Love Bombing Is the Dating Red Flag You Need to Know About

Have you ever had someone make it clear that they’ve fallen in love with you on a first date? Don’t trust it. They were probably love bombing you. While some people really do know that they’ve found “the one” at first glance, the truth is that love at first sight is rare. What’s more, a person who is genuinely interested in pursuing a relationship with you is going to make sure these feelings are both real and reciprocated before making any dramatic announcements. People who love bomb try to rush a relationship forward by talking about romantic vacations, meeting the family, and ring sizes before the appetizers even arrive. What makes love bombing especially hard to call out is that it sometimes feels amazing. That’s precisely why you need to learn how to sniff out love bombing.

What Is Love Bombing?

“Love bombing is the presence of excessive communication at the beginning of a romantic relationship in order to obtain power and control over another’s life as a means of narcissistic self-enhancement,” according to researchers. Love bombing happens when a person attempts to lure you in by “bombing” you with affection, attention, flattery, gifts, and big promises. It’s a common tactic used by manipulative and narcissistic people that is designed to disarm you, make you get attached, and isolate you from others until they have you under their full control. In other words, they want to become your personal cult leader.

Love bombers often wrap you up in a whimsical, whirlwind love fantasy that eventually turns into an isolating, abusive nightmare that leaves you questioning your own judgment at every turn. Why do love bombers do it? Most feel that the only way they can “keep” a partner is by controlling them. They see “promising you the world” as a way to worm their way into your heart before taking complete control to ensure that you never leave. People with insecure relationship attachment styles may also resort to love bombing out of fear of being left by a partner.

What Are the Signs of Love Bombing?

Something that makes love bombing complex is that it can actually be hard to tell the difference between the excitement of being in a new relationship and the frenzied, delusional promises of love bombing. After all, it’s normal to feel like we’re being swept off our feet when we’re falling in love. Here are some signs that you’re being love bombed:

  • This person is making grandiose promises when they barely know you. They are saying they want to fly you to Europe, buy you a home, or cover some of your bills.
  • They are trying to move things along too quickly. Are they already talking about having you meet their parents after only knowing you for a few hours?
  • They want to be with you all the time in a way that makes you feel guilty about having boundaries.
  • They are constantly talking about wanting to “spoil you” or “take care of you.”
  • They tell you that you are “meant to be together” before even knowing you.
  • They constantly check on you under the guise of being “worried” about you.
  • They act angry when you make plans with others.
  • They try to get you to make a commitment to them very prematurely in the relationship.
  • They have been caught snooping through your things, stealing your passwords, or doing other things to violate your privacy.

Love bombers can range from unhealthy to dangerous. While love bombing can feel good at first, ignoring the signs can allow the situation to escalate to an abusive place. In many cases, the victim of the love bomber has been so stripped of their sense of reality by the time the abuse hits high gear that they don’t know how to get away. If you have concerns about your relationship, it’s always helpful to talk with a therapist. If you’re currently in a relationship that feels unsafe, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or text “START” to 88788.