A love bomber’s love borders on sycophancy, and their admiration is see-through flattery.
Love bombing is like a teaser that promises a fluffy romantic story but turns out to be a dark survival drama.
Love bombing is “bombing” or overwhelming someone with extravagant gestures and words of affection and appreciation.
It is frequently displayed by narcissists and those with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).
How long can love bombing last?
Love bombing can last from weeks to years, but anecdotal data suggests the most active phase lasts 3 to 32 weeks. An un-cited study claims that both grandiose and covert narcissists reported love bombing for 25 weeks. Malignant narcissists love-bombed for 9 weeks, while communal narcissists love-bombed for 32 weeks.
With present evidence, there appears to be no fixed time limit for love bombing, and it continues until the person is seduced, or they thwart the love bomber’s overtures.
Love bombing cycle: The end of the love bombing phase is marked by the start of controlling behavior. But if the love bomber is thwarted or ignored, they either give up their efforts or intensify their love bombing.
The love bomber is like a prince who rescues the cursed princess from an impenetrable tower only to imprison her in his torture chamber.
How does love bombing work?
Love bombing works through gifts, compliments, future promises, and (un)pleasant surprises. Some of their underlying tactics include exaggeration, gaslighting, future faking, and manipulation. The love-bomber tries to overwhelm the person they are dating to give in to their love demands.
The love bomber subtly manipulates the victim into shutting down their rational mind and igniting the humane impulse to repay gestures of love with love.
Narcissists are masters in the art of love-bombing, but their charms may not always work. How do narcissists react when they can’t control you?
Every act of love bombing has the neurological design to deliver a rush of dopamine into the brain, which habituates the victim into seeking more dopamine rushes.
Red flags of love-bombing
Keep an eye out for these warning signs during the love bombing stage:
- frequent and expensive gifts,
- excessive flow of compliments,
- pushing for early commitments,
- breaching of personal boundaries,
- flowery praise for even small achievements,
- intense sadness at your past or present miseries,
- constant communication and requests for frequent meetings,
- a sense of unease and un-freedom about the intensity of the wooing process.
What is the purpose of love bombing?
The purpose of love-bombing is to make a victim addicted to the love bomber’s kind and romantic gestures and manipulate them to comply with their demands. It can make the victim feel indebted, and feel guilty or selfish if they do not reciprocate the show of love. It can cause people to withdraw from their well-wishers.
Love bombing is the first phase of a narcissistic abuse cycle.
Narcissist love bombing is a way of gaining control of a targeted partner by assaulting their senses with a nonstop romantic interest in the victim.
For grandiose narcissists, love bombing is the first stage of manipulation, when the victim lowers their psychological boundaries.
This leads to the next stage of their scheme: asking for a narcissistic supply.
Once the victim agrees to be their chosen partner, the narcissist starts demanding and extracting constant adulation and validation from them to satisfy their sense of entitlement and grandiosity.
For covert narcissists, love bombing can mean showing gestures of love in a hopeless and naive sort of way.
So that the victim may think,
“Oh, what would happen to them if I do not rescue them from their pathetic life!”– A narcissist’s victim in a false paradise
Strangely, when the covert narcissist exploits them later through power play, the victim may think that they have successfully rescued the narc from their pitiful state to a person wielding authority.
Is love bombing always bad?
No. Love bombing may not be always bad. In fact, it can be good if the person is a communal narcissist, that is, they draw acclaim and fame by volunteering for charitable and altruistic deeds in their community.
They often donate to good causes and participate in activities like marches supporting a group, such as BLM and Pride walks. They invite the person they are dating to go to charitable and philanthropic events.
How long does a narcissist love bomb?
The grandiose and covert narcissists both love bombed for approximately 24.50 weeks, the malignant narcissists did so for 9 weeks, while the communal narcissist types love bombed for 32 weeks, according to an un-cited study.
How do I know if I’m being love-bombed?
The obvious signs of love bombing are a constant supply of gifts, praises, promises, and celebrations. The love bomber can go to any length to overwhelm their target into consenting to the love demands.
If you think you are being love-bombed by someone, whatever their gender, and you are unsure whether it is true love, infatuation, limerence, or love bombing, consult a mental health therapist.
[Did you ever get obsessive thoughts about someone? It may be “limerence.” What are the differences between love and limerence?]
Seek expert help to resolve your dilemma and save yourself before the narcissist takes control of you.
• • •
• • •
Author Bio: Written and reviewed by Sandip Roy — medical doctor, psychology writer, and happiness researcher. Founder and Chief Editor of The Happiness Blog. Writes on mental well-being, happiness, positive psychology, and philosophy (especially Stoicism).
√ If you liked it, please spread the word.