All The Subtle Signs Your Partner's Behavior Is Not Love, It's Love Bombing

by Alison Segel

As soon as I heard the phrase "love bombing" for the first time, I was like, oh my f*cking God, that just happened to me. It's the unfortunate dating trend, most frequently enacted by narcissists and sociopaths (my fav people to date), where your partner will overwhelm you with love and affection — distracting you from their red flags — and then abruptly pull away as soon as things (or you) get real or difficult.

Of course, there are usually signs you're being love bombed, and in my case, they were right in front of my face, but I was just too blind to see them. That's the goal of a love bomber — they get pleasure from giving you love, and then watching you as they take it all away. It's a sick form of emotional abuse.

I hardly knew what hit me once it happened, but then, once I read up on love bombing, I knew exactly why my relationship had exploded in front of my face. So this would never happen again, I reached out to some experts for help with spotting the signs your partner doesn't love you, they're love bombing you.

According to Trina Leckie, host of the relationship advice podcast breakupBOOST, a true, healthy relationship develops slowly. You know, so that you can actually get to know one another first! "It may seem cute if the person you just started dating talks about a future with you, but realistically, you don't know each other well enough to start planning out the details of your life together," she says. "If the person seems rushed to move things along at a fast pace, take that as a red flag."

I recently met a guy who dated me in reverse. He asked me to be his girlfriend on our second date, wanted to be exclusive one week in, asked to casually date after a month, and ghosted me by month two. In the beginning, it was all too good to be true. When he asked me to be his girlfriend (on our second date, before he truly even knew me), he took me to the roof of a museum, released doves, and told me he thought I was "the one." Insane, right?

Another indicator that you might be love bombed is if you suspect your partner's actions may be a little too perfect. Leckie says "if they are more focused on romantic gestures as a way of proving their feelings to you than getting to know you as a person," this could also be an indicator that they are more interested in the fantasy of a relationship than the reality of one.

After my first sleepover with my ex, I woke up to post-its all around my apartment that said things like "I miss you even when you're here" and "you are so beautiful to me." While my heart knew this behavior was a bit too much, part of me wanted to believe I deserved the fantasy. My Prince Charming had finally come! However, within weeks, our relationship quickly deteriorated. The more I didn't live up to my boyfriend's fantasy and the realer I got (oh no, I got the flu? How boring!), the less interested in me he became. And then, our romance swiftly ended.

Guille Faingold

Additionally, beware of too many compliments. My ex used to tell me I was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. He couldn't stand to think I went out into the world without him. I was too perfect to ever be left alone! "It's great to receive a genuine compliment, but it's another thing if someone is telling you how great, perfect, and beautiful you are in excessive amounts," Leckie says. Those things might be unfounded.

In hindsight, my partner only complimented my looks or other surface-level things about me. He never mentioned my personality, profession, morals, ethics, or values. Why? Because he wasn't paying attention. A love bomber will mimic movies for cues on how to perform in a relationship and probably miss out on who you are in real life.

Someone who smothers you with attention or demands your time is also most likely love bombing. Leckie continues that you're probably the victim of love bombing "when they want you all to themselves whenever you have free time and get upset if you say that you want to spend time with your friends or family instead."

She continues that "if someone calls you repeatedly or texts multiple times in a row without waiting to get a reply from you, wondering where you are or why you aren't getting back to them," then that probably isn't love either.

Andrei Korzyhts

If you recognize any of these signs, then you probably are or have been love bombed. However, spiritual matchmaker Heather Kristian Strang, has a different perspective when it comes to love bombing. She thinks that preventing yourself from being love bombed might actually be preventing yourself from finding love, and learning the important lessons associated with it.

"Being 'on guard' to not be hurt or love bombed or ghosted takes us out of alignment with what dating and the path to being in a loving relationship is really about," says Strang. "What serves us more on the dating path is to stay anchored into the love that you have for yourself as an individual and the desire that you have to experience [a] true, loving partnership with another."

She continues that most of our experiences — even the bad ones — come along with some sort of lesson for us that's "important for our healing." "Our inner guidance will redirect us if a partner is not aligned for us and will support us in receiving the love that we are truly here for and that will truly nourish us," she says.

So how can you ensure you're attracting partners who are truly right for you, as well as being the best version of yourself so that you don't draw in a love bomber? "To stay connected to this guidance there are many steps we can take, including daily meditation and spiritual practice (of whatever kind resonates with us) as well as working with a trusted healer to support us in staying clear so that we can receive our guidance," Strang explains.

OK, so who wants to join my meditation club?

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