In this new era of online dating and digital romance, every relationship is like a whirlpool of fantasies, and it is extremely easy to sway away with it.
There are all kinds of love. While some are genuine and reach their destination, others are nothing less than nightmares. "Love bombing" falls into the latter category.
Numerous studies suggest that some people use romantic relationships for selfish purposes. These manipulative people use all kinds of charms, from over-the-top gifts to instantly calling you the love of their lives and making you fall head over heels in love with them. This method is called Love Bombing.
What is Love Bombing
The person who bombs you or showers you with lots of sweet words and gestures gives you gifts takes you out, but in the end, they have a hidden purpose. Their main motive is to abuse you in some way or another. Love bombers don't just financial fraud you. They make you suffer emotionally, mentally, and even physically. This kind of abusive behavior makes them feel superior and powerful. They feel better about themselves by projecting and luring you with their charismatic side.
To understand it better, let us go through a very famous love bombing example:
Recently Netflix released a documentary called The Tinder Swindler, about a famous con artist Simon Leviev. This guy presented himself as the super-rich son of a diamond businessman whose life was no less than a dream. He showcased his life like a baller, from lavish vacations to coffee dates at high-end restaurants.
He matched with lots of girls on the dating app tinder. He bought them expensive gifts and took them on a private jet plane for dates. Ultimately, he manipulated these poor girls to fulfill his financial needs. He scammed them by forcing them to take massive loans from the bank and used their credit cards as well.
People who use love bombing are generally con artists and narcissists.
They use the love bombing technique by showering you with immaculate gifts elaborate gestures of love such as expensive vacations and date nights. They will constantly call you and text you to make you feel wanted. All these lovey-dovey gestures feel amazing at the early stage of a relationship. But once the rose-colored glasses fall, you realize that you are just stuck in a never-ending cycle of manipulation and trauma.
I have seen one of my closest friends going through the same. She was love-bombed by her boyfriend. The two of them met, and a café and instantly felt a spark between them. Then started their honeymoon phase, where everything was mushy, from calling each other soulmates to being on the phone 24*7. The boy belonged to a well-to-do family and gifted my friend expensive watches, mobile phones, chocolates, and bouquets at every meeting.
I was a bit envious of her until the problem started. Within just three months, the guy started demanding to shift with him. And when my friend disagreed, he started verbally torturing him. After a few severe fights, my friend decided to quit. He immediately said to return all the gifts and money that he had spent on my friend. It was heart-wrenching to see my friend in such a condition.
Love Bombing Signs
Identifying love bombing is not easy, but it's definitely possible when you know the signs.
Many relationships begin on an emotionally high note. It is not a bad thing altogether. New relationships are exciting, and they give you an adrenaline rush. The body and mind feel happy, and you cannot see anything beyond that person.
Everyone wants the forever kind of love, and everyone wants a person who makes you the center of their universe. But in the end, it is you who can save yourself. Hence it is better to be cautious than to give in your all and get hurt.
Related: How do I tell if he loves me
As love bombing started getting common among gen z, several researchers and professionals have noticed a typical pattern of behavior in the people who use love bombing.
Some of these signs are:
Love bombing often involves huge gestures such as giving costly gifts, jewelry, expensive plane tickets, dozens of bouquets instead of one. Even if they don't have money, they project as if they do.
All of this may look harmless, but the intention behind this is to make you feel as if they own you. Love bombers tend to be materialistic themselves; hence they show grand gestures to make themselves look better and boost their self-esteem.
This reminds me of Christian Grey from the movie fifty shades of grey. Christian is also shown as a narcissist who lures her lady love with expensive gifts, cars, laptops and later on leaves her with no choice but to become the slave to his sexual desires.
Everyone deserves to be called the "love of my life" by someone you are in love with. Someone whom you know well and plan to share the rest of your life with. But what if the person you just met starts calling you their soulmate? That is a big red flag. The great purpose of using flattery is to overwhelm you. Once you are on cloud nine, you cannot see the evil.
Little to No Privacy
Once you get into a relationship with a love bomber, there is no space left for you. Everything becomes about them. They are the decision-makers leaving you with no choice but to follow them. They're overly needy. They need to know every minute detail about your life, what you do, where you go. As if you are under their surveillance all the time. They even use violence if their wishes are not fulfilled.
Love Bombers Have Unreasonable Demands
Once the love bombers build their trust, the never-ending cycle of demands begins. They either force you to leave your job because they are insecure or tell you not to meet a certain friend because they are not compatible. As seen in the documentary Tinder Swindler, some love bombers just use you for money. They force you to take loans and pay their bills.
How to Stop Love Bombing
All this may sound scary, but there are specific ways by which you can save yourself or any near and dear ones from getting love bombed.
Once you have identified the manipulative behavior, the best way is to tell the person to take the relationship slowly—no need to rush.
Until you don't know the other person well, never share your details. Where you live, your workplace, your family, and your friends. Do not overshare these details. Also, never tell them your financial status. Your bank accounts, credit cards, billing options should be kept private until you are a hundred percent sure to share them. Even if they demand money, it is better to keep their valuable things with you as the mortgage. Don't just hand out the money to them. This will make it easier for them to keep demanding.
Love bombers generally use apologies and overwhelming words to get back to you. They cry and create a scene to make you feel guilty, and sometimes you even take them back after all their flaws because they make you feel responsible.
So, if you have already been in this horrendous cycle of torture, the only way out is to cut the person off. It is best to avoid all kinds of contact with them. Try to block them and also block any of their common friends. It is hard to do but remember, nothing in the world is more important than our mental peace and happiness.
Sometimes the relationship can get abusive. If it is mentally abusive, seek help from a professional therapist. There are many helpline numbers where you can call and share your experience. If that is too uncomfortable, reach out to a friend or family member. Talk to them about how you feel and take help from them.
If the abuse is physical, as in violence is involved better to reach your nearest police station and file a complaint. Don't let the culprit run away. It's better to call them out and show their true faces to the world.
Healthy relationships build slowly and are based on a series of actions. If you feel like you are getting targeted or feel any kind of uneasiness. Leave the relationship asap and avoid getting wrapped up at the moment and protect yourself first. As I said, nothing is ever as important as your mental peace and stable state of mind.
So, stay cautious, always look out for your near and dear ones also, and lastly, never lose hope in love.
The other person turning out to be toxic is never your fault. Hence, keep falling in love and enjoy the romance. But don't get trapped in a love bombing situation.