Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Wellness > Sex + Relationships

LOVE BOMBING: How to avoid falling victim to it?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Bristol chapter.

To the unknowing eye, ‘Love Bombing’ sounds idyllic. Showering of gifts, excessive compliments, and making promises of a future together. But all this comes too soon. What seems like romance is all too good to be true and instead is a form of cruel, calculating manipulation. Love bombing is not something to be taken lightly – the Crown Prosecution Service updated its domestic abuse guidance to recognise love bombing as a tactic of abuse and coercive control.  


The term ‘love bombing’ was originally used to describe tactics used by ‘religious organisations and cults in relation to the indoctrination of new recruits.’ So how does this relate to relationships? Well, similarly to how cults attract new recruits by overwhelming them with kindness. A love bomber showers their target with love and attention before withdrawing – leaving the victim to believe they did something wrong. Typically, this starts a cycle of abuse as the victim tries to earn back their attention.


We’re not just talking about romantic gestures. It’s a bit more intricate than just buying flowers here and there. Here’s some signs to look out for: 

  • Too much too soon – conversations about the future early on, commitment from the offset, and they might even go as far as convince you that you’re soulmates. 
  • Showering of unnecessary gifts.
  • Overcommunicating feelings. 
  • They want your undivided attention – a tendency to prefer you alone, getting upset when your attention is on someone else, and being overly needy. 
  • Unclear boundaries – bombarding you with phone calls and texts, frequently turning up unannounced. 


It’s easy to think that you wouldn’t be taken in by this behaviour, but love bombers target human needs. Even some of the most intelligent people can fall victim to love bombing. Humans have a natural need to feel good and it is often hard to fill this on your own. Love bombers purposefully target people with low self-esteem and thus the dopamine rush the love bomber creates fills a need the target cannot fill on their own.  



But why would anyone carry out this kind of behaviour? Love bombers are commonly narcissists who consciously or subconsciously want to exert control and strive to become the centre of your world. Often, love bombers themselves suffer from low self-esteem and use others for their own validation.

how to avoid falling victim to it?

However, it is never the victims’ fault if they fall for love bombing. Love bombers are like vampires who seek out victims, gain their trust, and then usurp their energy leaving them drained.  

 So how does one protect themselves from love bombing? Here’s a few precautions: 

  • If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. 
  • Learn to recognise and avoid narcissists.  
  • Work on boosting your own self-esteem – identify the negative beliefs you have about yourself, then challenge them. 
  • Be aware of your own vulnerabilities – if you come from an emotionally detached family or learned to feel loved by gifts, you may be especially vulnerable to love bombers. 
  • Create a checklist of what a healthy relationship looks like. 

the effects of it:

Love bombing affects people’s abilities to trust new partners and even their own feelings. It often largely affects the victim’s mental health, as love bombing creates a sense of both self-blame and reliance on their partner for their own self-worth.  

But it can also create fear as it often makes the victim feel overwhelmed and unable to push back against the love bomber’s intense affection.  

love bombing in friendships?

Although this article has predominantly discussed love bombing in romantic relationships, that is not to say that love bombing cannot happen in friendships. It may not necessarily present itself in the same way love bombing in relationships does. But if you feel that your friend is isolating you from other relationships this could potentially be a form of love bombing.  


Love bombing is a form of emotional abuse. Therefore, it is not your fault if you have experienced this. By seeking support, establishing boundaries, and taking care of yourself, you can protect yourself and move forward in a healthy way. 

Amy O'Mahony

Bristol '24

Amy is a final year Theatre and English Student. She also is an aspiring culture and lifestyle writer!!