what is love bombing

The Dangers of “Love Bombing”

We all want to connect with others, and for many, that means exploring different romantic and sexual relationships, but meeting someone that you have a connection with can be easier said than done. That’s why it can be so exhilarating when you feel like you’re finally getting a hot dose of romance. 

Most of us who are actively dating have been in a similar scenario: You connect with someone on app. Your conversation is electric and there’s even more chemistry in person. The conversations quickly escalate to doting on this special connection neither of you has experienced before and envisioning your futures together.

Sound familiar? If you’ve been in this situation, you may have been love bombed (or maybe you did the love bombing). This complex mix of hormones and emotions is important to understand in order to have a healthy relationship.

What is love bombing?

Love bombing is when someone overloads you with extreme amounts of affection at the beginning of a relationship. This can look like excessive flattery, showering you with gifts, being extra affectionate, or constantly praising you. When someone is love bombing, they get attached very quickly. 

Starting a new relationship is exciting, but moving too fast can make you lose your balance and forget your priorities. That’s what happens in the case of love bombing.

This isn’t necessarily a sign of an intense connection. In fact, it could be the warning signs of an emotionally manipulative or abusive relationship, or may just lack the solid foundation most relationships need to thrive. 

Signs you’re getting love bombed

How do you know if you’re getting love bombed?

While the bombardment of gifts, flattery, and overcommunication of feelings can be a dead giveaway, there are some other more subtle signs of love bombing.

  • Feeling anxious outside of excited butterflies
  • Feeling like something isn’t quite right
  • You feel overwhelmed in the relationship
  • You stop spending time with your friends/family or doing things you love
  • Your partner gets angry with you when you spend time with other people 
  • Your partner gets angry with you when you need space
  • Your partner gaslights you
  • Pressure to pick up the pace of the relationship

Why love bombing can be so damaging

Love bombing can feel incredible at first, especially if you tend to be anxiously attached or haven’t gotten this level of attention in a while. When someone showers you with gifts and talks about growing old together after you just met, it can make you feel like you’re being swept off your feet. But starting a relationship like this can be potentially harmful for all parties.

Getting love bombed can give you a huge boost of self-esteem. While it’s healthy and normal to feel a sense of interdependence and comfort from others, it’s not healthy for your self-esteem to depend entirely on someone else.

Setting boundaries is important in every relationship, including romantic ones. Relationships that have a foundation of love bombing may lack the boundaries that are needed to grow into a healthy and balanced dynamic. 

Love bombing can also be a form of emotional manipulation. People who love bomb aren’t always doing so to make you feel loved and needed, they’re often doing it to gain control over the situation, whether or not they realize it. 

Many psychologists warn that love bombing can be the starting point of an abusive relationship and that it may be done more often by people with narcissistic personality traits

Can you go from love bombing to a healthy relationship?

You realize that you’re in a love bombing dynamic and that something needs to change. At the same time, you genuinely believe that you have a special connection with this person and you may even see a future with them.

So, you’re left wondering “Can I turn this case of love bombing into a healthy relationship?”

Yes, yes you can. People evolve, and so do relationships. 

Things may have started out hot and heavy but if you’re able to communicate in a healthy way and express to each other what your intentions are, you may be able to move forward. If you got very caught up in each other’s orbit at the beginning of the relationship, but are able to set healthy boundaries and maintain your own lives outside of the relationship, that’s a good sign as well. 

That being said, if there are warning signs of emotional manipulation or abuse, it’s important to end this relationship before things escalate. 

How to stop the love bombing cycle

Do you feel like you get love bombed repeatedly? This could be a sign of an anxious attachment style or lack of boundaries. If this is you, it’s important to work on your self-worth outside of relationships as well as determine what your values are in a relationship. Therapy can be a great tool for this. 

If you’re someone who love bombs people, it’s important to step back and evaluate where you’re coming from in your love life. Figure out how to pace yourself and see what your intentions are. Are you projecting from a place of hurt or abandonment? 

When you love bomb, you often don’t see who the person in front of you really is and instead see them as a tool or opportunity. Remember to see this person as an individual, not just a concept.

While healthy relationships can come from love bombing, it is a potential warning sign of abuse and should be examined with discernment. Remember who you are, what you want out of a relationship, as well as all the other things that bring joy to your life.