So why do I say it’s dangerous? For two reasons. The first is that it’s manipulative behaviour, and the second is that you’re more susceptible to this type of behaviour if you’re vulnerable – when you’ve been hurt, if you’re a people pleaser, if you’ve come from a dysfunctional background, or you’re simply kind, caring, open and trusting.
I was love bombed on a first date. He was all over me, holding my hand, gazing into my eyes, listening intently to everything I said, asking good questions, not making it all about him; the staff in the restaurant were all smiles, thinking they were seeing a couple in love. Except we weren’t – for we’d only just met, and I was actually finding it all a bit overwhelming, because it seemed an unnatural way to behave. When I declined his suggestion of a second date, his reaction was interesting – I got a lecture about being afraid of allowing myself to feel real feelings…. which felt patently ridiculous when we’d known each other for a total of 2 hours.
Fortunately it hadn’t been lust at first sight for me, and so it was easy to see the behaviour for what it was, but if I’d found him devastatingly attractive, I’m not sure I’d have noticed…. And that’s the third thing that makes it dangerous. If you’re really attracted to someone, even if you think they’re going a bit over the top, it’s going to feel good to be on the receiving end of that much loving attention.
Love bombing comes from a place of insecurity, it’s an attempt to bond you to them, so you’ll never leave. It’s commonly seen in those with narcissistic tendencies. Avoid at all costs.
What other red flags would you suggest keeping an eye out for in those early getting-to-know-you days?
© 2022, Debs Carey
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