It’s not easy to spot love bombing. Think of a typical ‘whirlwind romance.’ The love bomber comes off as very charming.
Who wouldn’t fall for someone who seems very attentive and sweet, who feels like you’re soulmate, right?
Everything seems to be too effortless, too perfect….until it isn’t.
If there’s one thing you need to know about love bombers, it’s this: They’re masters of manipulation.
They’ll offer intense love and intoxicating energy to win your heart. But when you feel like you’re up there on a pedestal, that’s when they take you down.
The longer you stay in a relationship with the love bomber, the more you see the abuser’s true colors. What was once overly affectionate is now angry and controlling.
The question is: how do you differentiate genuine affection from false intimacy? Here are some of the traits that show your new partner is most likely a love bomber.
1) They’re flattery experts
“You’re unlike anyone else I’ve ever met.”
“You’re beautiful in every aspect of the word.”
“I’ve never loved anyone as much as you. We’re born for each other.”
Let’s face it: We can’t help but feel all giddy inside when our partner says nice things about us. But trust your gut when it says that something sounds too good to be true or over the top.
It’s normal to compliment each other as the relationship unfolds, but you’ve got to think twice if your new partner’s flattery feels too overwhelming.
Ask yourself: “Can my new partner give me these compliments when they barely know the real me?”
“Do they genuinely care about me, or do these compliments seem shallow and insincere?”
2) They seem materialistic
Does your new partner surprise you with flowers every week? Do they lavish you with jewelry, perfume, clothes, and even luxury vacations?
Be very wary if they shower you with grand gestures early in the relationship. If they’re spending an immense amount of money on you, it may be a sinister move to gain control.
Expensive gift-giving is a surefire sign of grandiose love bombing, which is intended to draw you in quickly and sweep you off your feet.
The ultimate goal of this love bombing trick, however, is to make you feel indebted to your partner.
Sooner or later, you’ll find they don’t take no for an answer. Worse, they’ll make you feel bad by emphasizing just how much money they spent on you.
3) They’re clingy
Being checked up on by a new partner is sweet, but if they call or text you every minute of the day, it’s something else entirely.
Do they text multiple times in a row and reach out more than you respond? Do they call you repeatedly to ask you where you are and why you aren’t getting back to them?
These may be love bombing tactics to get you hooked.
And if they share too much too quickly, want to talk constantly, and want to know everything to a creepy extent, that probably isn’t love.
You may feel like they’re making you a priority but the reality is, they feel obsessed with you.
4) They’re jealous of your family and friends
During the early stages of a relationship, it’s understandable to feel like spending every moment with your new partner. And for a short time, you might even do that.
But when your partner starts making unreasonable demands regarding your time, take it as a warning.
Do you feel like what you give never seems to be enough for your partner even though you’ve put so much time and energy into your relationship? Do you feel like you rarely have time for your family and friends?
If your partner gets upset, or worse, punishes you for making plans with family and friends, that’s a sign of control.
This brings me to my next point ….
5) They’re possessive
Simply put: Love bombing is clingy behavior taken to extreme levels. This may happen when your new partner…
- Wants you all to themselves and makes you feel guilty about seeing other people
- Stalks your social media or monitors your whereabouts
- Makes you feel like you have to give up many things just to earn their love and affection
- Threatens to end the relationship when you try to set boundaries
- Starts a malicious campaign to turn you against your family and friends
6) They pressure you to commit
If your new partner seems to be moving too quickly and everything about the relationship happens too much too soon, it’s a clear sign of love bombing.
Does your new partner offer keys to a home or ask you to move in with them just a few weeks after being together?
Do they pressure you into public displays of affection or push you to define the relationship despite having known each other for only a short time?
Do they talk about marriage very early on in the relationship? Chances are, your new partner wants to secure the relationship quickly because they fear that you might reconsider or pursue other options.
7) They’re manipulative
Keep in mind that love bombing is a manipulative tactic that abusers use to win you over. In other words, it’s control dressed up as love.
Think about this for a minute: Does your new partner…..
- Deny things even when you present them with evidence to the contrary?
- Do something wrong and tell you they only did it because they love you?
- Tell you that no one can ever love you but them?
- Invalidate your feelings and tell you “You’re crazy,” “You’re paranoid,” or “You’re too sensitive?”
All of these are signs that a love bomber is making you question your sanity and reality and making you feel guilty every time you question their intent.
8) They’re disrespectful
One of the best ways to differentiate a love bomber from a real lover is to see how they react when you say ‘no.’
If your new partner listens to you and respects your need for time and space, then that’s a good sign.
But if they don’t respect, tolerate, or even ask about your boundaries, it’s a sign of love bombing.
And it can get worse: They can criticize you, become passive-aggressive, or have an outburst when you set boundaries they don’t like.
9) They’re inconsistent
Does your new partner’s behavior always seem to not match their words? It’s a glaring sign of love bombing.
The larger the discrepancy between your new partner’s behaviors, the more likely you are dealing with a love bomber.
The thing is, you would really want to believe that your new partner means every word they say. But you’ll know that something’s up when they promise the stars and the moon and everything in between but never keep even the smallest of commitments.
If they’re overwhelming you with love and affection one minute and then putting you down the next, you might be experiencing love bombing.
10) They’re abusive
The reddest of flags happens when your new partner starts showing extremely toxic reactions, particularly when they become physically violent.
Here’s the deal: A love bomber would almost always intentionally confuse you with the back and forth of excessively kind and hurtful behavior.
They would consistently belittle, upset, threaten, and even harm you and then tell you how much they love you or shower you with exaggerated affection and grand gestures in an attempt to get your forgiveness and regain your trust.
Don’t ignore your inner voice telling you that you don’t feel safe in the relationship.
What to do if you’re being love bombed
Ultimately, the truth will come out. More often than not, the hardest part is accepting that you’ve been love bombed.
Be kind and patient with yourself. Take a step back to gain an objective perspective.
When you can, talk to your partner about how you’re feeling. Depending on your new partner’s response, the relationship may still improve.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to your support system — family, friends, professionals — to help you navigate your experience.
Most importantly, don’t be afraid to let go of a toxic partner and relationship.
If you feel that your new partner isn’t doing anything to change the relationship dynamic for the better, then it’s time to decide for yourself if it’s worth sticking around for the downs.
No relationship is worth it if it makes you lose your sense of self.