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What Is Love Bombing and Why Is It Bad?

Being in love is a wonderful aspect of being human, but what is not all it seems? If you are being “loved bombed”, while you may feel as though you are being romanced off your feet, in reality, you are being manipulated. In this article, we will look at what love bombing means, the signs to look for, why love bombing is so damaging to both relationships and the individuals involved and explain how you can identify and stop love bombing to maintain your emotional well-being.


What exactly is “Love Bombing”?

Far from being a positive and exciting behaviour by one person to another, love bombing is a form of psychological and emotional abuse whereby one person tries to manipulate the affections of another by using methods such as excessive flattery, affection, praise, and gift-giving. People who use love bombing as a method of manipulating others to gain control and create dependency often do so quickly in the early days of the relationship to confuse them into thinking that the attention and flattery are real love. It is not. They will often make the other person feel as though they are “soul mates” who are destined to be together and that they have everything in common. Unfortunately, in reality, they are not.

Given enough time, the person on the receiving side of the love bombing starts to feel overwhelmed and smothered by the behaviour, leaving them feeling confused about what is going on. It is often the case that those who use love bombing will also use this as a way of ‘making up’ after a fallout or disagreement.

How to spot Love Bombing

It is important for everyone to understand what love bombing means and to spot the signs for themselves to protect themselves or others from serious potential emotional harm. One of the obvious signs of love bombing is making grand declarations of love and commitment or even proposing marriage very early in the relationship. Another is showering the other person with excessive and constant attention, perhaps through frequent texts, calls, or surprise gifts. The effect of this on the person on the receiving end is a feeling of overwhelming closeness. Love bombers also tend to isolate their targets from their loved ones. This is done to make them feel as though they have no choice but to confide emotionally in the abuser. 

Love Bombing signs  include:

  • Wanting to spend all their time with you

  • Excessive jealousy

  • Making you feel guilty

  • Excessive praise and compliments - often followed by derogatory language or stone-walling

  • Lavish gifts and extravagant gestures (e.g. flowers, presents, holidays) 

  • Mirroring your words, preferences, and wishes

  • Wanting to know where you are and who with at all times 

  • Jealousy

Other examples of Love Bombing may include:

  • Excessive Flattery and Affection: Showering the target with constant compliments, praise, and affectionate gestures to create an illusion of intense connection and admiration.

  • Overwhelming Attention: Bombarding the target with frequent texts, calls, or surprise gifts, making them feel constantly desired and pursued.

  • Isolation: Deliberately isolating the target from their friends, family, and support networks to establish control and dependence on the love bomber.

  • Grand Declarations and Commitments: Making premature declarations of love, proposing marriage early in the relationship, or making promises of a future together to accelerate emotional attachment and commitment.

24 April 2024
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Why Is love bombing bad?

It may be tempting to want to believe that the actions of a love bomber are genuine and that what you have is real love, but it is important to understand that, given time, it can lead to significant emotional and psychological consequences for the person being love bombed (and their children). Love bombing behaviour typically creates a strong false sense of security and attachment, making the other person genuinely believe they have found an ideal partner. The problem is that they may also be more willing to overlook real risks and find themselves a victim of domestic abuse.

It is essential to understand that the love bombing is not genuine, and it does not last. It often gives way to emotional, physical, sexual and other forms of abuse, isolation, over-dependence, and financial manipulation. Those on the receiving end of love bombing often find that the perpetrator will use this tactic throughout their relationship, making it a genuine emotional rollercoaster. The relationship starts off with love bombing, gives way to abuse, and then love bombing is used as a way to heal any damage caused. This pattern is then repeated over and over for the length of the relationship. Many people who are being loved bombed are so confused and disoriented that they do not understand what is going on and how to get themselves out of the situation (or even recognise that they need to).   

How to Stop Love Bombing.

If you think that you are a victim of love bombing, you can take back control of your life by taking a few key steps. This is essential for your physical and emotional well-being and that of your children.

Ways to get out of a Love-Bombing relationship include:

  • Set clear boundaries from the outset of your relationship and communicate them assertively to your partner. If they cross your boundaries, consider it a warning sign that your partnership may not be all that it seems. 

  • Never allow the love-bomber to isolate you from friends and family - no matter how much they try to do so. Always keep your own life, interests, hobbies, interests and social connections and seek support from trusted individuals who can provide perspective and guidance.

  • Maintain Independence. Though it may seem easier said than done - resist attempts by the love bomber to isolate you from your support system. Maintain your own interests, hobbies, and social connections to preserve your independence and perspective.

Most importantly, always listen to your gut feelings; don’t just ignore them. If it seems too good to be true, it may well be so.

Recovering from a Love-Bomber

All too often, victims of coercive control and love bombing don’t take action to remove themselves from the situation because they don’t want to believe the lie they are being sold or because they have become so isolated and fearful that they feel they have no choice. Keeping perspective is essential. If you need any help or advice regarding your relationship, consider speaking to the charity ‘Relate’, which has the expertise to provide advice and guide you to safety and security.

Guillaumes LLP Solicitors is a full-service law firm based in Weybridge, Surrey. We have a highly experienced family law team who can assist you with all relationship matters. To make an appointment, please call us on 01932 840 111.