Human beings have an innate desire for love and belonging. We want to know that someone else thinks the world of us and would love to spend their time and life with us. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that as it’s how we are made.
However, that NEED for love can be used as a weapon against you to make you easy prey for the narcissist through love bombing which is, the intense and extravagant show of affection and attention, especially at the start of a new relationship.
Love bombing disarms you and makes you very vulnerable to abuse because it creates a false sense of acceptance, belonging, and even dependency. Authentic love is patient and it takes time to build but love from a narcissist makes you feel like everything needs to happen right away! The commitment, the “I do,” the happy-ever-after, and the perfect story. Do you see how filmmakers compress love stories into 60 minutes of screen time? That’s how love bombing happens. All at once.
The narcissist creates an unbreakable bond built on the foundation of false promises of a future too bright and faultless. One that’s exactly how you dreamed about when you thought of love. They put you on a pedestal and almost worship the ground you walk on to ensure that there’s no doubt in your mind about their intentions so that one day when they suddenly push you off the cliff, you will think that it’s your fault you tripped over and fell.
The love bombing stage of narcissistic abuse is a dangerous one because it convinces your brain that the narcissist in your life is a good person….good for you. It’s a smokescreen. A veil of deception and manipulation. This makes it very difficult to break away from the cycle of abuse because a part of you thinks that there is goodness and kindness in the narcissist. When the love bombing turns into devaluation or abuse, you start longing and hoping for the version of the narcissist that was loving and giving – while the truth is that that person doesn’t exist.
A narcissist will use love bombing to make excuses or cover their abuse, betrayal, mistreatment, and disrespect because they know they can always use it to manipulate you into forgiving and getting back with them.
Love bombing by a narcissist looks like this:
- A rush to make everything official and seem right. They say they love you too soon, have sex immediately, want to move in, meet your family, get married, and let the whole world know you’re together.
- Convince you that you are meant for each other. Words like soulmates, twin flames, and divine connection will be thrown around to trick you into believing they are your forever person.
- Grandiose acts of love; gifts, dates, chocolates, flowers, vacations, etc. You’ll get everything you think love should be about. It feels too good to be true that somehow, someone like this exists and they are hopelessly in love with you.
- Narcissists copy your likes and dislikes to make you think you are like two peas in a pod and you’re truly a match made in heaven. There will be a lot of “me too!” from them when you talk about things you enjoy like music, movies, and books. It won’t take long before you have inside jokes and shared dreams.
- Excessive compliments and flattery. You’ll be made to feel like you’re invincible, perfect, and blameless. You’ll wonder why nobody ever saw you in this light of perfection.
- They play your hero – the one who always saves the day by paying your bills, coming through when you need them, a shoulder to cry and lean on for all your troubles, and the one who’ll never hurt you nor forsake you.
Narcissistic love bombing looks and feels exactly like love but it’s not. If you are confused about the two, try setting boundaries and see how the other person reacts. A narcissist hates boundaries because you’re taking the control that they feel entitled to have over you. Stay vigilant and guard your heart especially if you’re a hopeless romantic or if you’ve been through abuse and dysfunction before. I say the following with love: the cracks a narcissist will use are your brokenness, desperation for affection, unhealed wounds, and trauma.
Many of us have been the victim of love bombing without even realizing it. Thank you, Chelli, for making it so easy to understand!
Chelli is a Certified Integrative Medicine Mental Health Provider and can assist you in exploring health issues as part of your healing and recovery process.