What is love bombing and how can you spot it?
Your S.O. is the absolute best. You've only been dating for a few weeks, but they're always buying you gifts and saying how much they love you. Your relationship is *literally* perfect—or is it? At first, all of the attention can seem romantic and fun. Unfortunately, this behavior can also be a sign of love bombing.
What is love bombing?
If this sounds like your S.O., they could be love bombing you, meaning they shower you with gifts and affection just so that they can gain the upper hand in the relationship. It can seem wonderful in the beginning but, over time, your partner may use their past actions to control you.
How can you spot it?
Some signs of love bombing are non-stop compliments, over-the-top gifts and almost more attention than you can stand. If your partner is keeping you from spending time with friends and family, that can also be a tell-tale sign of manipulation.
Gift giving and affection are not always bad thing. People tend to go over the top at the beginning of relationships because they're so excited to finally be with the person they like. It becomes love bombing when they use their actions to hurt you or manipulate you into doing things you don't want to do.
If your S.O. is only focusing on their own needs and ignores yours, that's a likely sign of love bombing. If you start to feel uneasy around them or are constantly second-guessing yourself, you might want to take a step back from the relationship.
Love bombing often comes from insecurity. Your partner may fear abandonment and think the only way you'll stay with them is if they force you to. They might also be trying to build up a "perfect" version of themself so they can feel superior to you.
What do you do if you are being love-bombed?
If you think your S.O. is love bombing you, take a second to wonder why. Does it seem like they're trying to manipulate you? Or are they just excited to be in a new relationship? If it's the first, sit down and talk to them about how their actions are making you feel.
You should also reach out to a trusted adult or friend and tell them about the situation. Having someone else's support will help you see the situation clearly and not get caught up in your romantic feelings for your partner.
Some people may not even realize what they're doing is a bad thing. Not all love bombing is calculated and intentional — but that doesn't mean it hurts any less. If you explain to your partner how their actions are affecting you and they refuse to change (or gaslight you into questioning your own feelings), this probably isn't the relationship for you. But if they are willing to work on their behavior, it may be worth the effort to stay with them.
Remember, no relationship is more important than your mental health. Don't forget to do what's best for *you.*
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