* I generally write using the pronouns he/him when referring to narcissists, but females are just as likely to be narcissists or exhibit narcissistic traits. So please don't think just because article uses the word him or he that it could not be a woman in that same role.
The first few months of a relationship are known as the honeymoon stage.
Butterflies are fluttering in your stomach, you can’t eat, sleep, or go about a regular day without thinking about the other person.
You’re also likely to be showered with attention, compliments, and stolen kisses whenever the opportunity arises.
However, as wonderful as this phase is, it is important to be aware of the ‘love bombing’ behavior.
This article will be discussing what love bombing is and whether it happens unintentionally or not.
What Is Love Bombing?
Love bombing refers to excessive attention and admiration during the early stages of a relationship.
This can look different in every relationship. It can involve showering a partner with gifts and attention, and even saying ‘I love you,’ after just a few dates.
Although this can feel lovely at the start, affection at this level that appears to be very over-the-top for the beginning of a relationship is often referred to as love bombing.
It is used as a manipulative tactic that is commonly used by those with abusive and narcissistic tendencies.
Those who love bomb will often display this behavior in order to pursue and gain the trust of the other person.
It is done in order to make them dependent on them so that they can then manipulate and control them.
Anyone can love-bomb another person, but it is most common in those with narcissistic personality disorder, or who have narcissistic tendencies.
Why Do People Love Bomb?
We’ve already covered why those with narcissistic tendencies love bomb – to exert control over their victims.
However, not all love bombers have narcissistic qualities. Occasionally, it can come from past trauma, conflict, and pain.
Everyone has a different attachment style, and this can influence how we act in relationships.
For example, if someone has an insecure attachment style, then they may love to bomb their partner in order to keep them close.
Unfortunately, this behavior can overwhelm the other person, which will inevitably push them away.
In other instances, if someone has an avoidant attachment style they might love bomb their partner in order to have full control over the intimacy.
However, once their partner reciprocates with that love, they’re likely to feel overwhelmed by the relationship and begin to push them away.
This is often seen as the other dark side of love bombing, where they ‘ghost’ the other person.
Can Love Bombing Happen Unintentionally?
If someone with a narcissistic personality disorder love bombs another person, it can sometimes be done intentionally.
Those with narcissistic tendencies like to have control over other people, and they are likely to shower their partners early on in the relationship with an over-the-top amount of love, and affection, and may often give them expensive gifts.
This is done in order to fully pursue their partner and make them feel dependent on them. This gives the narcissist an ego boost, making them feel better about themselves.
However, a lot of the time, love bombing is unintentional. This is especially the case when it comes as a result of a particular attachment style.
How Do You Know If It’s Love Bombing?
Knowing what to look out for when it comes to love bombing is very important. It can present itself in a number of ways.
It can often involve someone showering their partner with gifts, such as large bouquets of flowers, or expensive jewelry, and doing this often at their home and workplace.
A lot of the time, the person who is love bombing may declare love for their partner within a few days or weeks of knowing them.
They may also want to spend a lot of time with the other person and may bring up moving in together and marriage, very early on.
Once the love bombing has taken effect, the perpetrator may then switch, and they can often become controlling and nasty.
At this point, it becomes hard to victims to leave, as they are already attached to this person.
In order to distinguish between love bombing and regular affection, it is important to keep an eye on the intensity of the affection.
Are they consistent with it, or do they switch back and forth? Do they give you a lot of affection for a few days, and then push you away the next?
How To Rectify The Situation
As mentioned above, a lot of the time, love bombing is unintentional and the person doing it, is doing it subconsciously.
Even if they are called out on it, it can sometimes be hard for them to change their behavior, as it is likely happening as a result of their early experiences.
However, healthy relationships allow both partners to express how they are feeling, so they can each adjust their behaviors towards each other accordingly.
If you have realized that there is love bombing going on, you can be honest with your partner and express how you are feeling about their behavior.
You can state that although you appreciate the gestures, you are feeling overwhelmed by the amount of attention you’re receiving from them.
A healthy person will acknowledge what you are saying and will alter their behavior if it has made you feel uncomfortable.
However, someone with dysfunctional tendencies may gaslight you and make the issue your problem.
If they do not respond well to your honesty about their love bombing, then it may be best to walk away.
They may be displaying that behavior because it has worked for them in the past, so calling them out on it may offend them, and can lead to a serious disagreement.
If you find that you keep ending up in situations where you are love-bombed over and over, it may be worth talking to a therapist, so you can discover what patterns of behavior are leading you to these situations.
It would be beneficial to surround yourself with people who are involved in healthy relationships.
These people can serve as role models for you and can help you understand what it is you seek in a future relationship.
A lot of the time, the people who have dysfunctional relationship patterns are the ones who haven’t had role models to look up to.
What we know, is what we see around us, so having role models who are in healthy relationships allows us to experience from the outside, what a good relationship looks like.
Therefore, ensuring to surround yourselves with people in those kinds of relationships, will allow you to see, and acknowledge firsthand, what it is like to be in a healthy, loving relationship.
In summary, love bombing refers to an over-the-top amount of love and affection that occurs early on in the relationship from one partner to another.
This can be in the form of extravagant gifts, too much contact, declaring love after only a short while, and talking about the future very early on.
A lot of the time, this behavior is unintentional and happens subconsciously, especially if it comes as a result of a particular attachment style.
However, those with narcissistic tendencies may be fully aware of what they are doing, and will love bomb their partners in order to have control over them.
Continue Reading about Domestic Abuse and Intimate Partner Violence
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- The Connection Between Narcissistic Abuse and PTSD: What You Need to Know
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- How to Get Over a Trauma Bond: Healing and Moving Forward
- Abusers Who Play the Victim: Unmasking Manipulative Behavior in Domestic Relationships
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- How Does Abuse Affect A Woman?
- How Does Emotional Abuse Affect A Man?
- What Are Key Examples Of Abuse
- How Can Abuse Affect Future Relationships?
- What Is Meant By Physical Abuse?
- How Does Physical Abuse Affect A Person Long Term?
- What Does Physical Abuse Do To A Man?
- What Types Of People Use Love Bombing?
- Can Love Bombing Happen Unintentionally?
- Recognizing Trauma Bond Withdrawal Symptoms: A Comprehensive Guide
- 15 Signs Of An Abusive Relationship (With Examples)
- What Are The Main Cycles Of An Abusive Relationship?
- What Are The Key Signs Of Emotional Abuse?
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- What Happens When An Empath Leaves A Narcissist?
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- How To Make A Narcissist Respect You
- What Happens When You Ignore A Narcissist?
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- What Is Classified As Financial Abuse?
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- Can A Parent Be Financially Abusive?