Over-the-top displays of affection, romantic gifts, constant compliments, hours of ‘our future together’ talks in a new relationship might make you feel on top of the world. But are these gestures authentic or do they originate from something sinister? It could very much be that you have been love bombed..
“Love bombing is when things are too much too soon. When someone is being too intense way too soon, there is a hidden agenda to this avalanche of love and care. When their love and attention seems too good to be true. It probably is. There is no such thing as a perfect relationship. But when someone gives you the idea that it’s perfect. It is because they want you to see that it is,” says Sheelaa M Bajaj, life coach facilitator.
In the beginning, it all seems perfect, but soon it turns to abuse. “Acts of love bombing are not sexual in nature, but rather manipulative. Love bombers exaggerate how they feel which is different from complimenting someone with thoughtful expressions of love and care,” says Chandini Tugnait, psychotherapist.
Bajaj feels when people function from lack of self love, they attract toxic partners who fill that void and ultimately end up in this toxic pattern. “It stems from lack of love and low self worth.”
“Love bombing is a control tactic and hence trust your instinct if you spot any red flags because what may seem as a grand display of love initially, would soon get replaced with intense overwhelm, criticism, control, obsessive behaviour and gaslighting,” she adds. It is essentially an unsustainable and unhealthy behaviour pattern.
How to save yourself from being love bombed
– To save yourself from love bombing, set healthy boundaries and communicate the same to your partner.
– Stick to the boundaries you set, refuse the lavish gifts or over-the-top gestures and indulge in the relationship at your own pace.
– Do not fall for the manipulation tactics and connect to your friends or confide in someone you trust.
– You may even journal your thoughts and feelings to process things in a better way. Avoid confronting your partner as that may lead to a big outburst.
– Seek help from a therapist in extreme cases to help you understand the situation better and to equip yourself with appropriate ways of dealing
with the situation.
– Honour your space and expect the same from your partner before it impacts your emotional
and mental wellbeing.
Love bombing can do a lot of damage in the long run as it impacts self-esteem, mental peace and leads to a lot of emotional upheaval and abuse.
(Inputs from Chandini Tugnait, psychotherapist)