Love Bombing

Understanding the Narcissist

Love, affection, kindness and gifts are all really normal aspects in a healthy relationship, which is why it’s so hard to distinguish when it’s actually the toxic love bombing of the narcissist instead.

Love bombing is manipulative, it is a tactic of quickly snatching the affection and attention of another human being. The intention is to completely monopolise the other person and sets the groundwork for the abuse and manipulation that follows.

Love bombing can look like being showered with excessive gifts and affection. At first this will feel sweet and wonderful, you will feel grateful and pleased and valued. You will start to rely on the love hormones that your body produces in response to these gifts, you will start to crave it. This is when it turns dark.

He will give with one hand and then snatch it away with the other. He will make unreasonable demands and you will find yourself unable to say no to the requests. Gifts will be thrown back in your face and used to manipulate and blackmail you.

You will be subjected to phrases such as “after all I do for you..” and “seen as I bought this for you, you should do this for me…”.

You will learn that he is only nice to you if you meet his needs first, if you behave the way he expects you to. Eventually, not even then.

At its worst you’ll get to a point where you do everything you can to minimise his nastiness knowing you cannot avoid it fully. You’ll bend over backwards just to stop him from shouting at you for one miserable day.

Love bombing can also look like being excessively concerned with where you are. Let’s say you are in a new relationship and you don’t see each other that often, the conversation naturally moves to where you are and what you are doing.

It can be perfectly innocent. If it starts to feel unnatural, if you start to feel stressed about admitting where you are, or if there is pressure to always report your location or checking in at regular intervals to avoid confrontation, then that’s a sign things are turning toxic.

If I was ever a minute late home from work I would be bombarded with phone call after phone call, the outrageous accusations of cheating would come flying at me and suddenly I was defending myself from repeated attacks instead of realising I should have been outraged at the violation of being tracked and hounded like an escaped convict. I was ten minutes late home from work, it happens.

Love bombing can also take the form of a hyper intense attachment. Claiming to be soul mates the first time he looks in your direction – huge red flag. Things might start to feel really intense really fast with minimal boundaries and huge upset on his part if you try to pull away even slightly. Maybe he clings on to you at every social event, gripping your arm like a vice or never leaving your side. It’s possible he also expresses extreme jealousy when you are around other men, he’s possessive beyond what is normal.

Real love feels true and authentic, love bombing has a squirmy, manipulative side to it. You feel it, in the centre of your chest, in the pit of your belly you feel the wrongness of it. The problem is our heads override our emotions sometimes and we convince ourselves that it’s fine and normal or that we are the problem, we are overreacting.

The narcissist uses love bombing alongside the other tactics I’ve previously talked about to manipulate and control you. If what I talk about resonates with you, educate yourself and leave. From everything that I have learned about narcissism, there is no changing him, there is no peace if you just work hard enough. Save yourself, and leave. Trust me.

© Emma Stead

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