Love bombing is a term used to describe intense displays of affection, usually in the beginning stages of a relationship.
While it might seem sweet initially, love bombing is a red flag that something is wrong.
That’s why I want to share some common signs of love bombing – to help you steer clear of a bad situation.
Why is love bombing so dangerous?
Love bombing can be incredibly dangerous because it signifies emotional manipulation.
The person who is love bombing you might be trying to control you or make you depend on them.
This can lead to an unhealthy and even abusive relationship.
Love Bombing Signs You Should Not Ignore
If you’re reading this, chances are you or someone you love is wondering if they are being love bombed. The following are common signs of love bombing, but this list is in no way exhaustive.
This is a great time to remember to listen to your gut.
If your instinct tells you that something feels ‘off’ about a person’s behavior, don’t be quick to disregard the feeling. These internal safeguards are there for a reason.
If you aren’t entirely sure, here are some things to consider.
1. They move too fast.
If someone is love bombing you, they might try to move the relationship forward at an accelerated pace. This can feel like a whirlwind to the person on the receiving end.
It might look like having an amazing first date that ends up going longer than either of you expected.
You’ve got butterflies.
The chemistry was amazing and it’s like the universe conspired to bring you together.
Imagine your surprise when this person wants to see you again the next day, the next, and the next.
You’re still riding an adrenaline high from this new connection, so it might not even occur to you that it’s out of the ordinary, but take a step back.
Love bombers will take as much as we’re willing to give. They rely on our willingness to give a bit more in the beginning.
If you give a love bomber too much of your time early on, they will take full advantage.
Space out your time between seeing someone to maintain your boundaries.
2. They’re always available.
Another sign of love bombing is that the person is always available. They might even cancel plans with friends or family in order to spend more time with you.
While it’s flattering to have someone who is always available, it’s also a red flag.
A healthy relationship should involve two people who have their own lives and interests outside of the relationship.
Why does this person have so much time to pour into you? It’s hard to reject behavior that makes us feel special, especially if we’re going through a difficult or lonely period in our lives.
But it’s important to recognize red flags, even if the behavior makes us feel good.
3. They’re overly complimentary.
If someone is love bombing you, they will probably shower you with compliments.
They might tell you that you’re the most beautiful person they’ve ever seen or that you’re the smartest, funniest person they know.
Even if you are all of those things, there is no way for someone to know that about you within the first week of meeting you.
Getting to know someone takes time, and it’s a red flag for someone to insist you are the ‘most’ anything when they barely know you.
4. They give you expensive gifts.
Another sign of love bombing is that the person might give you expensive gifts. This could be anything from jewelry to a new car.
Gifts are great, but if they are too expensive or come too early in the relationship, it might be a sign that the person is trying to buy your affection.
5. They try to control you.
One of the most dangerous signs of love bombing is that the person might try to control you.
They want to know where you are at all times, who you’re talking to, and what you’re doing.
Again, this behavior will come on early in a relationship, and they may even dilute the intent by making it seem like they’re simply taking an interest in your life.
Controlling behavior is a red flag at any stage of a relationship, but subtle signs of controlling early on should not be ignored.
If someone you’ve been vibing with for a week or two suddenly asks who you’re with, even casually, it should make your ears perk up.
It will probably be subtle at first. They call to see what you’re doing and you say you’re out with some friends. “Oh, cool! Who are you hanging with?”
Why do they need to know?
You just met them and they don’t know any of your friends.
Love bombers will keep it light at first, but keep an eye out for controlling signs, more intrusive questions, and signs they want to keep tabs on you.
Love bombing can be a gateway behavior into even more nefarious forms of emotional manipulation and abuse.
Access should not be a barrier to help.
6. They try to make you feel bad for having boundaries.
Another sign of love bombing is that the person might try to make you feel guilty for setting boundaries.
They might say things like, “If you really loved me, you would want to spend more time with me.”
It’s a red flag if someone makes you feel guilty for having healthy boundaries.
This is especially true for people you have just met. All relationships need healthy boundaries, but if you meet someone who tests those boundaries in the first month or so of dating, that’s a problem.
For additional help responding to emotional manipulators, check out “How to Disarm Master Manipulators.”
7. They introduce you to important people in their life early on.
A sign of love bombing is the person trying to introduce you to important people in their life early on in the relationship. This could be their family, friends, or even their boss.
Relationships have a natural rhythm to them.
Meeting someone’s close friends or parents a week after meeting them is abnormally fast. Recognize it as a red flag or, at the very least, a form of game-playing.
8. They’re always the one who needs help.
If the person you’re dating is always the one who needs help, it might be a sign of love bombing.
It looks like frequently reaching out for help with things like their job, finances, or family. Of course, they don’t actually need your help. They’re doing it to make you feel relied upon.
It is a form of emotional manipulation.
Helping people feels good. Helping someone you have a romantic attraction to feels really good. It makes you feel indispensable to someone you’re beginning to like.
But if you find yourself always being the one who has to help your partner, it’s a sign that something isn’t right.
After all, you’ve just met. It doesn’t make sense to lean on someone you barely know so heavily.
At the very least, it’s a sign that this person does not have established relationships in his or her life. More likely is they are trying to manipulate you into thinking they need you.
If you notice this pattern, take a step back and make yourself less available to this person to create some healthy space.
9. They ask for a commitment right away.
One of the most common signs of love bombing is the person trying to get a commitment from you immediately.
They might pressure you into moving in together after only a few months, or even trying to have children right away.
Maybe they tell you this is “love at first sight” or “meant to be” to push things along.
Popular culture is flooded with movies, songs, and imagery of soul mates. It’s the fairy tale meeting of two people who were destined to be together.
Love bombers take advantage of this trope in order to get close to people.
They might tell you they “just know” that you’re supposed to be together and try to push things along too fast. If you push back at all, they react with equal intensity.
“I know we’re meant to be. Are you saying you don’t feel that, too? Wow! I thought you were different. Maybe I was wrong about you.”
What to do if you think you are being love-bombed
Love bombing can be difficult to spot, especially if you’re in the early stages of a relationship or you’re feeling vulnerable.
If you think someone might be love bombing you, it’s important to trust your gut and take things slowly. Get to know the person gradually and don’t make any big commitments right away.
It’s also important to set boundaries with the person. If they’re pushing you to do something that you’re not comfortable with, make it clear that you’re not going to do it.
If the person can’t respect your boundaries or won’t take things slow, it might signal that they’re love bombing you, and you should end the relationship immediately.
If you’re unable to end the relationship or believe you are stuck in an abusive relationship, don’t hesitate to reach out and get help. Call the Domestic Violence Hotline if you need to talk to someone at 800-799-7233.