Typically, the person you start to date can’t get enough of you. They send you lavish praise and gifts and want to spend every waking moment making you feel good and fulfilled. Once they have you, they can’t be bothered with your existence, which leaves you an empty shell *no pun intended* for them to use and abuse.
But, now that we understand how to avoid love bombing ourselves, it is important that we also help you understand how to avoid love bombing in our partners.
Love bombing is a terrifying form of emotional abuse because most of us don’t even know it is happening. If your boyfriend or girlfriend brings you home a box of chocolates or flowers, you might just think, “wow, what a sweet guy/girl.”
It’s romantic and intended to make you fall in love. What’s wrong with that? If they are being genuine, nothing. But if their intent behind this sweet gesture is to reign control over you, this is something to steer clear of.
Knowing the common signs to look for in love bombing saves you the heartache and stops the cycle of abuse, my dears.
1. They are self-disclosed right up front
Someone who is love bombing you lets you into their personal world way too quickly and very early on in the courtship. When we start dating, we usually keep certain personal things under lock and key. Keeping our distance is a way to stop ourselves from being vulnerable.
Someone set on love bombing you will seemingly let you into every aspect of their world, real or fake, to have you feeling like you have a special and strong bond even before it’s possible.
If they tell you intimate details, you are likely to do the same. And then bam, they have all the ammo they need to manipulate you going forward. If they are getting into TMI territory too quickly, that is a red flag, and you could be getting hooked by a narcissist.
2. They can’t get enough of you
In a relationship, it’s normal to have this honeymoon phase where you can’t get enough of each other. But, in most relationships starting out, there are specific rules about how much of the like we let out.
It’s not just about playing hard to get. Most people don’t want to seem too eager or go overboard in fear that they’ll scare their partner away. [Read: What makes someone a player? 21 sly signs of a player’s mind]
However, a love bomber acts like they simply can’t hold back. They must have you. So, if your love interest comes on too strong or is too infatuated, they convince you that it is just that they can’t help themselves. They just know you are the one they can’t live without.
3. They talk about bringing you home to their family/the future on the second date
Most people who enter into relationships do so with caution. You don’t want to freak someone out by telling them you see a future with them, or that your kids will look so cute, on the first date! They proceed in a normal way, taking steps that seem logical.
If someone is love bombing you, there are no steps or stages, as everything seems to be moving super fast. Right up front, they want to introduce you to mom and dad. They talk about moving in together, or where you’ll get married, or how you’ll raise your kids early in the relationship.
Getting you caught up in the idea of being in love instantly is super engaging and puts those who are the victim of love bombing vulnerable by design.
4. They make you feel like you are super special
Sure, you have had people tell you you are hot before, but the love bomber can’t say enough nice things about you. They shower you with an over-the-top amount of affection, attention, flattery, extravagant and expensive gifts, and they adore your every move.
Everything annoying to others in the past is just as cute as can be to the love bomber.
We’re sorry to break it to you but if it annoys everyone else, they don’t find your idiosyncrasies cute. They may be love bombing and just manipulating you to get you on the hook.
5. They make you wonder how they weren’t taken already
When love bombing you, they are so kind and generous and loving that you can’t help but wonder why they haven’t been snatched up before. That is the whole gig. They want you to think they are highly desirable, but the good news is they only want you.
They work hard to make you believe there is something so spectacular about you that they are overcome and wouldn’t normally be so obsessive. What you usually find is a long list of victims in their past. Unfortunately, you don’t find that out until you are already sucked in and questioning everything.
6. They talk about things like soulmates
Okay, we’re not going to go into the whole debate about whether there is truly just one person out there for everyone.
We don’t know if there are truly soulmates, but what we can tell you is that if someone comes on super strong and is telling you on the second date that they must have you and have found their soulmate, then that red flag is so red, it is almost purple.
If there is such a thing as a soulmate, it isn’t about infatuation. It is about a mutual feeling that this is meant to be. If they convince you that things are meant to be, and you don’t feel it instantly too, question the whole thing!
7. Buying your love
In theory, being showered with gifts sounds wonderful. But, it can become overwhelming. Sometimes, a girl just wants to hang out with a guy without any gifts exchanged, ya know?
It might look like someone constantly buying you gifts to impress you is a sweet attempt at gaining your heart, but in reality, that someone is trying to love bomb you.
8. Suffocated with love
Similar to the previous point, if they constantly tell you how great you are, or any variation of the phrase, be wary; you may be getting love bombed. You can only say “thank you” so much in a conversation. Otherwise, it becomes pretty repetitive.
They can appreciate you for the wonderful human being you are, but they need to understand that there is a time and a place for it. Cuddling at night, alone — perfect time. Displays of attention and affection in the middle of a group conversation with your friends? Maybe not so ideal. It’s important to set boundaries in situations like this.
9. They have a history
Ask around. Know who you’re dealing with. If you didn’t know this person before you started dating them, then ask about them. You might find out that they tend to do this with a lot of their previous partners – that may be a sign they are a serial love bomber.
If someone is genuinely interested in you and wants to show their appreciation and love for you, they probably won’t have an avid history of doing the same to countless others. Just a note.
10. Do you really know them?
Sit and think about how many of your conversations have actually been meaningful. Do you know about their childhood, family life, hobbies, job, etc.? If you don’t know anything about them besides their love for expressing their love for you, be careful.
Relationships grow through sharing past experiences and making new ones together — not through constant romantic gestures and “I love you’s.”
11. Do your friends like them?
Your friends know you better than you know yourself, and they also see through your unfortunate taste in romantic partners and identify red flags that may be hard to spot for you.
Introduce them to your friends and see what they think. They will be able to tell if they are genuine or if they are love bombing you and your partner is trying to manipulate you. Friends always know.
12. Constantly talking about the future
Love bombing literally means making you fall for somebody too fast. What better way to do that than to make promises of the future you will share together?
If they constantly want to talk about the future and what you will name your children very early on in the relationship, FLEE.