Have you ever felt overwhelmed by someone’s show of love and affection? Perhaps, in a way that feels overbearing? Whenever something is too good to be true, it usually is. I found that this aphorism is true in many cases, even in love.
When we first experience love, it is customary to exhibit affection and demonstrate through the giving and receiving of gifts. However, there is a point where it begins to feel like it is too much. If you feel overwhelmed by your partner’s loving words and affection, it can be considered love bombing.
Love bombing is a manipulation tactic employed to gain control over you. Before I delve into some of the signs of love-bombing, I would like to clarify a few things. The first is that not all narcissistic partners use love bombing as a form of manipulation. Non-narcissists can use this method also. The second is that not everyone who showers you with affection is trying to control you. If you are feeling overwhelmed, talk to your partner. If they do not understand or begin to accuse you, then manipulation might follow later on in the relationship.
They lavish you with gifts and pretty words.
The beginning of the relationship feels like heaven. Your partner lavishes you with gifts and sweet nothings. Despite the skepticism that you may express, your partner will not take no for an answer. The over the top declarations of love that seem straight out of a rom-com can be signs that you are being love-bombed.
Though harmless at first, these gifts are to manipulate later on– to make you feel like you owe them something. Additionally, love-bombing helps the bomber look like a perfect doting partner, and you quickly become a supporting member of the love story they’ve created.
They want your undivided attention.
A sign of a narcissistic love-bomber is that they want all of your attention. By nature, narcissists have either insecure or avoidant attachment styles, which leads them to place an enormous value on what others think of them. As a result, they value and crave the attention you give them. However, after they lose interest or find someone they like more, they will project their insecurities on you.
They want commitment immediately.
A love-bomber might pressure you into commitment, such as moving in together or marriage. This behavior can stem from their insecurity in relationships or their attachment style. Hence, their desire to have some sort of stability or concreteness in the relationship. However, because of how fickle their attention is, it is best to not be too hasty.
They get upset when you set boundaries.
As a result, they will be upset when you set boundaries. Setting boundaries is a way for you to maintain control over your life, but since that is something a love-bomber wants they will not be too happy when you try to take it back.
They are overly needy.
Though they appear to be self-assured, many narcissistic love-bombers are codependent partners. Thus, they have low-self esteem and seek relationships that validate their worth. They are masters at exuding confidence, and to many, confidence is attractive. Unfortunately, a love-bomber attracts other codependent and insecure people who fall for the act.
You feel overwhelmed by their intensity.
A love-bomber partner aims to please. Hence, they never turn off the charm. Often, you will feel pressure to be around them at all times. This can become exhausting and demanding for a budding relationship.
You feel unbalanced
Being in a relationship with a love-bomber might feel like a whirlwind romance. You may experience drastic highs and lows. As a result, you may feel confused and disoriented, which can hurt the relationship in the long run.
If, during the early stages of a relationship, you feel like everything is happening too soon, check-in with yourself. Talk to your partner about how you are feeling. If your partner seems dismissive or you feel the relationship is turning toxic, reach out to a family member, friend, or counselor who can help.
Degges-White, S. (2018, April 13). Love Bombing: A Narcissist’s Secret Weapon. Retrieved November 16, 2020, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/lifetime-connections/201804/love-bombing-narcissists-secret-weapon
Lamothe, C., & Brito, J., Ph.D. (2019, December 17). Love-Bombing: 10 Signs of Over-the-Top Love. Retrieved 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/love-bombing#constant-attention
Lancer, D., JD LMFT. (2018, November 4). All You Should Know About Narcissistic Love Bombing. Retrieved 2020, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/toxic-relationships/201811/all-you-should-know-about-narcissistic-love-bombing