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What is love bombing? How to spot it happening to you and what to do.

Love bombing is a term used to describe the typical, early day, initial stages of a relationship with a narcissistic personality. The narcissist will go all out to impress their target with flattery, gifts, notes, flowers, vacations, dinners at expensive restaurants, and promises of a future together. This manipulative behavior is to make the target believe that they have just gone on their dream date and that they have met their perfect partner, perhaps even their soul mate!

My first date was memorable, he arrived looking and smelling incredible. He brought me roses, behaved in the most chivalrous manner, opening my car door, and made pleasant conversation as we drove to one of the most expensive and prestigious restaurants in our city. We valet parked, and sat at a quiet candle-lit table in the front of the restaurant with spectacular views of the three rivers and bridges surrounding the downtown Pittsburgh area. He had our names printed on the restaurant's matchboxes and they were set on our table with the silverware. He charmed me with funny stories and we spent two plus hours talking, laughing and really "hitting it off!" He had me completely sold; so much so that when I got home that night, I remember calling my best friend and telling her, "I think he's the one!"

I regularly received flowers, cards, and small thoughtful gifts. He would talk about long term plans after only being together for a few months. I remember feeling so loved, wanted, cherished, and adored. Little did I know that his charming demeanor, flattery, and doting manner was just a ploy to hook me in and gain my trust. As I look back now I was so wrapped up in feeling loved and enjoying all the attention I was getting. I didn't see the red flags of crossed boundaries and controlling, manipulative behaviors. He controlled where we went, what we did, who we spent time with, all under the pretext of love, telling me that "We were meant for each other", and "perfect together" even though we had only known each other a short amount of time. I remember thinking to myself, perhaps it was all too good to be true, but I was swept off my feet and completely love bombed!

If you're in a brand new relationship and you are being told you are "perfect together", getting excessively showered with affection, compliments, and gifts, and having the pants charmed off you, (sometimes literally) take a step back. If they are showing up unannounced and demanding more of your time and affection than you are ready to give, pay attention to that small voice inside, it's your intuition talking. Listen to it.

If you're feeling uncomfortable that things are going too fast, and the person isn't respecting your space and your boundaries, it is highly likely you're being love bombed.

So what do you do if you think perhaps you are being love-bombed? After all isn't every new relationship about flowers, flattery and compliments? Let your partner know how you're feeling. Ask them to slow things down, to respect your boundaries and provide you with some space. A healthy person will understand, back off and respect your wishes without judgment. If they try to make you feel guilty or ungrateful for everything they have done for you, or they try to justify their behavior without respecting your request; run, Forrest, run! Stand your ground. Walk away and pat yourself on the back for successfully becoming a love bomb disabler!

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