Love bombing sounds like it’d be a good thing but that’s totally misleading. Instead, it’s all about seduction, manipulation, and control. It’s actually pretty scary because love bombing masquerades as something beautiful and fairy tale-esque… and then stomps all over your heart. Here’s exactly how love bombing goes down.
It’s a bombardment similar to a bomb. The bomb is all about showering the victim with love. The bomber idealizes you and makes you feel like a million bucks. They move things along as quickly as possible by acting like you two are in a long-term relationship after only a few weeks. Then, things turn around and are all followed by a quick crash and burn. It’s like the warmness of the bomb before it blows you to bits!
The cycle is exorbitant interest (including anger), disengaging, then completely discarding. The beginning stage is all about the “love” part of things. You’re being showered with love rapidly and intensely. Also involved in this first stage is the person starting to get angry and act out of control. The next stage is about the perpetrator completely cutting themselves off from you because they’ve decided they’re no longer interested. This stage is immensely painful. Just as painful, though, is the last stage where they completely throw you out. They answer your call once to tell you that they never want to speak to you again. Ouch.
Some early signs of love bombing are excessive versions of normal dating habits. Lots of texting and calling, extravagant gift giving, promises about the future despite just meeting, and unreasonable expectations are all some giant signposts for love bombing. Mixed in these signposts is a ridiculous medley of being totally loving and sweet while also being mean and nitpicky. All of their ways of acting are over dramatic and drawn out.
The goal for the manipulator is to sweep you off of your feet. Your perpetrator wants you to be saying “This person is the one!” after just a few dates. They want you to be as absolutely wrapped up in them as possible. It’s a big ego trip for them, so the higher they can get you, the higher they feel. Also, the greater you think they are, the more control they can have over you.
It’s all about manipulation and control for them. The problem with this dating bomb is that it appears to be lovely at first. Though, this is all done for a reason—so that the perpetrator can have as much control and manipulation over you as possible. For example, the manipulator is wildly insecure, so they use your insecurities against you to make them feel better. Feeling better than you gives them a sick sense of control. Then, they can go back to being loving and sweet.
Anger comes up even before the discarding happens. Although it’s definitely love and fireworks for a short time at first, things quickly get heated. That man you thought was totally wonderful is all of a sudden completely freaking out because you said you wanted to go away with your friends. This freakout is often followed by dramatic apologies and makeups, but it happens nonetheless. These incidents may happen many times before your bomber decides to discard you (if you aren’t able to get out on your own before then).
Love bombing is usually done by sociopaths, narcissists, and abusers. The perpetrators of love bombing aren’t your average folks. Rather, they’re people who are sociopaths, narcissists, and abusers. They lose interest at the drop of a hat and are very heartless in their ways when they end the relationship. They’re also accustomed to treating people like sh*t and doing harmful things in relationships without thinking twice about it or feeling any remorse.
Love bombing has historically been used as a murder weapon. As Psychology Today discusses, “Notorious cult leaders Jim Jones, Charles Manson, and David Koresh weaponized love bombing, using it to con followers into committing mass suicide and murder.” That’s absolutely terrifying! This just shows how seriously manipulative and messed up the act of love bombing can be.
The ending often comes as quickly as the beginning. Unfortunately, it’s not always the case—some people are in relationships with these sort of abusers for years. However, usually it happens that the relationship fizzles out about as quickly as it started. It’s often a whirlwind of love love love, anger, love, more anger, then being discarded. These kinds of relationships average only weeks or short months. Nonetheless, they’re immensely painful while they’re happening.
If this happens to you, you’re a victim. After the fact, it’s easy to think things like, “Ugh, I should have known better” or “I’m so stupid,” but the reality is that you were a victim. Sure, moving forward there are now signs that you can look out for, but you were doing the best you could with what you had at the time. These people are master manipulators. They’ve literally been practicing this sh*t their whole life. Don’t beat yourself up. Just be glad if you’ve gotten the hell out of there.