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Sex + Relationships

Love Bombing: Signs Your Relationship Is Destined For Destruction

     It was a dream come true. After just a few FaceTime calls and constant Snapchatting throughout the day, I knew that I had met my Prince Charming. I had never been in a relationship before and was relishing the heightened sense of self-worth I was experiencing. It was a miracle. Endless compliments. Professions that I was his soulmate. A promise ring. Plans for our future. He even told me quite quickly and with great assurance that he loved me. We had only been talking for a few weeks, and hadn’t even met in person yet, but I was enchanted by him. “So this is love”, I thought, feeling like Cinderella. But, as it turned out, I was dead wrong. 

     Not too much time had passed before I discovered that I was not the first one that he had done this to. In hindsight, I feel ridiculous for falling into his deceitful trap. However, love bombing like this isn’t talked about much, and many people don’t know what to look out for. Please keep in mind that these signs don’t completely guarantee that you are being love bombed, but are just warning signs to be aware of!

     What I had experienced was a period of excessive admiration and attention that tricked me into believing that my partner genuinely had the intention of committing to me. This embodies the definition of love bombing. It is essentially a form of abuse when the partner tricks you into believing that they love you, while in reality they’re masking their narcissistic tendencies and manipulating you. This type of partner has no intention of committing and is more self-interested than anything. After the “honeymoon phase”, the partner will most likely move on to someone else and end up using the same tactics on them. Therefore, It is essential that you can recognize the signs of love bombing early on in a relationship. If you can’t, you might fall into their trap and will have a much harder time getting yourself out once the relationship crumbles. Here are just a few of the major signs to look out for:

 

1. Things are moving surprisingly, and perhaps uncomfortably fast. Sure, some relationships move faster than others and there isn’t a strict timeline that relationships need to follow. However, it is important that both parties consent to the rate at which the relationship is moving. The rate at which relationships develop is different for every couple, but sometimes things can move so quickly that it becomes a warning sign, especially if you are feeling uncomfortable with it. If your significant other begins discussing marriage and planning your future kids’ names extremely early on in the relationship and you are not feeling comfortable with reciprocating this, it might be a sign that you need to leave. 

2. Their romantic gestures are excessive. Everyone loves when their significant other plans some grand, romantic gesture. But if they’re buying you a whole bottle of their cologne and sending you a promise ring a few weeks after you’ve started dating, then watch out. 

3. They’ve been in this situation plenty of times before. This is a good sign that things didn’t work out, regardless of how much they professed their love for their partner. Bonus “love bombing” points if they aren’t willing to discuss how those previous relationships came to an end. 

4. They say “I love you” soon in the relationship. Love takes time to develop, so saying this early in the relationship can be a sign of manipulation or childishness. Either one can be detrimental to you and your relationship. 

5. They don’t stop complimenting you. Of course it’s nice to be complimented! But excessive complementing can be an attempt to manipulate you and try to distract you from problems in the relationship.

 

     If you begin to feel skeptical about your hurried romance and the intentions of your partner, there are plenty of ways to get to the root of the situation. First, take a step back. In the excitement of a new relationship it can be hard to notice red flags. Ask yourself: Are things moving really fast? Are they communicating well? Do you know how their past relationships ended? Second, confront them about it. If you feel uncomfortable with how things are going, or if you want to discuss some red flags you’re seeing, then talking to them could sort things out. Be wary though, as they could say things to pacify you once you confront them. Still, it’s essential to be upfront about your concerns and your feelings (which are just as valid as theirs!). If something doesn’t feel right to you, then it’s not something that should be ignored! If you talk to them and fix the problems, then great! But if they react angrily or try to blame you, then you know for sure that this relationship wasn’t going to work. And the earlier that you can leave a toxic relationship, then the easier it will be to recover from it and move on. 

     The aftermath of love bombing is not easy to recover from. I can attest to this, and I’m sure many others can as well. Just like a breakup from any relationship, there is a sense of loss. You’re going from the intense euphoria of a new relationship and your infatuation with your partner to breaking up with them after discovering their untruthful intentions with you. And it’s hard. From my personal experience with this, I felt a diminished sense of self-worth, I started doubting myself, and I knew that it would be difficult to trust people in future relationships. I was confused and didn’t understand how someone could throw away another person so easily like that. However, you must always keep in mind that their actions have nothing to do with you and are a complete reflection of who they are! Even though this is easier said than done, it’s essential that you don’t blame yourself. You are loved and valued, and there are plenty of people out there who are capable of realizing that and treating you like you deserve!

Lauren Watkins is a senior speech pathology major and German minor at Baylor University. She is from Aurora, Illinois, right outside the city of Chicago. When she's not studying, she can usually be found painting, playing the violin, watching sunsets, or finding the best new sushi restaurants around.
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