For those who have been unfortunate enough to experience this in real life, it may bring back unpleasant memories. Because that’s what it’s like when someone has been “love-bombed” by a narcissist – a rollercoaster of a story that begins with intense love, and ends in tears.
Creeped out yet? You will be when you learn that almost anyone can be affected by this manipulative love style. Especially those who come from blessed families and have been sheltered from these sorts of characters all their life.
But first, what exactly is love-bombing?
It’s a game (truly, it is) played by individuals where they fake being in love with you at first (a.k.a the idealization phase) and then pull the rug out from under your feet through incredibly demeaning behavior later on (a.k.a the devaluation phase). All because they love how powerful they feel when they know they hold the strings to your emotional state.
So here are the 20 common signs seen when someone is love-bombing you. And if while reading this you get a gut feeling that your relationship eerily resembles this, don’t make excuses for your partner. Just get out A.S.A.P!
20He Declared His Love After The First Date
“I love you” is a heavy-duty line that most of us do not use flippantly. It conveys a lot more than just admiration or respect. It says that we see the other person as someone extremely dear to us. In short, emotions that cannot be generated after the first date!
But don’t jump the gun if someone does this to you. It could just mean that this particular person comes from a family where people are very affectionate and throw around “I love you” superficially on a daily basis.
This is a sign of love-bombing only when you experience at least half the other signs mentioned in this list.
19His Expressions Of Desire Are Deeply Dramatic
Love-bombers will follow up their too-soon admissions of love with dramatic displays of desire. And this usually is very over-the-top. So much so that you will find yourself wondering from time to time how you suddenly ended up in a romantic comedy of your own!
That means he will take you out to the poshest places in town for dates, including a secluded gazebo setup with violinists playing in the background and a thousand fairy lights lighting up the space. And will drop by every night just to give you a bunch of flowers and a kiss goodnight before he walks away, pretending to be a gentleman.
18He Tells Her Exactly What She Wants To Hear
Narcissists are experts at faking emotions because they know that people dole out praises and attention by the bucketload when they feel deeply connected to someone. That’s why they are always well-trained at telling you exactly what you want to hear without making it seem like an act.
They do so by asking you unassuming questions that put you at ease instantly and make you blab like nobody’s business.
All the while, they’re filing away the information in their head so they can reply appropriately later on and make you feel as if they are the most perfect person on this planet for you.
17He Can’t Stop Complimenting Her
Compliments might make us feel good, but all of us are put off by it when they are doled out too much by the same person. There’s a term for this excessive sweet tongue-wagging. It’s called buttering.
But the weird thing is, while our radar picks up on buttering behavior in practically every non-romantic scenario, as soon as romance comes into the picture, many of us tend to switch off the critical voice in our head that warns us the compliments are a bit too much.
And narcissists use this psychological flaw to their advantage to get you dependent on their sweet words.
16Her Gut Tells Her It’s Too Good To Be True
Let’s face it, most of us are guilty of never listening to our gut and then lamenting later that we should have heard that teeny voice at the back of our head once the mistake has been committed.
Well, our conscious mind might be too oblivious of our manipulator’s charms, but our gut always knows it when there’s something off about the other person’s behavior. And this feeling is voiced out as disbelief.
So if you often find yourself exclaiming to your friends that this person is too good to be true, believe yourself.
Especially if you try to explain away their odd behavior immediately after voicing your disbelief.
15He Spends Lavishly On Her
There’s a caveat to this sign. If the guy you are dating happens to be obscenely rich, him spending lavishly on you is no big deal. He probably spends ten times that on himself every single day.
But what if the guy isn’t some rich kid? If he still happens to spend lavishly on you, by taking you out for dinner every other night, buying you expensive chocolates and perfumes, or footing your spa bill, there’s a big chance you are being plumped up for the eventual fall.
So watch out for this extravagant behavior. Especially if he has a habit of subtly bragging about them too.
14He Backpedals Instantly When She Points Out Questionable Behavior
Emotional manipulators always test the boundaries of their partner one minuscule move at a time. And when they hit those boundaries, they backpedal fast and apologize profusely.
In fact, they might even claim that what they had done was extremely out of character for them, thus, dislodging blame onto the ether.
To a smart observer, these cracks cannot be talked away. But if their partner happens to be an innocent soul who has a forgiving nature (their personal favorite), they almost always get away with such questionable behavior because of all the sweet talks and romantic gestures they had plied them up with so far.
13He’s Racing Through The Relationship Milestones
You gave each other pet names three days after your first date. Cried for the first time in front of each other one week after that. Moved in together after one more week. And then he dropped down on one knee (most probably in front of a stadium full of people) within the one-month mark.
Sounds familiar? If the guy you are dating has been racing you through relationship milestones too soon, it’s most likely a case of love-bombing. In fact, you might have even tried to slow him down, but because he knows your psyche so well, he managed to make you believe that racing through was a perfectly normal thing to do!
12He Paints A Vivid Picture Of The Future Together
Narcissists want you to think of them as the most perfect person on this planet. And since it’s easier to manipulate someone when they have formed a strong emotional bond with the narcissist, they will always paint the most vivid picture of your future together right from the start.
This will include dreams of a grand wedding at an exotic location, travel plans around the world, visions of the kind of house the two of you will have, and how many dogs (or cats) you will adopt later.
And with each dream, you will find yourself losing touch with reality, which is exactly what he wants.
11He Acts Like A Hero Who Has Come To Her Rescue
Narcissistic individuals don’t just want you to think they are perfect. They want you to worship the ground on which they walk. And what better way to bolster that image than by pretending to be your hero? Or rather a superhero.
And since human beings are incredibly lazy, he takes advantage of this trait and slowly makes you completely dependent on him, all the while bragging how he’s your Prince Charming and will always do right by you and make your life easy. He thrives off of turning you into a desperate, Damsel in Distress!
10He Stays In Touch 24/7!
Romantic relationships are just a small part of our life. We also have career commitments, our personal goals, and family and friends to look after besides that. That’s why it’s a big red flag when the guy you are dating can’t seem to stop texting you throughout the day.
It’s as if he secretly wants you to make him your whole world, and therefore, is slowly cutting you off from all the other important aspects of your life.
And if he’s a pro at it, he can even end up costing you your job. After which he will gallantly offer to take you under his wing financially, thus, turning you completely helpless!
9She Feels Like She Has Told Him Her Deepest Thoughts Too Soon
Love-bombers want to control you and your affection. And there’s no better way of doing that than by knowing all your deepest darkest secrets. After all, the fear of exposure would be enough to keep you close to him once he decides to drop his loving mask.
Therefore, if you find yourself sharing your deepest secrets with the guy you are dating after just a few dates and getting a queasy sensation in your stomach about it once you are back home alone, chances are high that you are being love-bombed by a power-tripping narcissist.
8Her Friends Have A Bad Feeling About Him
If your friends warn you that the guy you are dating is not good for you, believe them. It’s because you are too emotionally invested in the relationship to see the signs of toxicity your guy might be exhibiting from time to time. In fact, most of us are very good at making wild excuses for such behavior just because we don’t want to feel like a fool who got taken for a ride.
So pay attention to what your friends say about your guy. And if they are the diplomatic kind, watch out for evasive answers that reveal they don’t trust the guy that much.
7He Convinces Her That He’s Better Than The Previous People She Dated
Only a narcissist will insist that he is better than everyone else on this planet and is so unique that nobody is even in his league. And while it’s easy to laugh at this delusional way of thinking when we are not romantically involved with such a person, the game changes once we are.
Why? Because most of us don’t think very highly of our exes, to begin with, and want to believe that the guy we have chosen now is a class apart from them. And this makes it very easy for the love-bomber to convince you that he’s something out of the ordinary and must be held onto with joy and admiration.
6The Tables Turn Suddenly
Now we have arrived at the creepy part of love-bombing. The devaluation phase where the guy who was so sweet to you all this while and who made you believe that he was your soulmate suddenly shifts gears and starts finding faults in you.
In fact, some love-bombers will even flirt with other girls in front of you and shower them with the same kind of affection they showed you in the beginning.
And the result? You will do everything he asks you to do just so he goes back to being sweet to you again, which he will be from time to time just to reinforce that you must behave exactly as he pleases or he will withdraw his affection.
5His Demands And Expectations Are Unrealistic
He will want you to be at his beck and call all times of the day, every day of the week. He will force you to drop your plans with your friends because he thinks they are not good for you. He will make career decisions for you and even demand that you consult with him before you make any personal purchases with your own money.
And if you refuse to fulfill them, he will get upset. So much so that after a while his unrealistic expectations will start to seem realistic to you. In fact, you might even believe that if you try hard enough, you will succeed in fulfilling them so he can love you once more!
4His Love Has Dried Up
When it’s true love, it’s unconditional. And since narcissists only know how to love their own self, his demands and behavior will belie that he never loved you at all. It was just a farce to get you addicted to him so he could later leech off your love and devotion just to feel good about himself.
And if you leave him at this point, he will stalk you and suggest that you left him because you never loved him in the first place!
3He Criticizes Her All The Time
The criticisms are small at the beginning of the devaluation phase because he knows that too much will alert you to his machinations. But he will increase the volume bit by bit so you get accustomed to this toxic behavior and think his criticisms are fair. And before you know it, you will be living in a bubble of criticism 24/7.
The purpose of this is to break down your self-esteem. Because once you believe that his lack of affection is somehow your fault, it will never even strike you that you should leave him.
2He Keeps Poking At Her Insecurities
The one who knows your strengths, weaknesses, and secrets, can control your emotions and actions like a puppetmaster. And since broken souls make the best puppets, he will pinch your insecurities constantly so you always feel inadequate in your skin.
That means, if you are conscious of your figure, he will keep calling you fat even when you are perfectly normal. And if you are insecure about your position in your workplace, he will keep mocking your job and make you feel worthless.
And the worst part is, he will give you logical reasons as to why he’s saying all those things, which will aggravate your insecurities even more!
1She’s Become An Emotional Train Wreck
Finally, once he has drained your love and affection and has broken you down completely, he will pull the plug on the relationship and walk away without a second glance. In fact, he might start dating someone immediately after that as if you meant nothing to him. (You never did.)
The result? You will need years of intensive therapy to heal from their toxic ministrations and get back on your feet…if you are fortunate. If not, he will come back to rekindle your relationship right when you are almost healed but not quite enough to refuse his advances.