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May's Hot Topic - Love Bombing

Each month, I post a hot topic to my social media accounts. These posts are about topics that I have seen all over social media and come with little explanation. These hot topic posts are to given accurate explanations and background to the topic to ensure they don't become the next victim of broken telephone. Well, at least this is my contribution to that not happening.

This month's topic is LOVE BOMBING.

"Love bombing is when an individual uses a tactic of giving large amounts of attention and affection to someone they are romantically pursuing as a way to present an ideal image of themselves" - Lori Bethea

What does love bombing look like?

Initially as you are getting to know this person in the early stage of the relationship, it can feel like you may have found the perfect person. Someone who not only appears to be very interested in you, but also someone who showers you with attention (online or in-person), validation, love, gifts, experiences etc. But once your trust is gained and you begin to feel deeply appreciated and love by this person, they begin to use more obvious forms of manipulation, codependency and scheming to what they want.

What is the point love bombing?

As the recipient, love bombing tends to feel good, and maybe even comforting. Love bombing makes the recipient feel a sense of intense unity and loyalty from the person. Recipients get a boost of dopamine and endorphins, because this individual makes us feel special, needed, loved, valuable and worthy - which are all components which assist in increasing our self-esteem and feelings of self-worth.

What else should I know about love bombing?

Love bombing is often not something the individual knows they are doing. They don't get up in the morning and plans to love bomb that day. The behaviour of Love bombing is largely done at an unconscious level. This behaviour that the individual uses has proven to be successful in gaining what they want and they may use it unknowingly.

What are some of the signs of love bombing?

  • Saying “I want to spend all of my time with you"

  • Saying "I want to spoil you"

  • Non-stop messaging throughout the day

  • Intense and excessive attention

  • Intense commitment form the get go

  • Liking every post on your social media in one sitting

  • Calling/texting throughout the day, or frustration when you don't reply immediately

  • Showering you with gifts etc

  • Premature commitment (wanting to move in quickly, promise of marriage and children in the first few months etc)

  • Premature "I love you's" or pressure to say "I love you"

  • Negative reactions if you don't give them constant attention

What if I am love bombing?

You might be love bombing and not even know it. If you are feeling insecure or have a desperate need to shower your partner with attention and gifts in order to get their attention, it's important to unpack this area of yourself.

Some questions we can ask ourselves:

  • Am I smothering my partner to cling onto the relationship?

  • Am I compensating for my mistreatment from a past partner?

  • Am I fearful of my partner breaking up with me?

  • Do I fear abandonment or being alone?

  • Are there other ways I can show love without breaking my partner's boundaries?

What now?

  • Reach out to an HPCSA registered mental health practitioner (Registered Counsellor, Psychologist, or Psychiatrist)

  • Chat to someone you love about it

  • Bring this conversation to your partner to establish where boundaries are being crossed

  • Draw boundaries with yourself

Reach out

Reach out to me for a free 15 minute consultation to see if counselling is right for you.

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