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What’s With All The Love? Understanding Love Bombing

Updated: Feb 2, 2022

Can we talk about love bombing?

“The biggest coward of a man is to awaken the love of a woman without the intention of loving her.” Bob Marley.

Boy meets girl.

When the relationship starts, it feels like you have been thrown into a romantic movie. The pair of you speak on the phone often. You text into ungodly hours of the night. You're showered with praise and compliments. You receive more gifts: perfumes, flowers, spa days for you and your friends, expensive outfits, food delivered to your doorstep or your office, trips around the country and abroad to places you never dreamt you'd visit in the next 6 months.

They show up whenever you call, whenever you need them and always seem to be within the area in order to surprise you.

Big promises are made; promises of more trips, more gifts, bigger gifts, a big wedding, a happy life. Everything you've always desired. This is it. This is the relationship you've been praying for. You've found the one, your soulmate. You now understand what truly being in love means. You're living a fairy tale romance, a fantasy. You start to set the course for the rest of your life.

Then, everything goes dark. No calls. No texts and when you do get a response it's after hours, days even.

Sometimes the attitude on the other end of the phone seems distant or even irritated. Even worse, you are accused of being self-centred or self-absorbed for wanting quality time or for wanting to go back to the days when things seemed to be good, smooth and easy between the two of you.

This is a love bomb. tik tik BOOM!

Love bombing


  1. manipulative technique that narcissists and abusive individuals use to boost their egos and manipulate the person that they are in a relationship with.

  2. when a connection starts off ablaze from the jump, it’s just time, affection, attention, gifts, physical touch and then slowly those things start to get taken away.

  3. the practice of overwhelming someone with signs of adoration and attraction.

Love bombing is common in romantic movies and romcoms. But these are movies, viewers commit an hour or two to watching these stories unfold and so of course the love story is going to wrap up very quickly. Social media hasn’t made things any better. We are constantly presented with this idea of what love and affection looks like; big over-the-top gestures that are “Instagram-worthy” and so our idea of true affection gets convoluted.

But life is much broader and deeper than that and love takes time to grow and develop. A love bomb can only do one thing; explode in your life and leave you hurt.

P.S: It’s been noted that love bombing is also used by cults, gang members and their leaders to draw in followers. It can also be done by a person who desires a deep platonic relationship that isn’t intimate in nature (think: becoming your BFF)

Stages of love bombing


It’s love at first sight. The fantasy romance is on full scale. The relationship is filled with attention and affection. Everything is over the top and an absolute dream. The victim’s idea of love is being presented to them. There’s so much passion. The love bomber often goes as far as declaring how much they love or adore you and even how they want to marry you or show you off to their family and friends. In some cases, the love bomber may even start to pressure their victim into having sex.


The love bomber starts to withdraw or withhold affection and attention. This may mean that they no longer give you presents or get in touch as frequently as they used to. This often happens when the victim starts to show interest in pursuing the relationship. The love bomber may: becomes passive-aggressive, employing silent treatment tactics, being outwardly angry or calling the victim selfish.


All contact is cut off. The love bomber may even go as far as blocking all contact on all platforms or change phone numbers. For the victim, this can be confusing because they start to wonder what they did wrong to ruin a good thing.

Signs of love bombing

Disregard for boundaries.

It doesn’t matter whether you prefer to have people call you before they show up at your home. If they want to see you, the love bomber will show up at your door. It doesn’t matter that you have work and other responsibilities. If they want to take you on a trip or meet for a meal, the love bomber will expect you to drop everything to spend time with them. It doesn’t matter that you don’t like over-the-top exhibitions of affection. If they want to show up at your workplace with the largest bouquet of flowers or organise a flash mob for you, they will. Love bombers have no respect for boundaries even when you communicate them clearly.

It’s all about the words.

A love bomber will suffocate you with compliments. “You are the most wonderful person in the world.” “You are my soulmate.” “You complete me.” “I can’t imagine my life without you.” “I love you and want to spend my life with you.” All this even after knowing each other for a few weeks or months.

Intense and unbalanced feelings.

Because love bombing is about speeding into and out of a relationship, the love bomb goes off on you; when you haven’t reciprocated the same kind of affection or don’t understand where it stems from (you haven’t had enough time to get to know each other for that kind of intense love to make sense).

The need for commitment or an intimate relationship really quickly.

The love bomber will often ask when you can be their girlfriend or boyfriend or constantly suggest sex. They may also study you to figure out what makes you tick. This may look them always asking about your life, dreams and goals without offering any information about themselves. This information helps them create the façade they need to ensnare you into the love bomb even quicker.


Love bombers will do their best to fill up their victim’s time. They isolate you from your friends and family or any other person who is likely to see the red flags in this relationship and let you know that something is fishy. They also isolate you so that you’re the only thing or person on your mind so you may give them all the attention they thrive on. Isolation makes you an easier target.

Patterned behaviour.

The love bombing is patterned behaviour. It doesn’t happen once. The love bomber will treat all the people the same way. If a victim happens to get into a long-term relationship with a love bomber, they are likely to go through cycles of such treatment over and over again. If you're aware of a love bomber’s intimate relationship history, it’s easy to spot that this is how they go through life.