Today is Valentine’s Day, the most romantic day of the year. It is a day when lovers pour out their hearts in love notes, love letters, and love songs. It is also a day when new lovers hope to cement a relationship by rolling out the red carpet to let you know they are all in. But guess what else is happening today? Lots of love bombing! Delivery services are dropping off balloons, boxes of chocolate, and bouquets of flowers to someone who thinks they are genuinely loved when nothing could be further from the truth.
As the title says, bombing you with love is how they trap you. When I began writing about narcissists through the lens of my experience with narcissistic abuse in my family of origin, women came out of the closet with stories of their abusive marriages. Hear me clearly; the last person you want to marry is a narcissist, but you might if you fall into their trap.
So, what is love bombing? Simply put, love bombing is emotional manipulation. To put it even simpler, it is lying and pretending. When somebody is love bombing you, they say everything you want to hear and become everything you need and want them to be. They listen attentively to everything you say in a very caring way with heaps of empathy. Compliments overflow, and there is no shortage of over-the-top gifts for special occasions like birthdays or just because it’s Tuesday. One day you might come home from work to an extravagant arrangement of flowers obstructing your doorway as I did, or you might walk into a suite filled with clothes like Julia Fox did while dating Kanye West. I am not saying he is a narcissist; however, his over-the-top extravagant gift is an example of what could happen during the love-bombing stage of a relationship.
Beyond that, introductions to friends and family come quickly to make you feel special and sweep you off your feet. Beware if he is divorced. Narcissists move on quickly to a new relationship and even a new marriage because they need to make it look like you were the problem. It can’t be them because they found someone new.
Of course, you don’t know that because you think he is madly in love with you when the only person he is in love with is himself. Narcissists do not marry for love. Instead, they marry to keep up an image and get their needs met; sex, home-cooked meals, a well-kept household, someone to have his children, which works well for his image, financial support, etc. He cares nothing about you. All you are to him is narcissistic supply and another person to abuse.
If they meet you at a vulnerable time in your life, for example, when a parent dies, they can really sink their hooks in you by being there to comfort and care for you. Who doesn’t want comfort and care, and who would think it’s calculated? They know what to do and when to do it. It’s all about showing the world what a great guy he is to make you look crazy once you break up with him. So how do you know you are dating a narcissist? One way to know is the speed of the relationship. If it feels rushed, intense, or hot, and heavy, you are probably in dangerous territory. Wikipedia explains it this way:
Psychologist Dale Archer identifies the phases of love bombing with the acronym IDD:” Intense Idealization, Devaluation, Discard (Repeat)” and the process of identifying this behavior pattern as SLL: “Stop, Look, and Listen”; after which breaking off contact with the abuser can become possible by also seeking support from family and friends.
Dale says love bombing is being intensely showered with affection, gifts, and promises for the future with the predator so that the victim feels or believes this is a sign of “love at first sight.” Since such signs of affection and affirmation may meet felt needs and not look harmful at the surface, the excitement of such a new relationship often does not appear as cause for alarm.
I’m sharing this with you on Valentine’s Day because, unfortunately, narcissists take advantage of today. Someone said, “Yes” today to a narcissist. Yikes! In closing, Dale Archer says, The key to understanding how love bombing differs from romantic courtship is to look at what happens next after two people are officially a couple. If extravagant displays of affection continue indefinitely, if actions match words, and there is no devaluation phase, then it’s probably not love bombing. That much attention might get annoying after a while, but it’s not unhealthy in and of itself.
Something to think about…
What say you? Have you ever heard of love bombing? Were you or someone you know the victim of love bombing? How would you protect yourself from it?
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P.S. Kanye has since broken up with Julia and today he sent his ex-wife Kim Kardashian a truck full of red roses.