In the world of love and dating, words like “gaslighting,” “ghosting,” and “love bombing,” might feel relatively new.
We now have the vocabulary to describe the behaviour, but truthfully, the behaviours have been present for a long time.
If you are with someone new, you might be looking for red flags (otherwise known as reasons to be alerted or alarmed by a specific behaviour).
For example, a red flag could be related to the way they make you feel. Do they make you feel insecure, incorrect, or undervalued? If so, it’s worth noting.
Likewise, a red flag could be related to the way they speak to you. Is there something off about their word choice, their tone, or their communication style? That’s another red flag worth looking into.
One red flag that receives little recognition is love bombing, but it’s behaviour that can be toxic for both partners involved.
After reading this article, if you think you are experiencing love bombing, or if there are any other concerning behaviours performed by your partner in your relationship, don’t hesitate to seek guidance from a professional therapist like those at BetterHelp.
What Is Love Bombing?
Too much love is never a bad thing… right? Well, maybe there is something odd about excessive forms of affection. In many cases, it all depends on the intention.
Love bombing is essentially when one partner bombards the other with excessive attention, inappropriate gifts, and empty promises, in an attempt to manipulate their decisions, and their dependency.
A person who loves bombs their partner will often ignore boundaries, and demand unreasonable requests in the name of love.
Love bombing can almost seem transactional to the person inciting the behaviour. For example, if a person showers you with excessive love, they might feel entitled to you, your time, and your attention, even when you don’t wish to give any of it.
Love bombing can also be manipulative in the way of empty promises.
For example, if your partner has put unrealistic expectations on a pedestal, they might be setting you up for severe disappointment and abandonment issues.
Signs of Love Bombing
If you are with a new partner, it can be difficult to spot potential problems. Oftentimes, you don’t want to be too sceptical from the get-go, because they haven’t necessarily done anything wrong yet.
If you are projecting insecurities onto your new partner before you have given them an opportunity to show you they care, you might struggle to find success in that relationship.
For example, if you struggled to trust ex-partners, you can be honest about those experiences, but don’t let them get in the way of trusting a new partner.
That being said, there are certain behaviours that are easy to flag early on. Take note of any concerning behaviours you might notice, and just be aware of what they might meanwhile you decide what to do about the relationship.
What love bombing can look like:
- Non-stop compliments
- Unnecessary and inappropriate gift giving
- Conditional affection
- Proclamations of “you’re the one”
- Expectations about how you should dress, act, and feel
- Singing your praises to others
Your partner might say that you are the only person who cares about them. They might say that it’s “you and me against the world.” They might say that you two are “soulmates.” These are all behaviours that encourage dependency.
They are making themselves invaluable to you by making it seem like you cannot live without them. It is like looking through rose-coloured glasses, but only if the prescription is suited for their eyes.
Of course, these behaviours and sentiments can be present to some extent in a normal and healthy relationship. But, when they begin to take over, it may be a sign that things aren’t as they should be.
Love Bombing and Family
Perhaps your family has noticed the strange behaviour that your partner is displaying. Perhaps they attempt to point it out to you.
It might seem odd to point out seemingly affectionate behaviour, but when it comes to love bombing, loved ones and friends tend to know something is up. This can create conflict between you and your family members.
This is a slippery slope. Sometimes, a partner that is love-bombing can actually isolate you from the people who really care about you.
They might tell you that no one else loves you or appreciates you the way that they do. They might even encourage the belief that they are the only person who can fulfil you and look out for you properly.
Once you are isolated from your family and friends, it can be that much more difficult to see love bombing in action. Plus, you might actually start to believe that this person is the end-all-be-all. That’s the most toxic part of all.
If your partner is successful in a love bombing, the follow-up issue tends to be abandonment. If your partner has manipulated you into dependency and then abandons you, it can be heartbreaking.
After all, if you’re the only person who cares for them, their soulmate, and the sun to their moon, why would they leave?
You don’t have to pick up the pieces all on your own. Seek the help of a professional counsellor to guide you through this experience and rebuild your relationship with your own trust and intuition.
Fear of abandonment and fear of affection do not have to follow you into your next relationship.
They don’t have to ruin your relationship with yourself. If you are feeling guilty for trusting this person, or if you are feeling stupid and naive for believing the promises they told you, you’re not the only one.
Give yourself a moment to heal, forgive yourself, and grow.