Love-bombing: Not exactly a love story


The act of showering people with attention isn’t something new under the sun. Neither does the term “love bombing”. A little too similar with arse-kissing, it has the purpose of swaying the target into a relationship deal they never intended to sign.

I woke up with eyes bloodshot at 5.20 AM and funnily, the first thing that popped up in my mind was the meeting I had that afternoon with friends from our children’s school. Was I overdoing it with the nice words, was I complimenting too much? Was I love-bombing some of them there? Wait a minute, Naah, that’s not love-bombing, or was it?

Dr. Amelia Kelley, Ph.D., a trauma-informed therapist and co-author of What I Wish I Knew: Surviving and Thriving After an Abusive Relationship said the action occurs at the early stage of the relationship. It can happen again at times someone tried to regain affection from their partner. Love bombing does not take place only in romantic partnerships but in other forms of relationships such as friendship, working environments, and even family. The success of this manipulative scheme is often followed by intimidation, even abusive behavior by the perpetrator. So, if you’re wondering whether what happened last week with friends or others is a love-bombing, check out below signs.


Raining cats and dogs of attentions

On first meet-up, people we find chemistry with, would still take things slow to get to know each other. We tend to make more observations as a careful step in diving into the details. A lot of the time, the efforts of making the impression doesn’t exactly fit the frame of our comfort in being genuinely close to someone. 

In love bombing, the case is not that complicated. It is more simplified. Rarely, love-bombers is a regular person you think they are. In reality, they can pursue different short-term goals of the game. They can also be a narcissist, someone with a borderline personality disorder, or other traits that contradict the characters of an everyday-individual. The type of approach they implement can be inexplicably rushed and hasty. Since the excitement of intense feel good emotions from the attention are being drench all over, it can sometimes obscure their intention. Here are some of the so-called efforts of love-bombing. 

  • The over-the-top compliments

Related with breadcrumbing, they made you feel special in just a few moments of extra compliments. An effort of bringing out the best of you almost on a worship level. Some people felt awkward at this, but some find the love-bomber to have a particular interest in them and make them feel good about themselves. If you sense there’s a drop of this kind of notion, take one step back and surround yourself with a group of people, instead of just one.

  • The forced intimacy as an obvious love bombing act

Suddenly he leaned his body next to you after 10 minutes of conversation. Wiping the invisible stain on your chin, or fix a few strands of hair dangling on your face. Too much impulse of intimacy can leave us feeling blushed at first. Eventually, when this display of affection is played excessively, it will provoke your gut in telling something is weird.

  • Constant attention

They make sure they don’t let you go by a day without their surveillance. Even if it means texting all night and day and moving on to frequent phone calls just to make sure your day goes on involving them on your mind. The progress in committing is constant and seems too easy to believe. Words unfolding of promises and sweet exchange of nothing but love gestures. There is guilt in even wanting just to have time for yourself.

  • Making demands 

They say the path to making connections and weaving a bond is through doing kindness or favors for others. Well, a narcissist would feel entitled to ask you for insignificant demands on a fast track. It could happen more than once, twice, and possibly endless. It’s going to be either smooth or irresistible because at this stage you already developed feelings for him. You will be a grueling sport for him, and ‘saying no’ is far from easy, darling. The less you granted his wishes, the more they will start showing you who they are. 


The surprise that pays for all of the affection

Feeling like a princess in a castle? Showered with so much love just like a fairy tale. Indeed, fairy tales are about to reach their final scene. As you are about to witness surprises that came afterward. Once the love-bomber had the assurance that they tied your heart, the twist erupts almost immediately. No more small kind gestures of attention, a loving good morning, or an intense quality time. They vanished along with the appearance of demands, boundaries obstructions, and even, violations of privacy.

Running away from love-bombing 

Either now or later on, several ways are possible for you to cut the sick cycle that trapped you in their web of manipulation. First, take a deep realization of which stage are you on in the relationship? Did you manage to catch this act early on? If so, grab a handful of occupying work in your hands, because what keeps you busy keeps you away from them. Take a short course, find a new art community, apply for a side job, or planned a long, good getaway with your friends. The space to run away is still so wide and plenty of corners to hide from them. 

But if it looks like you might have flown onto a higher stage of ‘entanglement’ with them, the first step is to embrace yourself. Forgive yourself for falling into these life-suckers. Understand that you might feel overwhelmed or even incapacitated in releasing yourself from the relationship in the beginning. That the road is going to be dark, and bumpy. For a start, solicit as much support system as possible to help you along the way. You might be feeling despaired or ashamed of finding yourself running back to him all over again. Excuse yourself for this. To break a solid chain of a long relationship, even when abusive, it is completely human to stumble in the procedure more than once. In the end, only patience, conviction and perseverance remained to be your guide towards the end of the tunnel. 

Author: Fraya

A writer and entrepreneur with profound interest in humankind research and insights. An avid coffee drinker and book hoarder. Hours and days spent in Jakarta.


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