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I think we’ve all come to the realization that boys don’t actually have cooties. At this age, having
a “crush” isn’t so much a bad thing anymore, and the thrill of connecting with someone else is
intriguing.


So after failed “talking stages”, annoying Tinder replies, and coming close to giving up on me
as a whole (a little dramatic, I know) you finally think you just found the love of your life! Tell
me more about him- is he perfect? Handsome? Already showers you with gifts? Seems to
compliment you more than he even breathes? Yeah, new relationships can be super exciting,
there’s no denying that. However, it is important to take a step back and ask yourself- Is he
prince charming? Or am I getting love-bombed?


Between all the new dating lingo, another vocab word to learn probably doesn’t excite you.
Unfortunately, love bombing is nothing like ghosting. It’s much more serious than that. As
romantically epic as the word may sound, love bombing is a type of abuse. Many women have
been personally tricked by the game and have ended up in not-so-great situations.
Okay… What even is love bombing?


As deceiving as the name may sound, love bombing is a serious matter that is not talked about
enough. Many times, it even goes unnoticed. Love bombing is a manipulation technique used by
narcissists to gain control of another person. It’s mainly used early on in the relationship, usually
within the first few months. Being mistaken as an “instant spark”, a person will be exposed to
intense affection, gratitude, acceptance, and large gestures which, of course, is very flattering. So
what’s the issue with wanting a guy that does everything in his power to make you feel like the
only girl in the world? The issue is the intention. The intention is not to make you feel loved, but
to gain control of your self-esteem and emotions, slowly ripping you away from who you are as
an individual. Many people in this situation don’t realize how dark the relationship was until it is
too late. Take it from me- I woke up one day thinking “How the hell did I end up here?” Love
bombing can silently but quickly become traumatizing for the victim involved. Being praised just
to eventually be constantly torn down, watched, and questioned can make you feel crazy and
useless. It is important to have the knowledge and take caution as a young woman in the dating
scene for certain red flags. Love bombing can be hard to spot, but it is possible to be more aware.
They want to date me… already?
The answer is yes. One of the earliest red flags was how quickly things moved. All of the
compliments and future promises seem to just get you. One day you’re getting to know a little bit
about each other, and the next day you are in what seems to be a very serious relationship. A love
bomber may use tactics to pressure you into committing to them. Statements such as “I’ll never
like someone as much as I like you” may be nice to hear, but be wary about how soon you’re
hearing them. Be mindful that good, healthy relationships that won’t drain your energy take time
to develop.


PS- A boy will NEVER be a savior! Many people are good. A love bomber may sell you the idea of the perfect man and follow up
that fake persona with actions, such as going out to get you chocolate when you have cramps or
paying for your food because you had a hard day. The difference is, love bombers will keep these
actions filed in their brains to use for future ammunition. When people are genuinely acting out
of the goodness of their hearts, actions as small as giving you a ride to work will NEVER be used
against you. Love bombers eventually use their good deeds as guilt traps, making you feel less of
a person. Be mindful and take a step back if a certain person starts using their “acts of love” as
leverage over you.


Not fair! They can’t play the victim in every story!
Playing the villain in every single story is mentally and emotionally draining. The truth is- you’re
most likely NOT the villain in this specific story. As much as you want to “change” someone
because they showed you a different version of themselves initially, your words and emotions
will have little to no impact on how they’ll think about the situation at hand. Love bombers have
a hard time grasping reality if it doesn’t align with what they want to be true. They project their
own behaviors on their significant other to take away responsibility from themselves. If they are
constantly fighting about nonexistent problems, such as throwing out cheating and lying
accusations, chances are that the love bomber is projecting. Always lookout for signs leading to
victim tendencies- framing the story, lying, denial, etc. Equal communication is key for a healthy
relationship.


Me & him against the world.
Aw, sounds romantic huh? Not in this sense. It is totally normal for your significant other to want
to frequently talk to you, but what’s not normal is them demanding that you spend ALL your time
with them. I mean the constant texting and calling, the need to track your whereabouts, and hey you don’t need friends! You already have prince charming! The need for constant communication and reassurance leads down a darker path- one that isolates you from friends and family. It’s an extremely hard scenario to take control of, let alone even understand why or how it is happening. A love bomber will try and make you feel guilty for not spending all your time with them. Understanding that you are being isolated gives you the power to talk to someone to
try to get help and gain understanding and self awareness about what’s going on.

We’re women, trust your gut!
One thing I’ll always say regarding women is our intuition is strong. If a situation is rubbing you
the wrong way, trust your instincts in deciding what to do from there. If your gut tells you that
this new relationship may not end well, always listen. Every feeling that you have is valid and
every emotion that you feel is REAL.


Don’t mistake vulnerability for weakness.
If you have been in a relationship where you experienced the effects of love bombing, you may
feel as though you are weak. This can not be further from the truth. As psychologist Dr. Perpatua
Neo said, “People think often if you are attracted to a narcissist, you tend to be someone quite
weak and very passive in your life … but they tend to be very high-achieving women,”. Being a
person able to care about others, feel, and connect is a beautiful thing- the wrong person just got
to experience it. I’m loving the person that I am becoming and I am very grateful for the people I
currently have in my life that do the complete opposite- make my heart happy. Never shy away
from who you are, even if you once were lost

Kelly Garino

Stony Brook '23

A 21 year old college student who is studying at Stony Brook University. Currently studying journalism and broadcasting, with an associates degree in marketing. One of the biggest social butterflies you will ever meet! As someone who is still trying to find their passion, I enjoy writing, last minute plans, talking to everyone (obviously) , fashion, and more. I’m still on the hunt for more personal interests! 🦋
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