Love bombing is like a teaser that promises a fluffy romantic story but turns out to be a dark survival drama.
The love bomber is like a prince who rescues the cursed princess from an impenetrable tower only to imprison her in his torture chamber.
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 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. The malignant narcissists love bombed for 9 weeks, while the communal narcissist’s 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.
The end of narcissistic love bombing is marked by either the start of controlling behavior, or if thwarted or ignored by the victim, desertion or intensifying their love bombing.
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 a way of gaining control of a targeted partner by bombarding their senses with nonstop behaviors of romantic interest in the victim.
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 often feels,
“Oh, what would happen to them if I do not rescue them from their pathetic life!”
Strangely, when the covert narcissist exploits them later through power play, the victim may think they have rescued them of their pitiful state to a person wielding authority.
How does love bombing work?
Love bombing works through an endless stream of gifts, compliments, future promises, and pleasant surprises. The love-bomber tries to overwhelm the person they are dating to give in to their love demands. Underlying tactics include exaggeration, gaslighting, future faking, and manipulation.
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.
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.
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 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.
Watch out for these red flags: frequent and expensive gifts, copious flow of compliments, excessive admiration for even small achievements, constant communication and demands for frequent meetings, intense sadness at your past or present miseries, pushing for early commitments, breaching of psychological boundaries, and a sense of unease and un-freedom about the intensity of the wooing process.
If you think you are being love-bombed by someone, whatever their gender, and you are unsure whether it is true love, infatuation, or love bombing, consult a mental health therapist.
Seek expert help to resolve your dilemma and save yourself before the narcissist takes control of you.
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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).
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