What Does Love Bombing Mean?

What Does Love Bombing Mean?

Love bombing, which is a popular term nowadays, is a type of emotional abuse. A love bomber uses grand gestures to manipulate the other person, i.e. they adorn the other person with gifts, compliments, and affection. The unfortunate reality is that these actions do not come from a place of love. Instead, love bombing is a technique that someone uses to make a friend, partner, or loved one dependent on them, which helps them control the relationship. 

Why Do People Love Bomb?

Psychologists theorize that love bombing comes from insecurities around trust or dependence on others. The idea is that if one person love bombs another person, they can gain control in the relationship. They then use that control to make the other person feel guilty about questioning their actions. Love bombing can be both intentional and unintentional and even though it is more common among romantic partners, anyone can do it. That said, it is a manipulative tactic that is more common in people with narcissistic personality disorder. Love bombing can also be a behavior that you learn, especially if you emulate parents or have done it in past relationships.

What Are The Signs Of Love Bombing?

Although the signs can vary from person to person, the typical indicator is an unwanted grand gesture that may make the other person uncomfortable. The key thing to note is that this gesture doesn’t make the person feel loved. Other signs of love bombing can include:

  • Constant calling or texting to check in: The partner may not respect the other person’s schedule or time by constantly communicating. They may also get angry or frustrated if the other person doesn’t respond, given their “concern.”
  • Giving unnecessary or unwanted gifts: A love bomber will usually pay for extravagant/unwanted gifts to make the other person feel loved. The gift giving is not in the other person’s best interest, and the love bomber will bring up the cost/significance of the gifts like a debt. 
  • Over-the-top declarations of love: A love bomber may continuously flatter or shower the other person with praise, and usually way too early into the relationship. Over-the-top public displays of affection are common as well. 
  • Constant praise or compliments: The right things are seemingly said, but compliments are typically an over-exaggeration. A love bomber may become overly interested in the other person’s hobbies or achievements. 
  • Ignoring boundaries: It’s very common for a love bomber to respect healthy boundaries. They do not like being told no, similar to a child. If the behavior starts to overwhelm the other person and they communicate it to the lover bomber, the feelings are usually ignored. 
  • Rushing into a relationship: Love bombers usually make future plans way too early into relationships. They tend to rush into committed relationships before getting to know the other person. 

Why Is Love Bombing Harmful?

As we have covered thus far, love bombing does not indicate a healthy individual or relationship. The behavior is manipulative and emotionally abusive, which is why some experts cite love bombing a mode of domestic abuse. Some experts believe that love bombing is a way for someone to gaslight their partner in order to isolate and control them. As a reaction, the person on the receiving end of the love bombing will likely experience mental health issues and remain in that unhealthy relationship. If love bombing persists, the emotional abuse can worsen and even become physical. Love bombing often includes the following modes of a narcissistic abuse cycle. 

  • Idealization: The love bomber showers the other person with gifts and affection early on in the relationship. There may be feelings of sudden romance or intense love/caring. The love bomber will confess their love for the other person and what their future plans are. This constant communication and interest seems genuine, but it often isn’t.
  • Devaluation: All of the grand gestures and compliments can make the person on the receiving end of the love bombing very comfortable. Gaining that comfort level can cause the love bomber to demand more of the other person’s time. They become irritated if they don’t get what they want and may attempt to gaslight or become violent. That is when the person should notice the red flags and get out of the relationship. 
  • Discarding: If the person realizes that the love bomber’s behavior is unhealthy, confront them and try to establish boundaries. The love bomber may retaliate, refusing to cooperate. They may even go so far as to blame the other person for their actions, making them feel at fault. It’s also possible for the love bomber to move on and find a new replacement partner. 

The Takeaway

To conclude, love bombing is a manipulative tactic that is common among people with narcissistic personality disorder. It’s a tactic to gain control in a relationship, often to make the other person feel dependent on that person. Love bombing happens quickly, so be on the lookout for this unhealthy behavior early on in the relationship.



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