Love Bombing: what it is and the signs to look for in a partner

Imagine that you are at a restaurant one evening and after dinner you decide to order not one but two slices of cheesecake for dessert. ...


Imagine that you are at a restaurant one evening and after dinner you decide to order not one but two slices of cheesecake for dessert. Many would say it’s unhealthy – or at least forgiving – but everyone deserves a treat every now and then. To the right?

However, if you keep ordering two slices of cake for dessert every night for months on end, your health may suffer.

It’s an analogy that Chitra Raghavan, professor of psychology at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, used to explain how romantic behaviors can turn into a manipulative dating practice known as “love bombing”. new romantic partner with great gestures and constant contact in order to gain the upper hand in the relationship.

“A partner, usually a man but not exclusively, shower the other person with attention, affection, compliments, flattery, and essentially creates that context where they feel like they have met their soul mate and so on. ‘is effortless, “said Dr Raghavan in a telephone interview. . “The reality is that the person doing the love bombing creates or manipulates the environment to make it seem like he or she is the perfect one or that she is the perfect mate.”

Seems familiar? Here are some signs and patterns to keep in mind to avoid getting bombarded with love – and tips on what to do if you suspect it could happen to you.

Excessive attention and flattery

One of the complicated things about dating, Dr Raghavan said, is that whatever happens in healthy relationships can also happen in unhealthy relationships. Showing excessive attention is one example.

“If someone is paying attention to you and is usually present on the first date, it usually signals interest,” said Dr Raghavan, also a specialist in domestic violence and sex trafficking. “But there is also someone who pays you interest so that you are consumed with it. “

She added that it can be difficult to recognize the mismatch between familiarity (remember, this is someone you just met) and affection in the moment, especially when a person is speaking words. that you want to hear: “you are my soul mate”, “I have never met someone I feel so close to” or “everything about you is what I wanted”.

“It’s very over the top, histrionic, but could also be seen as deeply alluring and romantic, depending on what happens in between, what happens after,” Dr Raghavan said.

Isolation from friends and family

It may seem nice that your new boyfriend wants to spend all of his time with you. But more often than not, it’s a red flag: the person may be a narcissist trying to isolate you from other connections in your life in order to exercise control.

Amy Brunell, a psychology professor at Ohio State University whose research focuses on narcissism in social and romantic relationships, said that while there isn’t much research on domestic violence and narcissism, there is a link. Controlling a person’s social life from the start can leave them nowhere to turn when a relationship deteriorates.

“It sows the seeds of intimate partner violence, because usually a person will eventually have enough and want to get out of it, and then it’s really hard,” Dr Brunell said in a telephone interview.

Inordinate gifts

Dr Raghavan said giving gifts to new partners is a common way for love bombers to exert influence, and even if they don’t have the money, they can act like they had some.

“It is part of the idea of ​​excess and crushing the person to be swept away,” she said, adding that “the constant attention, the flattery, the flirtation, the gifts” make it difficult “to understand that you are overwhelmed. And when you are overwhelmed, you see no danger.

Narcissists tend to be materialistic themselves, Dr Brunell said, so they can also give gifts to increase their worth and self-esteem.

“It reminds me a bit of the Christian Gray stuff in this show, the high end chronic giveaways,” she said, referring to the main character in “Fifty Shades of Gray.” Because such characters abound in romantic media, she added, their behavior “becomes our equivalent idea of ​​romance.”

Paul Eastwick, professor of psychology at the University of California at Davis, whose research examines how people initiate and engage in romantic relationships, noted that not all big gestures should be red flags.

“Generally speaking, the way we give affection to others, the way we show them that we care about them, the way we try to support them, all of these things tend to predict in a robust way. good results, “Dr Eastwick said in a statement. telephone interview. The love bombardment, he said, probably represents a “small subset” of this behavior.

Bombed Post-Amour

In healthy adult romantic relationships, support, desire and affection tend to be reciprocated, Dr Eastwick said. But in cases of love bombing, the attention goes in one direction: one person tries to become the whole world of the other.

Dr Raghavan said people who have been the victims of love bombings often feel like they have lost their self-esteem, which can take a long time to rebuild.

“You lose the sense of who you are because little things are handled for you and those little things can be anything, from the way you dress to the way you present yourself,” Dr Raghavan said. . “But it can also be the kind of jokes you’re allowed to tell in public or the kind of woman he wants you to be.”

These experts said victims should be allowed patience and forgiveness, and could benefit from therapy as well. They should try to reconnect with the activities and people that mattered to them before the love bomber entered their lives, experts have advised.

“It has to happen, the acceptance of tragic events and the embrace of the positivity of the future,” said Dr Raghavan.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Love Bombing: what it is and the signs to look for in a partner
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