The early stages of a relationship are super fun and exciting. Your brain’s flooded with serotonin. You’re being swept off your feet. And while it’s totally normal to have those experiences, and it sounds like your typical Hollywood romance, it becomes dark and cryptic if the person in question has narcissistic or manipulative qualities.
Love bombing is a form of conditioning, and is in fact abuse. If you are dating someone who is a narcissist, machiavellian, or psychopath — it might be an attempt to groom you. The abuser showers the victim with love if the victim acts how they want as a reinforcement technique.
If the victim doesn’t, then they withdraw all their kindness and instead punish the victim with whatever they feel is appropriate — shouting, giving them the silent treatment, or even physically abusing them.
Here’s 6 signs that you might be a victim of love bombing without even knowing it:
1. They Overwhelm You With Gifts
If you’re just getting to know someone and suddenly you have a gift card to Sephora and a trip to Europe, something’s obviously wrong. They like to give lots of gifts at a pace that is pretty intense. Even getting roses after a first date (because he wouldn’t necessarily know if you liked them or not) would be a little strange. But don’t necessarily look at the gifts themselves. We need to pay attention to the motive, behavior, and symbolism behind them to really understand where this person is coming from.
2. They Give You Too Much Attention
Are they constantly fighting for your attention? Calling, texting, really getting into your space? It might seem they are overly caring and affectionate. They just seem to get you. You start to wonder whether this is what you’ve been missing. However, it doesn’t last, and as soon as you show a hint of caring about anything other than your new partner, they get furious with you and label you as selfish. Their mask slips, and you see someone mean, belittling, and unreasonable underneath. They can’t comprehend that you have anything else going on in your life, and they completely turn on you.
3. They Want a Commitment Right Now
They want a commitment from you, and they want it right now! Things get intensely serious without even really knowing each other. Instead of taking time to hang out and really see if there is a spark, they want to jump all the way into a serious, monogamous relationship.
4. How All of This Makes You Feel
Excitement and fear can register very similarly in our brains, and so figuring out our feelings can be a little complicated. But if you feel rocked uneasy and like things are moving incredibly fast, that’s definitely a sign. You struggle to see the bigger picture because things are happening so fast. It’s not because you want it to happen that quickly. But somehow the situation occurred that way.
5. They Speak Really Quickly of The Future
They start painting a picture of a future with you, without even knowing you still! It’s past the point of just commitment. It feels like you’re being funneled in one direction, all the way to “till death do us part.” They’re asking about names for your future children, what kind of a house you’ll live in, and more.
6. They're Overly Needy
This person is constantly needing assurance that you love them. That they’re the best person you could commit yourself to. They exhibit very codependent behavior, even when you don’t really know them yet.
Summary: Love bombing can occur at any stage of a relationship. But it can especially mirror the beginning of something new. It tends to be driven by an inflection point of some type of stress. Maybe the person feels like you’re pulling away or they’ll lose you. So they start giving gifts, plan extended trips, and more. But it’s not about you. It’s about them and what they want. They’re creating a smoke screen to cover up other toxic behavior.
Need some more tips and tricks? Check out my YouTube video.