Love bombing is a phrase that’s becoming more prevalent as awareness of narcissism and associated behaviours increases.  It occurs when your partner showers you with extreme displays of affection and admiration in an attempt to influence you and, ultimately, achieve their own goals. 

It’s not unusual for love bombing to happen very soon after meeting someone. It might not feel problematic at first. In fact, it may make you feel very special. But it’s important to know that love bombing is one of the signs to look out for if you think you might be in a relationship with a narcissist. It’s often the precursor to other toxic behaviours such as manipulation and gaslighting.

If you’re unsure how to differentiate love bombing from the excitement and passion of a new relationship, here are several red flags to look out for. 

Excessive compliments

Whilst compliments and displays of affection should be part of a healthy relationship; if you find that your partner is constantly flattering you to the point of overwhelm, this could be a warning sign. Love bombing compliments are often extreme and exaggerated and may leave you feeling uncomfortable after receiving them. 

It’s very easy to overlook the warning signs because narcissists are so good at playing the part of an adoring partner. However, there’s a big difference between compliments paid with the sole aim of making you feel good and those that are used as a tool to earn your trust. 

Grand gestures

The odd grand gesture can be a lovely experience, but narcissists can quickly take things too far. They might use expensive and extravagant gifts to prove how good a partner they are and to make you feel guilty or obliged to stay with them or isolate yourself from friends and family. 

If you question their abusive behaviour, a narcissistic partner will likely remind you of the grand gestures they’ve made, leaving you feeling guilty and utterly indebted to them. 

Fast-paced commitments

A love-bomber might introduce you to friends and family early in the relationship.

Narcissists are prone to saying ‘I love you’ or calling you their ‘soulmate’ very quickly, wanting to progress the relationship at a pace you’re uncomfortable with but unable to refuse. Before you know it, they might be asking you to move in together or even proposing marriage. 

Overwhelming intensity

A love bomber will often want to engage in public displays of affection, regardless of whether or not you feel comfortable with them. They’re intensely charming when they want to be, but their behaviour can quickly become overwhelming. 

If you notice that your partner’s affection is either all or nothing, this could be a sign of love-bombing. 

Lack of boundaries

Narcissists will often want to be with you all the time. Whilst this can make you feel wanted and appreciated at first, it can become controlling and oppressive further down the line. After all, boundaries are an intrinsic part of a healthy relationship. 

Your partner might make you feel guilty for wanting to spend time apart, playing the victim to isolate you from your friends and family. Even when you’re not together, they might constantly call and text you to exert control. 

If you recognise the signs of being in a narcissistic relationship, Harrogate Family Law is here to support you. We understand how difficult it can be to escape emotional abuse, and our expert team has years of experience helping clients divorce or separate from a narcissist, so don’t hesitate to contact us for a friendly chat about your options.

Take the first step towards a better future, and contact us today.