The early days in a romantic relationship are so exciting. You’re starting to get to know each other, & everything is new. There is so much to learn too, which means you’re never bored. You often have that butterflies feeling when you see your new partner. You feel a deep loss when you aren’t together & count the moments until you’re together again. These are totally normal. What isn’t normal is when you start to feel that the relationship is extremely intense & it is moving much faster than you expected. Intense & fast moving are potentially signs of something known as love bombing.
Love bombing is a technique used by abusers to lure their victims into a relationship. It makes victims feel swept off their feet, & bonds them to an abuser quickly & powerfully.
Love bombers do much as the name suggests. They use loving gestures to constantly shower extreme praise, attention & affection on their victims. They tell victims things like they believe they are soul mates, no one has ever made the victim feel like this before, they have waited for someone like this victim their whole life or they never thought they would meet someone like the victim. They often mention marriage shortly after meeting the victim, making them feel like this person is madly in love with them to consider such a serious commitment so early on. Victims in this situation feel flattered, secure & even obligated to the love bomber because of this behavior.
In time however, the love bombing stops & the abuse begins. Practically overnight, the love bomber goes from lavishing excessive praise & love on their victim to being manipulative, controlling & demanding. They become upset when the victim sets boundaries or the victim is not available to them for even a sure period of time. They may become disproportionately jealous, accusing their victim of being unfaithful even if the victim simply spoke someone of the opposite gender in passing. They also insist on being in control of who their victim spends time with & how their victim spends their time. In fact, these abusive people also limit who they allow in their victims’ lives. They often isolate their victims from their friends & family members. The fewer supportive, caring people in a person’s life, the easier that person is to control, which is why abusers are so quick to isolate victims. They may even sabotage their partners’ job & render them unable to work. This works well for abusers because not only are they eliminating their victims’ potential friends who might point out the abuser’s actions are wrong, they are creating a scenario where the victims must depend on them financially. This leaves them unable to escape the abuse. Abuses in these situations also are excessively critical to the point of being cruel to their victims as a way to make them feel badly about themselves. The lower a person’s self esteem, the less likely that person is to protest the abuse & the more likely they are to tolerate anything done to them. Abusers are also excessively volatile & unpredictable when relating to their victims while presenting an entirely different & better image to anyone outside the home.
If you are in this type of relationship, you can escape! First of all, pray & ask God to show you what to do. Follow what He suggests.
You also can discuss your feelings with your partner. Not everyone who love bombs is toxic. Sometimes they are merely very dysfunctional. Someone like this may be open to changing their behavior. If they are, this is a very good sign! However, if they aren’t & respond to what you say with anger or excuses, this is a huge red flag that you are dealing with a toxic person. If at all possible, ending the relationship quickly is your best move! Protect yourself! You have every right to do so!
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