Signs of love bombing
You swiped right, and you hit it off with your new match. They understand your jokes, listen to the same artists, and seem to be a genuinely kind person. They’ve already expressed that they believe you’re the perfect person for them and even talked about the idea of getting married to you.
But there’s one problem. You’ve only known them for two weeks, and things seem to be moving faster than you anticipated.
In pop culture, we see this all the time. Two people meet, one person might want to take it slow, and the pursuer continues to overstep boundaries by sending lavish gifts and calling incessantly, causing the other person to cave. Then, they fall madly in love and live happily ever after within a matter of weeks. This unrealistic depiction of love is an example of love bombing and could be a potential red flag for an unhealthy or abusive relationship.
Which of these might look like love bombing during a pandemic?
We asked our love is respect followers in a poll.
Wanting to video call you after class to see you and see what you are doing.
Asking which park you and your friends are hanging out in so, they can stop by and talk.
Saying they're just dying to see you and are willing to break COVID restrictions because they miss you so much.
Asking for your schedule so they can "surprise" you during the day.
Any of the above if they feel forced or are things you don't want.
The truth is, all of the above are examples of love bombing. It may seem as if your new love interest is just really into you, but these behaviors may signal a rocky future. As you navigate the dating scene, it is okay to question your feelings about a potential partner and their motives. Trust your gut if the attention you’re receiving seems too good to be true.
There are many red flags associated with love bombing, but here are five common ones that a new partner could be love bombing you.
- Over-the-top compliments
Giving and receiving compliments is normal and can feel validating when it comes from your new partner. However, extreme flattery can be an early sign of manipulation.
Phrases such as:
- “You are the answer to all my prayers.”
- “No one can ever compare to you.”
- “You are perfect; my life would be nothing without you.”
Sentences like these can feel grandiose, especially if you are getting to know the person. Check-in with yourself, and ask if you feel comfortable with these comments. Decide if you are okay with the relationship’s pace and vocalize your concerns to your partner if the situation seems odd.
- They call you their "soulmate"
When you think you’ve found “the one,” you may have a sense of relief. Although this can be a fulfilling feeling, the truth is it takes time to get to know someone and gain an understanding of who they are. Being called “their other half,” “soulmate,” or even being told “I love you” in a matter of weeks can signal a larger issue, especially if it makes you feel anxious. If being placed on a pedestal early in the relationship creates confusing emotions, it may be a good idea to discuss it with your partner.
- Communication with them is intense
Lots of communication is natural at the beginning of a relationship. It’s new, fresh, and full of exciting unknowns. A steady cadence of phone calls, texts, or DMs is not unusual, especially as you learn more about your new partner and establish communication patterns that work for both of you. However, feeling overwhelmed with texts, calls, and messages during the day from your partner is unusual. If you feel uneasy because of the communication timing or if the tone feels aggressive, speak with your partner about your thoughts, and discuss what is most comfortable for you to receive.
- Costly gifts
Exchanging gifts while you’re dating is not uncommon and can be a thoughtful way to show you like the person. It could even deepen your connection and help you learn more about your partner. It is easy to believe that receiving lavish items and gifts at the beginning of a relationship illustrates deep affection. However, it could be a smoke-screen for abusive behavior or a reason to validate harsh treatment later. Examples of expensive gifts include:
- Purchasing tickets for international trips
- Pricey jewelry
- Designer handbags
- Offering financial support, such as paying your rent or utilities, without prompting
Receiving presents can make you feel special but if the gifts are accompanied by phrases such as “I bought this, so you have to do what I say” or “I pay your bills, don’t talk to me like that,” then it may be another warning sign of an abusive relationship.
- They want all of your time
The beginning of a new relationship can leave you feeling enamored, and it’s not unusual for you and your partner to choose to spend more time together. But healthy separation is necessary for any partnership. Before meeting, you may have had standing obligations, family relationships, and friendships that enriched your personal life. The addition of a romantic relationship may shift some of your priorities, but it should be an enhancement and not overtake every aspect of your life.
However, if your partner shows signs of irritation, anger, requesting that you end your friendships, or even “stonewalling” you when you want to spend time with others, it could be a significant red flag for potential abuse.
Including your partner in a discussion about actions that feel uncomfortable to you may help you develop a strong and healthy relationship. It’s also important to trust your gut. If you sense something is wrong or feel that your partner’s behavior is unusual, you may be right. As you explore different relationships, lean on your pillars of support if you’re unsure about the person’s actions.
If you’re looking for a more objective perspective, our love is respect advocates can be reached by texting “LOVEIS” to 22522, chatting via the site, or calling 1.866.331.9474 if you still need more clarity about love bombing.