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9 Signs of Love Bombing You Should Not Ignore

Have you ever met someone and instantly felt a powerful connection?

Like the stars aligned perfectly and plopped this made-for-you person directly into your orbit and now this budding relationship is your center of gravity.

At least, it feels that way.

Because from the moment you two met, your new person has never ceased to shower you with attention and affection. They moved right into your life as if they’d been there all along.

It’s perfect.

Until it isn’t.

Sometimes powerful connections like these are entirely manufactured. All that excessive attention is a manipulation tactic to get your guard down. It’s one of many warning signs of love bombing.

And that’s what I want to help you avoid.

But first, let’s talk about why it’s important to steer clear of love bombers.

A man and a woman stand in the middle of the road with heart balloons behind them
Warning Signs of Love Bombing

Why Is Love Bombing So Dangerous?

Love bombing can cause actual psychological harm to the person on the receiving end.

Despite its initial presentation, it is actually a form of emotional abuse because the entire purpose of love bombing is to manufacture connection. As soon as that trust is established, the love bomber’s behavior changes entirely.

1. It can lead to codependency.

Positive attention and affection can feel like a drug.

In some cases, love bombing creates such a strong emotional bond between the love bomber and their target that the latter starts to become dependent on the bomber’s affection and approval.

This dependency can make it difficult for the target to leave the relationship, even when they recognize signs of toxicity or abuse.

2. It’s manipulative.

All of that intense affection and attention given during the love bombing phase of a relationship are not genuine expressions of love. They are manipulation tactics used to control the other person.

They’re showering you with attention in the hopes that you’ll let your guard down easily and trust them before they’ve earned it. That’s when they make their move.

3. It’s often the starting point of more abusive behavior.

Love bombing can be a precursor to other forms of psychological manipulation and abuse, such as gaslighting, where the target is made to question their own reality.

Manipulative people will sometimes flip-flop between the two.

They’ll love bomb for a period of time to gain your trust, and then shift their behavior once they feel like you’ve become dependent on their affection.

That’s when the lying and gaslighting starts. If at any point you start to catch on and pull away, they come back even stronger with love bombing, and round and round you go.

It’s incredibly confusing and disorienting.

4. It’s hard to move on from love bombing.

Recovering from love bombing can be difficult and emotionally taxing. You’re left struggling with feelings of betrayal, confusion, and loss once you realize the true nature of the relationship.

This can impact your ability to trust others and form healthy relationships in the future.

I’ve been love-bombed and then abruptly ghosted on, and I can tell you it was months before I could even attempt to put myself back out there again. I questioned myself constantly. Why did it happen? What signs did I miss? Was there something wrong with me?

Nobody should have their world rocked and shattered like that.

So how do you know if it’s love bombing and not genuine kismet? There are signs you can look out for.

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, as well as an excellent video explainer.

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 is 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, and 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 you’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. And if they can’t accept healthy boundaries at the start of the relationship, that’s a big red flag, too. (More on that in a minute.)

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 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.

A man love bombs a woman by showering her with compliments at dinner as she smiles at him

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.

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.

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.

Any time a person is quick to test boundaries or refuses to take things slow, take it as a warning sign and an indication that it’s time to end things before they get out of hand.

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.

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