Love bombing happens when an individual is subjected to an excessive amount of grand gestures, signs of affection and various acts which are supposed to convey appreciation and gratitude. In many cases, the initial stages of love bombing are very flattering to the receiver and they may feel special. Many people may even question if love bombing is truly problematic. After all, what could possibly be wrong with being showered with tokens of love and affection?
The ultimate problem with love bombing lies within the hidden ulterior motives. Love bombing seems sweet until the perpetrator begins to participate in mental manipulation and attempted monopolization of your time and energy. Unlike genuine displays of affection, love bombing occurs purely for the purpose of distracting you from character flaws, establishing a toxic dynamic in the relationship and ultimately maintaining control over your life. In many regards, love bombing is almost a sort of grooming; it appears innocuous in the beginning, but as time goes on, the love bomber will eventually begin to expect certain things in return. The dark, insidious nature behind their seemingly sweet actions will ultimately reveal itself as time passes.
The Dark Side of Love Bombing
Subjection to love bombing can wreak serious emotional turmoil on the victim. It’s not atypical for love bombers to suddenly disappear from the lives of the person they were showering with affection and grand gestures. A person may experience tons of cards, flowers, and amazing dates only to never heat from the love bomber again. Perpetrators of love bombing are furthermore known to engage in infidelity and erratic behavior. Sometimes the victim of this behavior may begin to question themselves and wonder if they did something to alienate or turn off the person who was seemingly in love with them.
While this train of thought is understandable, it’s important to understand that the only one responsible for the conduct of love bombers is themselves. The switch between hot and cold is no fault of the victim’s. Instead, it has everything to do with the individual insecurities of the perpetrator. Love bombers generally suffer from narcissism and low self-esteem; therefore, their erratic behavior occurs because of their desperation for reassurance and self-satisfaction. To be clear, victims of love bombing are not responsible for the actions of the perpetrators.
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The Psychology of Love Bombers
In order to truly comprehend love bombing in its entirety, we must evaluate the mental state of individuals who perpetrate this type of behavior. Narcissism aside, love bombers struggle with deep-seated feelings of inadequacy. Furthermore, they often fear that they lack the worthiness to be with a romantic partner. The overabundance of grand gestures and romantic acts is merely an attempt to overcompensate for the low self-esteem which they are battling internally. This also explains why love bombers tend to engage in duplicity after they’re done showering their victims with massive attention and gestures. Sometimes ghosting their victims is their twisted way of maintaining some sort of power or control.
Warning Signs Of Love Bombing
In the majority of cases, love bombing happens over a period of time. There are also usually warning signs of this manipulation, but you have to know what to look for. Ultimately, the best way to shield yourself from love bombing and narcissistic tendencies is to recognize the warning signs. The following themes of love bombing are present in virtually all applicable scenarios and can certainly be a warning sign that your prospective new suitor is not all which they appear to be.
One of the ultimate goals of the love bomber is to ensure that their victim becomes mentally and emotionally reliant upon them. In order to achieve this endgame, the perpetrator will often take crafty and strategically manipulative steps. Declarations of confidence in the relationship, proclamations of love, and moves to isolate the victim from other people are some moves which love bombers often employ to foster dependency.
It’s important to understand that love bombers’ need for their victims to be dependent upon them goes back to their overall narcissism. Remember, narcissism is a front for insecurity; individuals who suffer from this disorder desperately crave ongoing validation and admiration. The security of a healthy relationship is not enough for them. When their impossible-to-meet expectations fall short, the love bomber inevitably lashes out at the victim if not disappearing altogether.
In the majority of cases, being showered with ongoing praise and compliments feels nice. Who doesn’t want to be told what an amazing person they are? Now, granted, not every person who issues compliments or flattery is a love bombing narcissist. However, when flattery is excessive or feels extreme, then this is definitely a classic hallmark of an individual with an agenda. Now, you may wonder why a narcissist would devote time and energy towards flattering someone.
In a nutshell, this boils down to control. The chemicals in a person’s brain literally change when they are ongoingly complimented, flattered and praised. The love bomber typically knows this and uses this as a means to manipulate their victim. Having the power of control is what gives the perpetrator their high and it’s why they feel the need to excessively flatter their victim. Sometimes, those on the receiving end are able to tell that something isn’t right; in other cases, they enjoy the attention and fail to realize the wolf beneath sheep’s clothing for quite some time.
Mistreatment of Others
The manner in which a lover bomber treats other people is another very real sign of their motives. When a narcissist with an agenda showers you with “love,” it can be easy to become blindsighted. However, one of the strongest indicators of their character is the manner in which they treat other individuals. See, a love bomber is nice to their victims because they have ulterior motives; their kindness is a facade which will eventually reveals itself. When a narcissist comes into contact with others who can’t do anything for them, the manner in which they treat those people speaks volumes.
Can Love Bombers Be Redeemed?
Sometimes when people find themselves in a relationship with a toxic individual such as a love bomber, they may feel the urge to try to “save” that person. As well-intentioned as this may be, trying to save someone who suffers from very serious issues can be dangerous. Anyone who engages in love bombing is a very sick person. Whether or not they can be redeemed or improve as an individual depends upon a variety of factors.
However, it is not your job to try to save the perpetrator of love bombing. If you or someone you love winds up in a relationship with a love bomber, the best course of action is to end the relationship effective immediately. In the beginning, this may be challenging, but ultimately, this will prove to be beneficial in the long run. Nobody deserves to be in a relationship with a narcissistic love bomber whose only interest is manipulation and control. These are not indicators of a healthy, mutually respectful relationship.
Seeking Professional Help
If you are dealing with love issues, relationship issues, or another matter entirely, then you may find that working with a therapist can change your life. When we find ourselves confronted with various challenges, we may question what to do next and how to handle situations. This is where having the input of a professional third party can make a difference. Therapists can not only get to know you and your situation, but they can also serve as a guide who can teach you and help you learn things which will be helpful in your present life and beyond. Asking for help is nothing to be ashamed of; in fact, it’s one of the bravest steps which a person can take.
If you are interested in seeking professional help, then you’ll want to sign up for online therapy. At BetterHelp, our ultimate objective is to aid those who come to us and assist them in finding and employing solutions along their journey. Online therapy is particularly advantageous because it’s available to anyone, regardless of their geographical residency. Pain, tough times, and obstacles do not discriminate based on where someone lives, and neither should access to quality mental health services.