How confusing that we put two quite opposite words together to describe the beginning of a relationship? Confusion is exactly how a person who is the target of love bombing might feel. The person may have dreamed about being treated like a queen or a king, receiving lavish gifts and affection. They may even say that they feel like they were swept off their feet or floating on air.
What’s the Downside of Being Love Bombed?
Love bombing can be a warning sign that you are being pursued by a person who abuses. So, if it seems like it’s too good to be true, you should ask yourself these questions about your new partner:
- Do they have two different personalities, where they are cruel at times, but loving, kind and giving at others?
- Do they have an explosive temper?
- Do they blame all their problems on other people?
- Do they act entitled and self-important?
- Do they have stereotypical ideas about gender roles?
- Are they suspicious and possessive of you?
- Do they use drugs and/or alcohol to cope with stress?
- Are they drawing you away from friends and family?
Why is Love Bombing a Red Flag?
Often times love bombing is the “red flag“ that domestic abuse professionals talk about with their clients as they begin to unravel and understand how someone became involved in the abusive relationship in the first place. If we are the recipients of love bombing, rather than make us feel worshipped and put on a pedestal, it should ring a warning bell for us, make us question the relationship and be concerned that this may not be the good thing that it seems to be on first glance.
How Do You Know If They’re Love Bombing You?
How do you know if you’re falling in love or living with a love bomber? Our colleagues at verywellmind.com have developed these questions so help you figure out if you are being love bombed:
• Is this person taking an extreme interest in your family, career, and hobbies?
• Is this person complimenting you and then criticizing you in the same breath—supposedly “for your own good?”
• Is this person constantly asking you where you are and then angry if you don’t answer fast enough?
• Does this person make you feel comfortable? Or, are you nervous and it all feels like too much?
• Is this person narcissistic, i.e. lacking compassion for you and exhibiting self-aggrandizing behavior? But what if it’s not a bad thing?
What if our new partner really is head over heels in love with us? Shouldn’t we give them that chance?
Yes. Not all love bombing means your new love might be a controlling and manipulative person, but only time will tell. It’s best not to jump to any conclusions, but to sit back and see how the relationship plays out. How do the two of you make decisions? Does your partner listen to and respect your thoughts? How do the two of you disagree? How does your partner react when you want to see friends and family without them? How do the two of you communicate? You can learn more about the difference between healthy and abusive relationships on our website.
How to stop love bombing?
If you need more information about understanding abuse and some of the warning signs, go to the SHALVA website and take the quiz “About Domestic Abuse” and see how you do. You can always reach out to us with questions and concerns. Calling us doesn’t mean your new partner is not a good person, but not calling us may be the beginning of you getting involved with a potentially manipulative and controlling partner.
Bobbie is a LCSW and ICDVP and has been part of the SHALVA clinical staff for over 20 years.