Is It Love Bombing Or Just Real Love?

With the recent passing of Valentine’s Day, and the resulting hook-ups and break-ups, it’s no surprise to see that the numerous dating websites and applications are still housing hundreds of hopeless romantics waiting for their one chance at true love. Psychology theories suggest that all people, at one point or another, have a deep need to experience some version of love. It can be the romantic feelings of being in love, the flattering experience of having someone love you, or even the friendship type of love where you spend a great deal of time together. No matter what the style, the desire to love and be loved is a natural part of the human process.

Finding love, however, can be quite difficult. With numerous social rules, expectations, attractions, and interests, meeting a suitable partner who is on the same journey, ready for the same relationship can be daunting. Thus, many individuals choose to look for social opportunities to increase their odds of finding this love. Blind dates, singles mixers, social gatherings with mutual friends and even dating applications are just a few of the common ways that people begin their advertisement and search for their next or newest lover. But the more advertisement that is put out to the world, the more there is a chance that you can become a victim of the negative aspects of love bombing.

What is love bombing?

Love bombing is a term which refers to the overall explosion of affection, attention, and intention for romance from a partner or potential partner. It can be either positive (when used appropriately) or negative (when used by those with Cluster B personality disorders or other social issues). It is the act or actions of an individual who begins exploding another person’s life with any and all expressions of love, desire, and attraction.

What can love bombing look like?

Let’s say you meet a guy and you hit it off after the first couple of dates. Then almost out of nowhere, you begin receiving cute texts throughout the day, flowers delivered to your job, gifts delivered to your home, romantic sonnets sent via text or email, social media tags to romantic or insinuating memes, and the same day this new guy randomly shows up at your favorite coffee shop or home to sneak in extra time with you. Seems sweet right?

In most cases, love bombing can be a genuinely wonderful and innocent stage of growing intimacy between two partners. It is common for these types of love bombs to occur in the first few months or years of a relationship. When both partners are willing participants to these actions, love bombing can be a movie-style way of making your partner feel special.

When love bombing goes wrong

For the same scenario, the factors which can change the climate of these actions depends on the nature of the individual engaging in love bombing. For example, in the same scenario, imagine that this new guy is someone diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). In this case, these actions are a means of manipulation where the goal is two-fold.

One motivation from the Narcissist is to manipulate your feelings by overwhelming you with their charm, allowing them to seem compassionate and caring, and trying to win you over with lavish gifts. The other motivation stems from their need to isolate you from your social circle and family to establish you as a means of Narcissistic supply. This can also be true for other individuals with personality disorders.

Cluster B Personality Disorders and Love Bombing

Individuals with Cluster B personality disorders typically fall into one of four categories:

  • Antisocial Personality Disorder
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Narcissistic Personality Disorder
  • Histrionic Personality Disorder

While these four personality disorders vary in their characteristics and traits, they all share a general disregard or lack of concern for social rules or norms. It is very common for anyone with a Cluster B personality disorder to use any means necessary to manipulate and control their victim. This can include the use of love bombing as a way to initialize or maintain control over another individual.

For these personality types, love bombing can serve a variety of purposes. For those with no remorse for their actions, love bombing can mask their truest nature by allowing them to appear apologetic. For those who desire the complete and total admiration of others, such as Narcissists or those with Histrionic Personality disorder, love bombing is a means of luring in others to feed into their own ego.

How can I know if I’m a victim of negative love bombing?

One of the hardest parts of love bombing is knowing if the actions are too much, too soon, or an appropriate means of communicating true affection. For scenarios where the relationship is new, hope and promise are high, and everything seems to be falling into place, love bombing can be presented as a promise or a validation that you have found the love you’ve been searching for.

However, when things seem too good to be true, it usually means they are. Look for the signs and subtle hints that this amazing experience may be a cover for a more devious intention.

  • Are these actions wanted or suggested by you to your new partner?
  • Is he or she showing up at your job or home, unannounced, uninvited, and uninterested in leaving?
  • Does your new partner seem to want all of your free time, isolating you from your friends, neighbors, or even family?
  • Do they seem to get upset if you do not respond a certain way to their shower of gifts, affections, and attention?
  • Do you feel the pressure to reciprocate the acts of love, even when you do not feel that way?

Answering these questions can help you to determine if this love bombing is a good indication of a solid and attentive romantic partner or if this is just a means of control and manipulation. If you think that your new beau is using love bombing as a means to control you, try to find ways to decrease or eliminate their presence in your day to day life.

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