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10 Ways to Identify a Love Bomber

Consider these important signs that a new partner may be love-bombing you.

Love bombing occurs when someone expresses excessive praise and affection at a rate that is disproportionate to the current stage of a relationship in an attempt to manipulate the person they’re dating into committing to them quickly.

Love bombing can initially feel like being put into an exciting fairytale. Particularly in a dating era when many people struggle with connecting emotionally or being vulnerable, someone who is love bombing you may feel like a breath of fresh air. So, if it feels like you’re connecting with someone you like and they are looking for commitment, why not enjoy it? The issue with love bombing is that it puts you in a position to overlook red flags and focus on a relationship fantasy at the expense of yourself.

When someone love-bombs you, you only see what they want you to see. It is usually a carefully curated façade, which does not give you an accurate view of what a relationship with this person will actually look like. In this case, the old adage, "If it feels too good to be true, it probably is” feels relevant. Think of love bombing like the highlight reel on Instagram where only a person’s best moments are showcased, but none of their vulnerabilities, fears, or flaws are revealed.

If you are dating someone new, consider the following 10 warning signs that they may be love bombing you.

1. The pace feels fast. If the pace feels rushed when you’re dating someone new, that is a sign to slow down and pay attention so that you can reflect on where that feeling is coming from.

When you’re excited about someone new, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the thrill of it all and throw caution to the wind—which can cause you to overlook important warning signs and red flags at a crucial time.

2. They are engaging in future faking. When you’re still in the initial stages of getting to know someone and they are making future plans with you, at first it can feel refreshing that someone is being intentional with you. But it can also create a false sense of security, which is why you want to focus on the person in front of you and not their potential.

You don’t know this person well enough to know whether their actions align with their words yet or whether they are just presenting a façade in order for you to become attached before they reveal their true character. Future faking involves discussing plans such as traveling, getting married, meeting their family, or moving in together within the first few weeks of dating, without any intention of following through.

These are some examples of statements that indicate future faking: “I’m so excited to spend the rest of our lives together," or "We’re going to have an amazing family.”

3. Multiple people you trust have expressed concern about the pace of your relationship. Everyone has different relationship experiences and preferences, so what one person says to you may not hold a lot of weight. However, when people you trust and care about and know you well begin to express concern about the pace of a new relationship, it’s important to take the time to reflect on their concerns and whether they may see something you don’t.

4. They mirror you. Mirroring is a manipulation tactic love bombers use that consists of mimicking your core values and interests in an effort to get closer to you and convince you of their compatibility with you.

Curiosity about your needs and interests is a great quality in a partner, but it’s important to discern the difference between someone who is genuinely curious about you and also sharing about themselves vs. someone who is carefully studying your answers and mirroring back to you what they think you want.

If the person you’re dating seems to like all of the same things you do and states that they want the same sort of lifestyle you do, it’s important to observe whether their actions are aligned with what they are telling you.

5. They shower you with grand romantic gestures. Grand romantic gestures like whisking you off on a spontaneous vacation or buying you lavish gifts can feel exhilarating when. However, if these grand gestures don’t match the stage of your relationship and seem like they belong on a dating show instead of real life, beware that the other person may not have the best intentions and may be attempting to speed up the process of creating a bond with you.

6. Your attempts to slow down are met with resistance. If you express that you’re feeling uncomfortable with the pace of the relationship and wish to slow down, pay close attention to how the other person responds. Are they defensive? Do they shut down or turn it around on you? Their response can be telling about whether their intention is to take your needs into consideration or if they are only focused on what they want.

7. They give you excessive praise or compliments that don’t feel personal to you. When someone is love bombing their object of affection, their goal is to create a deep bond quickly, and they will pull out all the stops to do so. Pay attention to the praise and compliments you are receiving. Do they feel genuine and personal to you, or is the praise generic and could apply to anyone?

An example, a love bomber might say early on, “You are the most incredible person I’ve ever met," or “You’re perfect; no one else compares.”

8. Their expressions of affection feel disproportionate to the stage of the relationship. If a love bomber tells you they love you or says any statements such as “I’ve never felt this way about anyone before," or “My life would feel meaningless without you” within a few weeks of meeting, proceed with caution: These statements may indicate that they are trying to prematurely speed up your connection.

9. They expect to either be in frequent contact with you or see you a lot, leaving little room for other activities or friendships. A love bomber wants to lock you down fast and isolate you so they may overwhelm you with frequent contact, which leaves little room for much else in your life. This works in two ways: They secure a deep bond with you quickly and they isolate you so that if others do express concern about your relationship, it will be harder for you to end it because you are already deeply invested.

10. They build you up just to break you down. Love bombers will initially idealize you while they try to quickly create an illusion of closeness. However, when they know that a partner is fully invested in the relationship, their true colors will start to show. Once the switch is flipped, they begin to criticize and nitpick their significant other, aiming to erode their self-esteem over time so that they can be fully in control.

While it’s possible that someone may be excited about you and engage in some of these behaviors without the intention of love bombing, you want to pay attention to how these behaviors make you feel and observe if there is a pattern of behavior that causes you to question their intentions.

Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only. This is not intended to be a substitute for professional or psychological advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a mental health professional or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding your condition or well-being.

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