Romantic gestures are common at the beginning of a relationship. Proceed with caution—they may be signs of love bombing, a manipulation tactic in disguise.
Maybe you’re not caught up with all the hip lingo. Allow me to describe the signs of love bombing for you. Love bombing is a technique used at the beginning of many relationships to make your partner fall madly in love with you very quickly.
Essentially, someone who love bombs you showers you with gifts and romantic gestures. They make you feel like this person must be your soul mate. Then? Surprise. You’re in love with a monster.
Some say that there is nothing wrong with love bombing because it simply shows your partner that you care about them. It’s the beginning of a new relationship, so naturally they want to “woo” you and make you feel special. But be careful. You might be falling in love with a mask—not the person standing in front of you holding a bouquet of flowers. [Read: How to quickly spot narcissistic traits in a relationship]
Keep the romance alive but watch for signs of love bombing
This is a fine line to walk. It drastically depends on the person you date. My current boyfriend is a very sweet and sensitive guy, and he loves cute little gifts that show my affection.
When we first started dating, I wrote him short love letters on my old typewriter. He still has them. I made him countless things in the past, and he has everything stored in a box under our bed.
Some people don’t and never did appreciate these things from me. I’ve always been a fairly romantic gal, and I’ve written cute notes to my boyfriends in the past. Many of them didn’t seem to understand the gesture at all. Some thought it strange.
So, you see? I think you really need to understand the person you date, because some people adore romantic gestures, while others think you come on too strong.
Identifying the signs of love bombing in your partner
Now that we understand how to avoid love bombing ourselves, it is important to understand how to avoid love bombing in our partners.
Love bombing is terrifying because most of us don’t even know it is happening. If your boyfriend or girlfriend brings you home a box of chocolates or flowers, you might just think “wow what a sweet guy/girl.”
It’s romantic and intended to make you fall in love. What’s wrong with that? If they are being genuine, nothing. But if they manipulate you into falling for them, this is something to steer clear of.
Learning to identify the following signs of love bombing saves you the heartache, my dears.
#1 Buying your love. I once dated a guy that bought me a new gift every day it seemed, which in theory sounds wonderful. It really just became overwhelming. Sometimes a girl just wants to hang out with a guy, without any gifts exchanged, ya know? If it seems like they constantly buy you gifts to impress you, then you might be a victim of love bombing. [Read: The 15 signs of infatuation and not love]
#2 Suffocating with love. Similar to the previous point, if they constantly tell you how great you are, or any variation of the phrase, be wary. You can only say “thank you” so much in a conversation. Otherwise, it becomes pretty repetitive.
They can appreciate you for the wonderful human being you are, but they need to understand that there is a time and a place for it. Cuddling at night, alone—perfect time. In the middle of a group conversation with your friends? Maybe not so ideal.
#3 They have a history… Ask around. If you didn’t know this person before you started dating them, then ask about them. If you find out that they tend to do this with a lot of their previous partners, this may be a sign they are a serial love bomber.
#4 Do you really know them? Sit and think about how many of your conversations have actually been meaningful. Do you know about their childhood, family life, hobbies, job, etc.? If you don’t know anything about them, besides their love for expressing their love for you, be careful.
Relationships grow through sharing past experiences and making new ones together—not through constant romantic gestures and “I love you’s.”
#5 Do your friends like them? Your friends know you better than you know yourself, and they also see through your unfortunate taste in romantic partners way before you do.
Introduce them to your friends and see what they think, because they will be able to tell if they are genuine or if they are love bombing you and trying to manipulate you. Friends always know.
#6 Constantly talking about the future. Love bombing literally means making you fall for somebody too fast. What better way to do that than to make promises of the future you will share together? If they constantly want to talk about the future and what you will name your children, FLEE. [Read: 20 speedy signs your relationship is moving too fast]
#7 They swear you are soul mates. I’m not entirely sure if I believe in soul mates. If I do, and somebody tells me we are soul mates three weeks after we meet, I’m going to be putting up all of my red flags. Honey, my only soul mate is a big plate of nachos at three a.m. when I’ve just come home from the bar.
#8 They worship you. Okay, so in theory, everybody would love to be worshipped. But in reality, it’s just weird. I don’t need somebody following me around showering me with compliments, okay? I’ve got work to do. If you can do no wrong in their eyes, either you’re Beyoncé or a victim of love bombing. There is no in-between, sorry.
#9 They don’t react well to a challenge. When they say things like “We belong together” say “How could you possibly know that?” Or “It’s still pretty early, but so far it is going good.”
This is one of the clearest signs of love bombing and it’s pretty easy to recognize. Love bombers don’t like to be challenged, because they aren’t used to it. Nobody ever questions them. They just fall madly in love with them. Don’t let it happen. Challenge them and see how they react to it. [Read: 14 ways to beat a narcissist and win over their manipulation]
#10 Jealous over nothing. Try going out with some friends one night and see their reaction. If you are a victim of love bombing, they will likely get very jealous and upset with you. “As if you are leaving me alone” may be thrown out there. You’re allowed to go have some fun, and a reasonable partner would understand that.
#11 They are overprotective. Nobody could ever harm you or put you down. They make sure of that. Yes, I understand that our partners should support and stand up for us when necessary. Sometimes it really isn’t necessary. If they go way over the top to defend you, then you might be being love bombed. You can handle yourself, and some things really aren’t worth even defending. [Read: 18 signs you’re being coerced into a controlling relationship]
#12 They are overly “touchy.” I personally hate to be touched. My boyfriend is the same way. We still have our cuddly times, because every relationship needs that and enjoys doing so. We definitely don’t spend all of our free-time stuck to each other’s hips. If all they want to do involves physical touch, take a step back and re-evaluate this relationship.