9 Signs of Narcissist Love Bombing
What’s better than being swept off your feet by passionate and loving words and actions when your first meet someone? Being showered with love and attention in the beginning stages of a relationship feels so good. You don’t want your new relationship’s honeymoon phase ever to end.
Not to spoil the fun, but be on the lookout for excessive expressions of affection and admiration as these might be the signs of love bombing.
What is Love Bombing?
Love bombing is a manipulation strategy that happens when your partner showers you with love, admiration, and attention to gain power over you. While it may feel good, this type of behavior is often associated with narcissism. Such over-the-top love gestures from a narcissist have the goal to indebt you. They serve to manipulate you into a belief that you owe the narcissist something, so they can gain power over you.
A narcissist’s cycle of abuse typically begins with the phase of idealization. Therefore, when you start a relationship with a narcissist, you may feel over the moon as narcissists are often charismatic and charming when you first meet them.
So, your new partner may seem deep in love with you. They may bombard you with expensive gifts, compliments, love calls and messages, passion, and undivided attention. Your narcissistic partner will put you on their love pedestal.
This overabundance of love can be highly intoxicating, making you wonder what you have done to deserve such indescribable happiness. Then, of course, loads of positive attention will make you want more of it. A narcissist knows this. They will give you a hint of what’s to come and then pull back, causing you to feel vulnerable and insecure. So, you will constantly try to meet their need for narcissistic supply for love showers to keep coming.
How Long Does Love Bombing Last?
Narcissist love bombing cycle can last for days, weeks, months, or even years. To be precise, a narcissist will bombard you with love as long as you serve them well as a narcissist supply.
Narcissists are typically obsessed with themselves. They constantly seek reassurance, validation, and admiration, known as narcissistic supply. However, nothing you do is ever enough to boost their ego and make narcissists feel good about themselves.
To ensure a narcissistic supply, narcissists deliberately target people sensitive to their charisma and false promises. So, at the beginning of the love-bombing cycle, they will overwhelm you with intense displays of affection to pull you into a dysfunctional relationship.
However, after some time (and this can be weeks, months, or even years), you will notice some red flags in your relationship. Although it typically begins subtly, a narcissist’s abuse may become more evident as you step into the second stage of a toxic relationship, known as devaluation.
The excessive affection parade will stop at this stage of the love-bombing cycle. Your toxic partner may start devaluing you, using manipulation strategies such as gaslighting, blaming, or controlling more transparently. They will twist the reality, play the victim, and blame you for their problems until you feel completely confused, disoriented, humiliated, and desolate.
At the same time, you will feel utterly dependent on the narcissist, doing whatever it takes to get the validation and attention they once bombarded you with.
9 Signs of Narcissist Love Bombing
Love bombing can be sneaky and difficult to spot like any other manipulation strategy. As a result, you might feel insecure, not knowing whether your partner’s behavior is a genuine expression of intense attraction and affection or narcissistic love bombing.
Although not every excessive exhibition of love and attraction is love bombing, it is helpful to identify various forms of this manipulation tactic.
1) Showering You with Excessive Gifts
A narcissist will lavish you with expensive and extravagant gifts. While this behavior may impress you initially, its purpose is to help a narcissist gain control over you.
2) Getting Upset with Boundaries
Narcissists detest boundaries and will habitually ignore or break them. So, suppose you try to slow down, protect yourself, or show resistance. In that case, they will use various manipulation methods to pull you back into their abuse cycle.
3) Giving Overwhelming Compliments
We all love attention and admiration. So, your partner’s excessive compliments may be flattering in the beginning. However, constant compliments such as “You are the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen” or “You are the only person I want to spend my time with” can be overwhelming.
4) Expecting or Demanding Attention
So, when they compliment you or shower you with gifts, narcissists want something in return. They want recognition and your undivided attention, so they will disregard your boundaries and use manipulation to have you focus on them entirely.
5) Excessive Public Displays
They will use every opportunity to display their affection and admiration publicly.
6) The “Soulmate” Card
A narcissist will shower you with phrases such as, “We are soulmates,” “You are my destiny,” “We were born for each other,” and similar grandiose statements.
7) One-Sided, Constant Communication
They will constantly call, text, or message you. Although you may enjoy constant communication at the beginning of a relationship, love bombing communication is typically one-sided and overwhelming.
8) Causing You Feel Unbalanced
A narcissist’s attention will make you feel insecure and unbalanced, never knowing what to expect from them. At one point, they may pressure you into spending time with them 24/7 only to discard you after some time showing no remorse or empathy.
9) Being Overly Needy
No matter how devoted and committed you are, it never seems to be enough to satisfy your partner’s narcissistic impulses. The toxic person’s love bombing strategies will make you feel obligated to answer their every need.
What To Do If Someone Bombs You
If you suspect that your partner uses love bombing to manipulate and control you, here are a few things you can do to protect yourself:
- Journal about your experiences and feelings – journaling can help you gain a better perspective on your relationship.
- Surround yourself with positive people – friends and family can provide necessary validation and support.
- Seek support – a therapist and/or coach can help you identify the love bombing cycle, set boundaries, and break free from narcissistic abuse.
- Set firm and consistent boundaries.
Not every genuine expression of love and admiration is love bombing. However, if your intuition tells you something is off, follow that feeling to avoid being love-bombed by a narcissist.