What separates love bombing from just regular honeymoon feelings is an abrupt switch—one moment they may be totally idealizing their partner, and the next, they’ll cut them down to size in an effort to control them.
Love bombing is largely an unconscious behavior. It’s about really getting the other person. Then when they feel like they really got the person and they feel secure in the relationship, the narcissist typically switches and becomes very difficult, abusive, or manipulative.
Since the immediate emotional response to love bombing is feeling appreciated and flattered—because it’s human nature to want to be accepted and loved, it’s hard to understand why love bombing is a negative thing.
1. Your partner makes you believe you could do “better”
It’s normal for your partner to want the best for you, but that doesn’t mean criticizing everything in your life in the name of “helping you out. A love-bomber expresses what they love about you by placing you on a high pedestal, but when they want more of your attention, they’ll knock down people or things in your life to make you believe you deserve more.
2. You receive expensive gifts—and know how much they cost
Of course, giving gifts isn’t inherently bad—it’s one of the five love languages, after all. But rather than spoiling you just because, a love-bomber will make you feel indebted. Love-bombers view gift-giving as an exchange, meaning they give to get.
3. Your partner may make you believe you did something wrong (when you haven’t)
Narcissists who love-bomb use this tactic to make you feel guilty or confused. They’ll make you believe that you are responsible for their poor boundaries or behavior. Since they haven’t developed a strong sense of self, any uncomfortable emotions, like fear of not being liked or loved, can feel intolerable. Making this discomfort your fault makes it your responsibility to fix.
Being aware of these signs of love-bombing can help you get out of the relationship sooner than later. Because the truth of the matter is if it feels too good to be true, it probably is. You can save yourself from a potentially abusive relationship.