Imagine this! You are on your third date with someone, everything is going perfectly, and suddenly they start talking about seeing you two getting married soon. They want to invite you for their family dinner on the weekend so that you can meet their parents. You go home from the date astounded by what just happened, and the following day you receive a bunch of gifts from this person with a note that says, “I love you.”
On the one hand, this seems like the beginning of a whirlwind romance; on the other hand, it’s scary to see your partner moving at lightning speed. Not sure how to feel about it? Well, let me jump in here and tell you this is a highly manipulative tactic used by narcissists, called “Love Bombing.”
Experts define love bombing as “giving excessive attention and affection to make the recipient feel dependent and obligated to that person. Well, this may be the scariest thing that can happen while dating.”
In the beginning, everything may seem perfect. You might think you’ve found someone so passionately loves you that they start to spoil you with expensive gifts, vacations, etc. Later, your relationship may turn so ugly you don’t even recognize it.
If you want to see a love bomber in action, watch Netflix’s documentary The Tinder Swindler. Simon Leviev, the main character, is a supposedly wealthy diamond tycoon who travels worldwide. He dates new Tinder matches and showers them with massive flower bouquets, private planes, devotion, and all the promises they could ever want right from the beginning. But once he earns their trust, he starts conning and manipulating them. He is the definition of a love bomber.
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The alarming part of love bombing is that it is very hard to detect as it’s happening. That’s why we compiled a list of 5 signs you should watch out for when you suspect you are being love-bombed.
1. They go overboard with compliments
Who doesn’t like receiving compliments? But when your partner is flattering you nonstop for even the simplest things, it can be a cause for alarm. Apparently, love bombers use this tactic to get your self-esteem and self-worth connected to their opinion and use this to manipulate you later.
2. They gift you expensive things
Suppose your partner gifts you a pricey item and loud out its price many times; that’s a subtle sign of love bomb. They set up this plot to guilt you into staying with them or feeling a sense of obligation to them since they are spending a fortune on you.
3. They introduce you to important people early in the relationship
After only a few dates, love bombers will introduce you to people who are important to them, such as family or close friends. They do this, deliberately to make you feel like the relationship is getting very serious, and they are ready to commit.
4. They guilt-trip you for your boundaries
They will be upset and guilt-trip you if you set boundaries by asking them to take things slower in the relationship or telling them you don’t feel ready to meet their family yet.
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You might hear them say, “I thought what we had was special,” or, “I thought you were different.”
5. They commit super quickly
A love bomber will say the “LOVE” word way too early in the relationship. And the biggest red flag is that they would want to move in with you after only a few weeks of the meeting. This indicates that the person lacks awareness of limits and may cycle through commitments frequently in life.
Love bombing is a very serious form of emotional abuse. It’s typically done by people who have been in abusive relationships, have narcissistic personalities, or have an anxious attachment style. Look out for signs of love bombing to ensure that your relationship is healthy.