This whole blogging experience has been like learning a new language. During one of my recent blogs I mentioned a term called ‘gaslighting‘, of which opened up a whole new world of knowledge and understanding.
I recently came across another term called ‘love bombing’. Love bombing is an evil, wicked tool that builds their victims to a high. Then instantly brings them crashing down with disastrous results.
What is ‘love bombing’?
Love Bombing is a tool mainly used by sociopaths or narcissists who try to control the relationship with bombs brimming with “love” right from day one. Narcissists and sociopaths thrive on drama and they don’t care what form it takes. ‘Love bombing’ is another weapon in their arsenal of abuse and manipulation.
The heavy bombardment of love actions that may appear very similar to “love”. But these actions are extremely overwhelming and deliberately executed. It is so intense that the bombing can effectively sweep people off their feet and cause high levels of infatuation, as the target is unaware that it is a manipulative means to gain attention.
Who do they target?
The perpetrators mainly focus on the weak or vulnerable in society. It is the main weapon of paedophiles or other sexual predators. These victims may be at a vulnerable stage in their life and the love bomber swoops in and naturally seems to fill all the voids. They play close attention to painful emotional wounds, weaknesses and insecurities. They will tell their victim everything they want to hear and they often express dramatic displays of affection. However, anyone can be taken advantage of and can become a victim, particularly people following a difficult break up or depressed state.
Love bombing is initially carried out through excessive phone calls, text messages, emails, and so on. Also they express the constant desire to be in close contact whether virtual or physical and the desire to be connected almost every moment of every day.
Three phased pattern.
These stages may not just happen once. The cycle can go round and round on repeat until either the abuser becomes bored or until the one who is the target sees through it.
idealization, The love bomber identifies the needs of their victims and attempt to fill that void with what they wish to offer their victims. Love bombers are masters at flattery. They constantly tell their victims how much they adore them, how beautiful they are, how funny, talented, special, precious and any other sweet nothing they can think of. Love bombers will make their partner feel as though they are the only person in the world. They talk about subject such as; how grateful they are to finally be understood, what terrible previous relationships they had, how they have found the love of their lives and so on.
Devaluation, The abuser finds this stage stimulating and just as exciting as the early days. As their victim’s self-worth has been determined by the bombers words and actions. From this point the love bomber begins to rip the victim apart. They have become proficient at knowing which buttons to press that will trigger the emotions the bomber requires.
Discarding. When the victim starts to feel strong enough to break away, the cycle of love bombing goes back to the start to the start and the vicious cycle starts all over again.
This scenario is repeated and repeated until one or the other can bear no more.
Is love bombing similar to gaslighting?
Very much so. Love bombing is a predatory move. It is intended to lure and attract a victim so that they feel irreplaceable and fall unquestioningly into their trap. The love bomber doesn’t need to make any real emotional commitment to their victim. Love bombing is a one-way game, with the simple goal of destabilizing and derailing the person being targeted so that they become very easy to manipulate.
Gas lighting has similar attributes. The person convinces the victim that they have some form of problem that only they can understand and therefore, give the impression that they being helpful and supportive – perhaps the only one in the world who can.
As identified, the one being bombed can quickly become co-dependent on the love bomber. This is especially when their confidence low and it comes at a time when they appreciate any form of approval. Once dependency has been achieved and the bomber has obtained what they set out for they will quickly lose interest and they will no longer find the relationship fulfilling.
How dare you challenge them
If the victim starts to question the ‘realness’ of the relationship, the bomber will attempt to cause maximum damage. They will be outraged that anyone has dared to challenge or question them. Especially if it’s their partner of whom they have claimed to love and adore. A narcissists refuse to, or cannot, deliver such things as commitment, respect, honesty, authenticity or intimacy and so see this as a personal attack upon their character and ability to love.
After the challenge, the love bomber will retaliate by becoming emotionally distant, withholding affection, blaming their partner for the downfall of the relationship, using silent treatment, moods or even temper tantrums to cause emotional torment. All of the initial flushes of romance dissipate and the victim is left craving the intensity of what they once knew. It is also quite likely that the love bomber will disappear for days or even months at a time to deliver a timely and crushing blow.
The big wide world is full of pitfalls and trip hazards. The problem with ‘love bombing’ is that we feel the bomber is offering us everything we have ever desired. They seem to protect us from the evil and wicked world in which we live. These people are false and set out to use their victims for their own gratification. Love bombers sit alongside ‘gaslighters’ on the manipulative scale.
If you are vulnerable, perhaps due to depression or a desire to be wanted following a disastrous relationship. You are clearly in their sites. I hope that this blog has given some pointers to help identify these individuals (both male and female).