Are you in a relationship with a narcissist? If so, you might have experienced the phenomenon known as “love bombing,” which is yet another form of manipulation that a narcissist uses to reel in his victims.
The Urban Dictionary calls an “a person who is full of love and always ready to express their love for somebody,” a love bomber. But when there’s a narc involved, it turns into a whole other ball of wax.
Why does love bombing work so well?
We all know how predictable a narcissist can be. And in the early stages of a relationship (or even during a “renewal” period in a long-term relationship, in which he reactivates the love bomb), you can rest assured that certain things will happen, with almost any love-bombing narc.
According to Kim Saeed at LetMeReach.com, it’s because love is the one thing we all really want and need.
“Love is the most sought-after human need,” Saeed writes. “So, when a target receives an overwhelming amount of love and acceptance, it’s very hard to analyze the reasons ‘why’ for fear of losing what they’ve desperately been longing for.”
She adds that after awhile, “the target becomes blindly dependent on their abuser; all while being hammered into submission.”
I can relate to that one. How about you?
Melanie Tonia Evans, a well-known narcissism expert, says that the narcissist engages in love bombing for a very specific reason: they are in desperate need of narcissistic supply.
“You must understand that the narcissistic emotional ‘love’ model is not the normal human one we know,” Evans writes.“Narcissists are insatiably needy. We know there are ‘needy’ people in the world – but the normal human version of ‘needy’ bares very little resemblance to a narcissist’s neediness.”
Healthy vs. Narcissistic Relationship Development
In a normal relationship, you grow closer over a number of months or years. But when it comes to a narcissist, one of the biggest red flags early in a relationship is his blatant desire to move quickly.
The narcissist will start off by rushing into it. He will idealize you and make you feel like he’s the part of you that’s been missing all of your life. You’ll be all, “OMG, love at first sight!”
Don’t get me wrong – I’m sure there are some totally legit “love at first sight” stories. But in general, if this happens, you’d do best to take a step back and reevaluate.
What Love Bombing Looks Like in Action
At first, it’ll all seem too good to be true. You’ll spend hours talking, and maybe you’ll get sweet little texts all day long. He will “like” every Facebook status you post, and maybe even comment on them all about how amazing/smart/beautiful, etc. you are.
He will say that you’re the best female he’s ever met – the rest are so crazy/unpredictable/whore-ish, etc. He will lavish attention on you like you’re his princess.
He might even take off work in order to spend more time with you – and at first, it all seems so perfect. You’ll think “maybe he’s my soulmate!” and he’ll take full advantage of such assumptions.
He will say all the right things, and it’ll just feel like you truly know him within days or weeks. You’ll feel like he understands you like no one else ever has, and no matter how smart you are, you’ll fall for it all – hook, line, and sinker.
You might get overwhelmed with gifts (which, of course, as you’ll soon find out, always have strings attached).
This will lead to the inevitable next step – he starts mirroring you; that is, he will start “reflecting back to you” exactly what you really want to hear.
This is because, by becoming your ideal man, he gains a tiny bit of control over you. He can only gain the control if he has your full attention – and he knows the best way to get it.
“You just get me.”
He will tell you that somehow, you’re the first person he’s ever come along who “just gets him.” He’ll say that you understand him like no one ever could, and he will wonder how he ever got along without you.
He might even ask, “Where have you been all my life?”