these terms, and it’s nothing new, but what it actually means, may be lesser known.

We’re shining a light on love bombing, how it is dysfunctional, and how it teeters on the edge of abusive relationship patterns.

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What Is ‘Love Bombing’?

Love bombing is the term used to describe when someone showers another with love, compliments, and flattery. Narcissists use this tactic to overwhelm their loved one with unwarranted adoration in hopes that they’ll feel like no one else will ever love or admire than as much as this person does. 

Signs of Love Bombing

This display of affection comes in the form of verbal affirmations, love notes, acts of service, gifts, expressing the desire to spend all their time with you, and repeatedly doing overly sweet things for you. 

Why do Narcissists Love Bomb?

Love bombing is a manipulative tactic that is meant to blind someone with an overwhelming amount of love that they become submissive and the narcissist gains control over them. Narcissists want to solidify their relationships as early on as possible to keep their partner in the role they want. They’ll do whatever it takes to get close to this person, even showering them with over the top affection, praise, and too-good-to-be-true love sooner than would seem normal. 

At some point in the future the narcissist will withdraw their affection and show their true selves, and replace it with harsh words and treatment toward their partner. By this time the partner is “hooked” and lacks the courage to leave the person they know once loved them so much.

In a toxic relationship? See: Self Care in the Context of an Abusive Relationship

Why People Fall for Love Bombing

It’s a natural reaction to feel swept away by someone’s infatuation with you. Constant positive feedback and attention can feel intoxicating, especially when it has been lacking in a person’s life. Another reason is that we are creatures of habit, and when someone has experienced an abusive relationship in the past, they tend to unknowingly gravitate toward those unhealthy behaviors again.

How to Avoid a Love Bombing Relationship

You can prevent falling into a love bombing relationship by staying intune with your intuition, knowing and honoring yourself, considering the other’s motives, recognizing healthy boundaries, and working to maining a reasonable balance of emotions and behavior, especially in the early stages of relationships.

Relationships are complicated, and manipulative behavior doesn’t make it any easier. For help navigating love bombing, other narcissist behavior, and building healthy relationships patterns, consider one on one relationship coaching with an expert like Jessica who knows the spectrum of good and bad relationships first hand.