Love Bombing: What it is and how to protect yourself against it

love bombing
Photo: CC0 / Pixabay / StockSnap

Love bombing sounds romantic to some of us – after a lot of affection, love and attention. However, it actually describes a manipulative behavior that is intended to make the other person dependent.

What is love bombing?

Because love bombing can lead to an emotional addiction, it is commonly considered to be manipulation technique. Love bombing is usually characterized by the fact that quite early in a relationship, one person is showered with supposed love, affection, attention, compliments and often gifts by the other. The aim of this is to build up a strong emotional bond and dependency as quickly as possible. Also, love bombing doesn’t just happen in romantic relationships—it can also happen in platonic or more familial relationships.

The process of love bombing usually drags on a few weeks to a few months. Once the other person feels that their partner is trusting, the love bombing phase ends and the relationship usually takes one of two directions:

  • For one thing, the relationship may end abruptly and one-sidedly. When a person cuts off contact unexpectedly and permanently, that’s called “ghosting”.
  • Alternatively, Love Bombing can also become a toxic relationship to lead. When this is the case, the ebb and flow of love bombing is usually repeated within the relationship. This means that the affected person feels a loss of love or attention if they do not behave according to their partner’s ideas.

Who runs Love Bombing and why?

Love Bombing usually feels extraordinarily good for the first few weeks – just like someone is head over heels in love with you.
Love Bombing usually feels extraordinarily good for the first few weeks – just like someone is head over heels in love with you.
(Photo: CC0 / Pixabay / StockSnap)

Researchers were able to find out that the manipulation technique of love bombing is often used by people and also increasingly by men who narcissistic personality traits have or on fear of commitment To suffer.

The researchers found that people with narcissistic traits use love bombing and the relationship in general to increase their own self-esteem. Especially during the getting-to-know-you phase, when there is still no deeper closeness and connection, people with fear of commitment use Love Bombing for themselves.

The perpetrators of love bombing, for example, look for victims with a lower self-consciousness who are more likely to become addicts, or people who have been hurt before. In addition, people who are very caring, empathetic or helpful are also often victims of love bombers.

How to Spot Love Bombing: 5 Signs

If you're being showered with gifts to an unhealthy degree, it could be love bombing.
If you’re being showered with gifts to an unhealthy degree, it could be love bombing.
(Photo: CC0 / Pixabay / JillWellington)

Love bombing can manifest itself in a number of ways. We’ve rounded up five of the signs that are particularly typical, according to sources like the New York Times:

1. Showering gifts: “generosity”

Does your partner or the person you are just getting to know shower you with gifts such as flowers, vouchers or trips fairly quickly or to an exaggerated extent? This could be a sign of love bombing.

2. A lot of attention

Is your new partner always trying to call you or texting you? Does the person want to spend time with you all the time? Is it even getting to you or do you feel like you are neglecting your friends and family because of this new connection? This could also be a sign of love bombing, the person could try to make themselves the center of your life and possibly separate you from your social environment.

3. Many demands

Your partner demands that you spend a lot of time with them and that things get very serious very quickly. They might even expect you to commit to them.

4. Requesting Your Confirmation

Do you feel like you have to keep reassuring your new partner about your feelings? Does the person also generally demand a lot of confirmation from you – to an almost excessive extent? This can be another sign of love bombing.

5. Future Faking: Supposed planning for the future

The last possible sign of love bombing is the so-called future faking. With future faking, the person is trying to give you the impression of planning a future with you. Your partner usually adapts to your future plans to give you the feeling that you are a particularly good match and that you can be happy together in the future. He or she does not plan, if it is love bombing, but in reality not that future.

Important: If you notice these signs in the relationship, it could be love bombing, but it doesn’t have to be. Therefore, pay attention to how early the signs appear, with what frequency and also with what intensity. Especially if you notice such signs and general declarations of love after just a few meetings, you should be suspicious. Also, keep in mind that love bombing can also happen when a person tries to win you over, even if you’re not in a relationship yet — or maybe you’re not even interested.

This is what you can do against Love Bombing

If you’ve recognized many of the signs in your relationship and feel like you’ve been affected by love bombing, you can do the following:

  • Distance yourself from the person: Try to distance yourself from the person so that you are no longer under their influence.
  • Set limits: In the course of this, also actively set boundaries, show the person why you need these boundaries.
  • Look for an open conversation: If you’ve distanced yourself and set boundaries, try to engage in conversation with the person as well. Address why you distanced yourself and set the boundaries, and see how the person reacts. If the person really cares about you, they should accept that and not expect you to constantly push your boundaries.
  • Talk to someone: Also, try talking to an outside person you trust, such as a friend or family. Explain the situation to them and how you are feeling. You may also ask for their help if you feel you need it.


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