Love bombing is an effort to affect another individual by emotional presentations of love and attention. It can also be utilized for either good or negative purposes, and in varying degrees.
However, psychologists have defined love bombing as an approach to abuse of a lover or romantic partner. It may include treating the target as if they are someone other than themselves and often comparing the target to an idealized version of the lover.
In short, bombarding the target with love reinforces the abuser’s feelings of dominance and control over the target, and serves to reduce the victim’s sense of worth and ability to withstand abuse.
Here are some signs of love bombing.
Giving you lavish gifts
One of the most common signs of love bombing is exaggerated gestures. This might include sending you over-the-top gifts, like a few dozens of bouquets instead of one, or buying you expensive gifts and not accepting “no” for an answer.
These might seem harmless actions, because who knows? Maybe they just love you so much. But as mentioned above, this can be used for negative purposes such as manipulating you into thinking you owe them something.
Constant and over compliments
Being in a relationship, you can expect words of admiration and compliments thrown in your way and that’s normal. But when someone showers you with constant words of undying love after a short time together, consider it as a sign that their feelings aren’t genuine.
Common phrases might include, “I love everything about you.” and “I’ve never met anyone as perfect as you.” These words aren’t harmful but consider them when taking notes of your lover’s behavior.
24/7 phone calls and messages
It’s normal to be in constant communication with someone, especially when you first started dating. But when the communication feels one-sided, too overwhelming, and too strangling, consider that as a red flag.
Demands your undivided attention
Another red flag is when you shift your focus to another person, they might get angry or sulky. Common scenarios for this would be moping when you are out with your friends or refusing to let you leave even when you have work the next day.
Convincing that you are soulmates
“Hollywood is great for entertainment, but true love and relationships don’t look like the movies.”
When your lover spouts out lines saying that they dreamed of God saying that you two should get married, consider that as a red flag and a manipulation tactic.
Other things they might say could be like, “We were born to be together.”,” It’s fate that we met.”, and “We’re soulmates.”
You might feel that they are rushing into things, pressuring you with their big plans, such as marriage, family, or moving in, even if you’ve only known each other for a short amount of time.
Licensed professional counselor Tabitha Westbrook, LMFT, says, “It’s very unlikely the person really can love you more than anything in the world in 2 weeks. Or two days. Or 2 hours. Or even 2 months.”
What to do if you are being love bombed?
Love bombing can take a serious toll on your mental health. It is a form of emotional abuse and psychological manipulation. If you feel like you are being love-bombed, you should do what you can to separate yourself from this person and seek out the help and support of others.
If you feel like it’s not love bombing but just someone’s bone-crushing and undying love for you, talk to them. Open up about your feelings, tell them that you are moving too fast and that you need to set some boundaries.
If you notice someone is trying to take control of you, it’s best to stop communication and steer yourself away.