Constant attention, gifts, flowers, sweet texts and phone calls. Are these sweet gestures from a potential partner or are you a victim of love bombing?
Love bombing means “bombing” another person with constant affection, attention and gifts. The romance that seems as if it is straight out of a movie feels almost too good to be true.
An article by Psychology Today puts it best, “Love bombing is an attempt to influence another person with over-the-top displays of attention and affection. We’re not just talking about romantic gestures, like flowers and trips. Love bombing invariably includes lots of romantic conversation, long talks about ‘our future,’ and long periods of staring into each other’s eyes.”
Most of us can admit that we like to feel special and wanted by others. Attention and validation is something that many of us crave. This is why it's easy to fall into the trap of love bombing. The constant attention and romantic gestures make us feel important, special, and wanted. We may even think that we have found “the one."
Psychology Today goes on to explain why love bombing is such a successful tactic in relationships, “Love bombing works because humans have a natural need to feel good about who we are, and often we can’t fill this need on our own.”
A few examples of love bombing could include: long love letters, bouquets and flowers being sent to your home, going on elaborate dates and trips, showering you with compliments and making unrealistic promises about the future.
Love bombers might use phrase such as:
“I know we just met, but we could be perfect together.”
“I’ve never met anyone like you.”
“It’s going to be you and me forever.”
“We have something special.”
These phrases and gestures may sound sweet and like they are right out of a fairy tale, but they can be problematic if said early on in the relationship or in the talking stage.
The problem with love bombing is that it can be thought of as a trap or as a manipulative way to draw another person into a relationship where the love bomber has the control and power.
To a love bomber, love is like a game that they want to be in control of and love bombing doesn't last long. As soon as the other person begins to reciprocate the attention and affection back, the love bomber slowly begins to take it all back and fades away from their life.
When we experience the fairy tale love in the beginning, we can become addicted and obsessed with the way that it made us feel. When the love bomber begins to fade away, we miss the excitement and attention that they were once constantly giving us.
The bottom line is, healthy relationships don't begin with an “I love you” and dozens of roses on the first or second date. Being love bombed is not true love; it's a form of manipulation and a “love” that won’t last long.
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Julianna is a senior majoring in journalism and sociology. She enjoys writing and reporting on topics related to mental and physical health and wellness.