A love bomber’s goal is to make you feel dependent and obligated to that person, says Ruchita Sud, relationship expert at Aisle, a dating app for Indians.
If you think your partner is too good to be true, think again, as they just might be.
Unhealthy relationships often feel like the most wonderful romance of your life, but they soon become something you don’t even recognise.
If your partner belittles you and then begs for your forgiveness, promises never to repeat it with overly grand gestures but repeats the cycle, you are being love bombed.
Love bombing occurs when someone ‘bombs’ you with an extreme display of affection and attention by presenting an idealised image of themselves.
A love bomber’s goal is to make you feel dependent and obligated to that person.
Psychologists describe it as a manipulative tactic by a partner in an attempt to control the other.
While most assume it happens at the onset of a relationship, it can also occur with couples after a breakup or a fight.
Here are ten tell-tale red flags to help you figure out if you are being love-bombed:
1. Excessive attention and flattery
Someone paying you excess attention in a manner that consumes you is a major red flag of love bombing.
A love bomber will take extreme interest in not just you, but your family, friends, colleagues, career and hobbies.
They will tell you all the right things you want to hear, making you feel like you are the only one for them.
2. Isolation from family and friends
Your partner wanting to hijack all your time is definitely a red flag.
Love bombers do that to eventually isolate you from your family and friends, giving them complete control over you.
They will make you cancel plans with your circle, say bad things about your friends, and get angry at you for prioritising others over them.
3. Over-the-top gifts
All grand gestures at the start of a relationship should be considered red flags.
Showering you with extravagant gifts is a common way for love bombers to exert influence over you.
Even if they don’t have the money, they may act like they do.
At times they will use this as a reason to assure you of their love and blackmail you. It is all part of the act to overwhelm and sweep you off your feet.
4. Emotional and mental abuse
If your partner makes you uneasy, they are not suitable for you.
Often, being in a relationship with a love bomber generates the feeling of fear and self-doubt.
It could be fear of being punished or fear of losing them.
Love bombers have a way of confusing you and blaming things on you, making it look like it’s all your fault.
Because of constant gaslighting, you will start second-guessing yourself. You may also experience depression and anxiety.
5. Constant communication
A love bomber will bombard you with phone calls and texts and message you over social media 24*7.
The conversations will generally feel one-sided and become increasingly overwhelming.
Such people need constant reassurance, so when they text you, they will demand to receive prompt responses, failing which, they will lash out at you.
6. Social media validation
It’s a red flag if your partner wants you to make your relationship public on social media very early on.
Once you go public, they will constantly shower you with physical and digital affection.
They will ensure your circle knows how caring they are towards you.
This form of love bombing is a gaslighting set up to make you seem like a jerk to your friends once you try to pull away.
7. Rush things too fast
A love bomber will pressure you into rushing things and making big plans for the future.
At the very onset of courting them, they will propose a relationship, casually mention marriage or mention moving in and starting a life together. It will all feel too good to be true!
8. Overly needy and manipulative
Love bombers will manipulate you to get what they want.
They will get upset about any boundaries you set or any cross-questioning of their behaviour.
No matter how much time you give them, it will never be enough. They will make you feel obligated to respond to their wishes and demands at any hour of the day.
9. Switching behaviour
Love bombers alternate between being kind one minute and cruel the next.
They are savvy enough to be loving in public so that others think you are in a great relationship with them. But they turn abusive, especially in private.
10. Emotional swinging
As someone in a relationship with a love bomber, it becomes difficult for you to question them.
Anytime you do, you go on a roller coaster ride of emotions and mind games, leaving you exhausted.
Over time, you start to believe you are the reason for everything, not them.
As a result, you start underplaying your own feelings and justify their behaviour due to intense attachment forged early on.
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