Love bombing is being “carpet-bombed” with over-the-top gestures of love.
Love bombers are new acquaintances who bombard you with affection, attraction, gifts, and honeyed words from the start, clearly trying to make you fall in love with them.
Why do love bombers rush and move so quick?
Love bombing feels rushed because love-bombers move quickly to finish their wooing act. They avoid having to put on their love act for long, as it is unnatural to them and drains too much of their energy. They fear that if they keep up their act too long, their masks may come off and expose them as an abuser to the other person too soon.
Love bombers move on quickly when you thwart their advances because deep inside they fear that they are undesirable. They don’t want their self-esteem to be further lowered by you.
The love-bombing phase of a relationship feels deliciously good but soon turns out to be nasty and bitter.
Love bombers always have the ulterior motive of putting their victims through great stress to dominate them and then force them to do things they would not have done otherwise.
Their first goal is to make you dependent on and addicted to them. Then suddenly, they threaten to take it away from you and leave you helpless and directionless.
The narcissist wants to finish the whole process of wooing fast so that when the person is under total control, they can relax. Now they can coerce the person to supply them with constant praise and validation in return.
We must not mark all men in love as love bombers. Research by Harrison & Shortall, 2010, indicates that men tend to fall in love faster, and express it sooner, than women.
How to stop love bombing?
The three main ways to stop the narcissist’s love bombing are:
1. Recognizing and distinguishing between love bombing and love courtship.
The first strategy is to distinguish between courtship (or wooing) from love bombing. Both involve romantic things, trying to win a person’s friendship or relationship for the long term.
Here are the differences between love bombing and real affection:
- True romantics respect your need for personal space and are comfortable when you spend time with friends and family.
- Love bombers, on the other hand, often seek “coercive control.” Jealousy and suspicion of friends, repeated insults, and financial abuse, are common signs of coercive control.
- Love bombers often force you to cancel your other commitments to be with them. They also snoop on you and install spyware on your personal devices.
- Courtships allow for healthy negotiations in the relationship over time.
- Whereas love bombing often deteriorates into being pushy, manipulative, and insulting over time.
- Courtship in love is truthful behavior motivated by a desire to get someone to form a long-lasting relationship or marry. It has the heartening and reassuring intention of partnering for mutual benefit, respect, and love.
- Love bombing, on the other hand, is deceptive behavior with the sinister intention of taking control of your heart and mind and forcing you to serve the needs of the love bomber.
Find out how long can love bombing can last.
2. Setting relationship boundaries with the love bomber.
Love bombers invariably and continuously overstep your boundaries. It is the most irritating part of their behavior.
i. Why you must set boundaries with a love bomber to stop them?
Set your boundaries with them immediately when you notice they are love-bombing you.
You need boundaries with them:
- To keep your sanity from being overwhelmed by their eccentric romantic behaviors,
- To prevent yourself from investing your emotions and money in them, and
- To save your “me-time” for keeping a balance in your life.
Reiterate your six essential boundaries and make them commit to following them in all your future interactions.
ii. How to respond to a love-bomber’s reaction to your setting boundaries?
Observe how the love-bomber reacts to your new boundaries and respond as follows:
- If they resist or disobey, then know that you needed those boundaries in the first place. Warn them about their encroachment and ask them firmly not to do it again.
- In most cases, the love bomber will move away quickly and not bother you anymore after a few more feeble attempts. Do not go back after them.
- If they don’t agree, or agree but keep breaking into your boundaries, then leave them, even if you don’t have any money.
- If they keep coming at you, engage your relatives and friends, and contact the legal authorities to report stalking.
iii. Stop the unreasonably flirtatious behavior of love-bombers.
They may text or call you at the oddest hours to express their love, and may even drop by your house at 2 AM to deliver you a gift.
Set a time curfew on when they can reach out to you.
iv. Ignore their efforts to convince you to see them as if they are in pain and in need.
They typically share stories about being duped by greedy friends and scarred by a toxic family. The idea is to tug at your heartstrings and make you feel pity for their financial and emotional neediness.
Keep reminding yourself that it is an act they are putting up to make you fall for them.
v. Make love-bombers understand and acknowledge your subtle expressions of disapproval.
They are not deterred by your unsaid irritation and mild anger at their persistent pushing of your physical and psychological boundaries.
If you catch them stalking you while you are out with your friends, they will justify their actions by saying, “I wanted to give you a pleasant surprise! We are soulmates, so we don’t really need any boundaries.”
Accept none of their justifications. Stand your ground that they made a serious mistake.
Remember, these love bombers are often cruel narcissists who cannot handle social rejections politely.
3. Enforce a breather or a temporary break.
Love-bombing narcissists engage with you almost constantly, wanting to know what you’re doing and where you are, without giving you any breather.
When a relationship moves on too fast, you must call the other person on it and tell them how you feel.
So, ask them to go slow, take a break, and let you have your personal space.
If they insist there is nothing to ponder since you are like “soulmates,” it is a sign that they may do it more oppressively in the future.
Stay firm that you want your own sweet time to think things over and process your feelings.
Most likely, they will pull the disappearing or the “ghosting” act during or after the break. Do not try to get back in touch with them.
If you do, your dream world may come crashing down as you find all those love gestures being replaced by hateful gestures.
The crux is if they can’t change their behavior to match your needs, then it’s unlikely that they are a match for you.
Why does love bombing stop?
Love bombing stops because it is extremely demanding for the narcissist to maintain the fake acting beyond their capacity based on their types. After 3 to 32 weeks, love bombers stop showering their targeted victim with compliments, gifts, and sweet words.
Why do people love-bomb and then pull away?
Love bombing and then pulling away is a part of the narcissistic abuse cycle which includes idealizing, devaluing, and discarding. Other reasons could be a loss of interest, a finding of a new person (narcissistic supply), a pressing issue that an ADHDer must intensely focus on, or commitment phobia.
Why do love-bombers leave?
Love-bombers leave either when they have successfully won over their victim and can now begin their narcissistic abuse, or when they lose interest because the victim would not budge to let themselves be won over.
• • •
- 5 Dirty Ways Narcissists Treat Their Ex (How To Handle It)
- Six Narcissist Types: One of Them Is Highly Dangerous
- Can Narcissists Fall In Love With You, For Real?
• • •
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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