The term „love bombing“ is used for a manipulative behavioral reference in dating. In „love bombing,“ a person is blindsided by the other person, often on the first date, with intense expressions of love and appreciation. This includes frequent messaging, increased interest, and early declarations of love.
What is „love bombing“? Meaning, definition, explanation.
These signs of „love bombing“ are initially perceived by victims as sweet and charming. However, the aim of „love bombing“ is to make the other person emotionally dependent. Often, after a short time, the desire is then expressed to move in together, or to take a longer vacation.
The meaning behind the term „Love bombing“
The word „bombing“ indicates the abundance and intensity of the expressions of love that are initially expressed by „love bombers“. However, like a bomb whose impact creates a large explosion, but which eventually peters out and leaves a crater, this phase quickly ends. „Love bombers“ suddenly show a different side of themselves.
If those affected do not comply with the wishes of „love bombers“, they react with accusations of guilt, quarrelsomeness and humiliation. Affected persons are accused of not reciprocating love sufficiently. Normal wishes (hobbies, being with friends, privacy) are then no longer accepted by the „love bomber“. Affected persons are portrayed as selfish when they express the need for their own lifestyle. This can extend to the smallest areas of life, such as the choice of clothing.
Basically, „love bombers“ punish unwanted behavior of the other person with silence, rejection and devaluations. If the affected person behaves as desired, the love expressions return. In this way, „love bombers“ try to get their counterparts to behave exactly as they want them to. They exploit the emotional dependency relationship that has been created in order to gain complete control over affected persons.
That is why the term „love bombing“ has become established in the vernacular for this specific phenomenon. Psychologists are increasingly recognizing „love bombing“ as a form of psychological manipulation.
„Love bombing“ as an Expression of a Difficult Personality
There are no official studies and statistics about gender relations in „love bombing“. However, it is assumed that most „love bombers“ are men. Low self-esteem is believed to be the cause of men’s manipulative and controlling behavior.
It is also believed that many „love bombing“ prone men have a heightened narcissistic personality. This can be seen, among other things, in the fact that such men tend to blame others for their own misbehavior, even outside of their relationships. „Love bombing“ by women with similar personality traits, however, is not impossible.
Recognizing love bombing
The feelings that occur in almost every new relationship – strong emotionality and a feeling of weightlessness – can be separated from the specific phenomenon of „love bombing.“ This is rather characterized by the deliberate use of the psychological tactic of alternating praise and punishment.
Victims of „love bombing“ find themselves in a situation of emotional abuse. This often makes it difficult for them to even recognize the „love bombing“. When the partner’s behaviors that indicate this are recognized, those affected still have great difficulty extricating themselves from the negative relationship. They may have developed strong feelings about their manipulative partner themselves. Furthermore, attempts to separate are rarely accepted by „love bombers“.