Love bombing signs aren’t always that easy to spot. It’s a behavior that’s talked about more often recently, whether in a post about someone’s experience of being love bombed in their relationship or a gossip columnist live-tweeting about one of the candidates on The Bachelor.
Despite this, spotting the signs of this behavior isn’t always easy. To help you out, we’ve put together an extensive guide on what love bombing means, the most common love bombing signs to look out for, and tips on how to tackle them!
What Is Love Bombing?
So, what does love bombing mean? Well, love bombing commonly involves one side of a relationship showering — or “bombing” — the other with extreme or over-the-top displays of affection and attention. Dr. Spirit, a licensed therapist and relationship expert, describes love bombing as “a form of emotional manipulation used to gain power over a person.”
It can be hard to recognize signs of love bombing at first. Often, this can be because they’re similar to what most of us want in a relationship: love; affection; attention; and even gifts from time to time. Some people fall into relationships that are fast, intense, and passionate at the beginning. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re being love-bombed, so it’s important to know which signs to look out for.
13 Love Bombing Signs to Look Out For
So, what does love bombing look like? There are a few things that are typically signs of love bombing when they happen in the very early stages of a relationship. We’ve outlined 13 of the most common love bombing signs below.
1. They say “I love you” very early in the relationship
Saying “I love you” for the first time can be genuinely special. But, more often than not, it takes time to get to this stage. If someone you’re dating drops the L word within a few days or even weeks, it could be a sign that you’re being love bombed.
2. They introduce you to their parents or family members too soon
Love bombers sometimes want to introduce their partner to important people in their life, very early on in the relationship. Often, they do this to make you feel like the relationship is getting very serious, very quickly. They may also want to meet the important people in your life to try to get their approval with the same love bombing-like tactics.
3. They try to move in with you
Keep in mind that most of these love bombing signs apply to the early stages of a relationship. If your partner wants to talk about moving in together after you’ve been together for a year, that’s pretty normal. After a couple of weeks, however? It’s a definite red flag.
4. They want to define the relationship ASAP
Oftentimes, post-pandemic dating can be slightly commitment-phobic, and most of us could probably benefit from defining our relationships a bit sooner rather than letting them remain undefined for years on end.
That being said, if the person you’ve just started dating wants to commit ASAP, whether that means calling you his girlfriend or even proposing, it could very well be a sign of love bombing.
5. They post the relationship all over social media
Most of us love when our significant other shows us off on social media. But if someone is excessively posting romantic photos of you two all over their socials, it might be an indication of love bombing.
This is especially true if they post lovey-dovey captions like “my world” or “my soul mate” within just weeks of meeting you.
6. They call you their soulmate or twin flame
We’ve been taught to search for our soulmate since we were in diapers watching Disney movies, so it’s no surprise that narcissists may call you their soulmate or twin flame in an attempt to make you feel like your connection is stronger than it really is.
7. They give you over-the-top compliments
If your partner constantly says things that make you feel confident, beautiful, and smart, that’s great. We all love reassuring words of affirmation. But, if they give you dramatic compliments so much that you feel like you’re living in an episode of Bridgerton, that might be a cause for concern.
It’s normal for your partner to express their feelings. However, if their compliments are something like “you are my world and I know that you’re destined to be my wife,” in the first few months, that’s probably a bad sign.
8. They shower you with gifts
It’s cute when your date buys you a nice bottle of wine or their favorite vegan cupcakes, especially if your love language is gifts. That being said, it’s creepy when your date shows up with a designer bag or two tickets to a luxurious getaway when you’ve only met once or twice.
9. They ask you to do things you don’t feel comfortable doing
For an IRL love bombing example, look no further than Netflix’s The Tinder Swindler. The swindler, AKA Simon Leviev, showered his girlfriends with luxury gifts, took them on fancy vacations (sometimes as early as the first date), and texted them constantly no matter where he was traveling (over-the-top affection).
This is an extreme example, and a manipulator’s ask isn’t always as outlandish as thousands of dollars. It might be as simple as him asking you to stop going to your weekly pilates class because he wants to spend more time with you.
10. They want to spend every waking hour with you
If you feel like you haven’t had any me-time since you got into the relationship, it’s probably not very healthy. While it’s natural to want to spend lots of time with someone in the honeymoon phase, it’s concerning if they want you to forego other friends, work, or personal obligations just to be with them.
11. They seem too good to be true
Everyone, no matter how worthy of love, has flaws. If your partner is super-agreeable and seems to have all the same likes and dislikes as you, it’s probably an act they’re putting on to make you think that your soulmates.
Keep a close eye on this, because you’ll probably start noticing inconsistencies in their behavior as they forget to keep up the act.
12. They make you feel guilty for putting yourself first
If your partner makes you feel guilty for setting and sticking to your boundaries, that’s a bad sign. This can range across a multitude of things. Perhaps they don’t like you hanging out with your friends instead of them? Or did they disagree with you not giving them your phone password?
Whatever it might be, a love bomber will try to make you feel guilty for sticking up for yourself and your needs. They might say things like, “Wow, I guess I’ll just sit here all alone until you get back,” or “I thought we had no secrets? I would give you my phone password if you wanted it.”
A good relationship doesn’t involve making your partner feel guilty for putting themselves first. It’s probably a sign of love bombing.
13. They’re often short-tempered
This one relates to the last point. If you find that the person you’re dating is not only making you feel guilty but is also getting angry when you don’t give them the attention they feel they deserve, this can be a pretty surefire love bombing sign.
Meaningful connections are formed on trust and respect. Love bombers can’t handle this and often show their frustration when their partner gives time to someone other than them.
How to Deal With Love Bombing (And How to Move On)
If you’re worried that you’re being love bombed, don’t panic. Awareness is the first (and best) step to take. Of course, as we mentioned above, love bombing isn’t a-one size-fits-all prescription, so you’ll have to trust your gut and your instincts.
If you’re in the early stages of the relationship and you’re not sure they realize how their over-the-top actions are coming across, it’s worth trying to have a conversation about it. Try drawing a boundary and seeing how they react. For example, trying approaches such as:
If don’t take your concerns on board and keep going forward at the same uncomfortable pace, it’s probably time to end the relationship. Tell them this isn’t working, then block their number and social accounts if you don’t feel comfortable. Narcissists tend to try to weasel their way back in, even after you’ve clearly shown your disinterest.
Why This Behavior Should Be a Serious Red Flag
You may be reading this and thinking, that love bombing doesn’t really sound like a big deal. After all, maybe you’d rather meet a guy’s parents in the first few months than be in a two-year situationship with a guy who is scared of commitment. But the part of love bombing that can be so dangerous is the manipulation.
Love bombers act like the “perfect partner” in the beginning so they can overstep boundaries later. Often, this means chipping away at their partner’s self-worth and self-esteem as they try to get back to the doting behavior their partner used to exhibit towards them.
In some cases, it involves things like convincing their partner that it’s normal for them to go through their phone regularly. In extreme cases, this behavior can spiral into abusive relationships.
The Key Takeaways
Spotting love bombing signs isn’t always easy at first. But, if you’re worried that you might be in a relationship with a love bomber, it’s important to talk to someone you trust. Start with your family or close friends or try a local support group to get some expert advice.
In most cases, the best way to get out of a love-bombing relationship is to go cold turkey. Set the necessary boundaries by telling them you can’t stay friends and make sure to unfollow them on social media platforms. Keep the signs of love bombing — as well as other online dating red flags — in mind and we’re sure you’ll be that one step closer to finding a real, meaningful relationship!