Is it love or you are being love bombed?

relationship anxiety

You’ve met someone who makes you feel you are on top of the world. You wake up to their ‘good morning’ text and go to sleep hearing them on the phone. By the time, you are on the fifth date you are already planning your marriage to the person because that’s how they want you to think. If you have met someone who has made you imagine the best possible and jokingly given you ideas that its meant to be without giving you the actual commitment, we are afraid you may have fallen in the trap of love bombing.

What is love bombing?

Excessive attention and affection to change someone’s mind about you is nothing but love bombing, explains relationship expert Radhika Mohta. Love bombing refers to the tactics of excessive flattery that give the love bomber power and control at the beginning of the relationship. It is often associated with narcissism.

A person trying to love bomb you may shower you with gifts, praise, and other gestures that get you to believe that they are the one. However, this is just a way of manipulating someone to make them dependent on the love bomber.

The feelings of a love bomber fades away over time! Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

What are the signs of love bombing?

If you are still wondering if you are a victim of love bombing, look out for these signs:

1. Undivided attention

If you’re in a relationship, you should be the priority but are you the only priority? Someone giving you all their attention too soon is also not a good sign. If you are the only priority all the time and they want to spend all their free time with you, they might be lonely and don’t have friends to call, confide in, or hang out with, explains Mohta.

2. They give you too many gifts

Do they give you needless gifts? Someone love bombing you might shower you with unexpected gifts as tokens of affection. Though giving gifts is a sign of love, giving someone too many gifts unnecessarily might be a red flag that you are being love bombed. And these gifts are probably something expensive or elaborate to win you over and get all your attention.

Also Read: 5 subtle red flags in a relationship you must not ignore!

3. Futuristic talk

Is he or she promising too much too soon? Imagine meeting someone and they talk about marriage and other future plans on the second or third day. It might feel awkward at first but you may let it pass. However, it could be a sign that you’re being love-bombed. Someone can love bomb into believing that you belong together despite you both having diagonally opposite values, lifestyles and goals.

4. Overwhelming intensity

Are their actions making you feel pressured? Do you feel overwhelmed by their intensity? Be careful if things feel really intense too soon or they call you your soulmate too soon is a red flag that you are being love bombed.

5. They don’t respect your boundaries

They cannot accept NO. They don’t respect your boundaries. At this point, when you don’t feel heard, seen, valued, or understood, it’s time to address love bombing, says Mohta.

How is it different from genuine love?

Love bombing is a manipulative tactic where an individual overwhelms their target with excessive affection, attention, and grand gestures, often in the early stages of a relationship. It is a way of gaining control or validation rather than fostering genuine emotional connection. A person who is love bombing may exhibit intense emotions to show affection but lack sincerity. You might notice it all fade away with time, and start disrespecting your boundaries and prioritising their own needs over yours.

In contrast, genuine love develops gradually over time through mutual respect, trust, and shared experiences. It is all about sincerity, consistency, and a selfless commitment to the other person’s happiness and growth. They will respect your boundaries, encourage open communication, and value your individuality. There is no manipulation or control but a deep emotional bond that nurtures the relationship and makes it last long.

Happy couple
There’s a stark difference between a genuine relationship and love bombing. Image courtesy: Freepik

Who is more prone to fall prey to love bombing?

A relationship takes two. If one person is love bombing because they are narcissistic/ abusive and have their insecurities/ fear of abandonment, and emotional pain from the past. How about the other? The other person is putting up with it because of their low self-esteem, feeling that they do not deserve any better, are not worthy or there’s a lot of potential for this person to change in the future, elucidates Mohta.

How to avoid love bombing?

“Love bombing is not okay. It leads to burnout in a relationship when one person is constantly bearing the load of validating the other person’s feelings, reassuring them and giving in to their possessiveness. It’s toxic and unhealthy for the relationship,” explains the relationship expert. Here’s how you can combat love bombing:

  • Pause: Take a break from everything happening around you to understand the situation.
  • Reflect: If you notice the red flags and know your partner is love bombing you, figure out a way to address the issue.
  • Listen: How do you feel about this relationship? Listen to your body and mind and how you are feeling with this love bombing.
  • Create boundaries: Now that you know that the person is love bombing you, start creating boundaries and introduce changes at an input level for the output to vary.
  • Consult a therapist: If you are unable to navigate your way out of the situation, seek professional help to avoid physical, mental and emotional trauma.

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