The good thing about dating in 2022, is that there is a more “mainstream” vocabulary to put into context what you are experiencing and feeling. The term “Love Bombing” specifically relates to a manipulation tactic where someone overwhelms you with affection, adoration, gifts and love in order to gain control of your behaviors. Love bombing tactics are confusing because initially the feeling of someone showing you affection is seemingly positive because it indicates they are interested in you as a person and spending their time with you. It feels the whether their actions are genuine or not can be confusing. You might be experiencing love bombing if your partner:
- Shower you with gifts or over the top gestures – the point of this is to make you feel that you owe them something
- Give you constant praise and adoration – They will glorify you very early on and say things like “I love everything about you”, I have never met anyone like you, you are the only person I want to spend my time with.” These phrases, while nice, are usually within the context of getting you to lower your guard.
- Want to be in constant communication with you. This is confusing because if you are calling each other, video chatting or texting all day, especially if they are initiating this communication, it feels validating and provides assurance that they are interested in getting to know you deeper.
- Get upset when you create boundaries – When you ask a love bomber to take it slow or if you try to implement a boundary, they might make you feel guilty for rebuffing them- that you don’t love them/care for them. In turn, you might find yourself scaling back, comforting them, your rhetoric might change to that of a caretaker where you overcompensate to imply that you really do love them.
The love bomber’s goal is to break down your walls, feel vulnerable and begin to trust them. You must remember that love bombing is a phase of the relationship. The reason it is so confusing is because when their behavior changes and they are no longer showing you affection (at least in the amount that you became accustomed to), you might find yourself referring back to that stage, yearning for the person you had fallen for or anticipate that the toxicity you are currently experiencing will revert back to the love bombing phase again.