What is it and how to avoid: Love Bombing
By openly advertising romantic interests and desires, your signalling to narcissists and social predators your easiest targets for manipulation. Once interacting, social predators utilise psycho-social techniques such as “love bombing” for manipulation through flattery and trust-building.
Love bombing is the practice of overwhelming someone with signs of early adoration and attraction. Flattering comments, wake up texts, notes on the mirror, table or more often in text, and of course tokens of affection. The “bombs” increase in frequency as they do romantic vehemence. Surprise appearances are designed to signal spontaneity, affection, devotion and care. Coincidentally manipulating you into spending more time with the bomber, and less with others.
Flattery into submission.
Everyone wants to be loved until they feel stalked. The thought of being told how mesmerising you are can be intoxicating, at first. When you begin to question how great a match you really are, and comments are used to keep your focus on him or her, diverting you from wandering eyes and doubtful mind. Efforts to keep you tethered can be the first signs of a love bomber.
Flattery and utmost attentiveness are used as tools to position oneself as the optimal partner. Gaining trust, affection and ultimately, adoration while avoiding detection. While it is normal to be excited at every glance, touch, meeting or message at the start of a new relationship, when something is moving too fast, it can be a little creepy. Individuals trained in love-bombing, see others and an object to satisfy the desire for connection and manipulation.
True love or love bombing: how to tell?
The saying goes, if something is too good to be true, it probably is. When something is moving to fast, or appears too perfect, or has a power imbalance it may be signs of love bombing. To avoid this bring your partner upon it. Tell them how you feel and that its moving too fast. If they listen, there may be a reason to give them and the relationship a chance. If they disregard your feelings and try to excuse away their smothering behaviour its a sign there will only be less freedom and more manipulation if the relationship carries on.
When seeking a partner, be aware. Love bombers and other manipulators are highly skilled at putting on the mask that their target will find the most attractive. While healthy romances do happen - if you’re feeling like you’re in a whirlwind of attention that unsettling, have a conversation. If they don't change their behaviour, move on, and shop around for your next love.