Everything you need to know about love bombing

In the early days of a relationship, receiving lots of attention, affection and praise, in the form of gifts, cards, messages, maybe meals out and even holidays, can make you feel very loved and wanted.  Most of us like to know that we’re special in someone else’s eyes and especially at the start of a romantic relationship. 

However, there is a dividing line between wishing to spend lots of time with a new partner, and making them the main focus of your attention, and a situation in which one person overwhelms the other by showering presents and seeks to create an intense, emotional bond and make the relationship exclusive and committed at a very early stage.  This is love bombing.  It is, by its nature, one sided and, in some situations, it can be very damaging for the person on the receiving end.  

Once the person doing the love bombing feels they have secured their partner’s loyalty, they may abruptly change their behaviour, becoming controlling, critical, or emotionally distant. It can be the one of the first signs of a coercively controlling partner.

Why is love bombing dangerous? 

Love bombing can be dangerous for several reasons. Here are some reasons why: 

Emotional manipulation 

Love bombing is a form of emotional manipulation, designed to make the targeted person feel special and loved in order to gain control over them. This manipulation can lead to feelings of confusion, guilt, and self-doubt. 

Erosion of self-esteem

Love bombing can erode the targeted individual's self-esteem, as the abrupt change in behaviour from affection to criticism or emotional distance can leave them feeling unworthy or confused about their value in the relationship. 


Love bombing often involves isolating the targeted person from their support network of friends and family by insisting that they spend all their time alone together.  In extreme situations, the manipulator may monitor their partner’s phone and track their movements, checking on their whereabouts constantly.  

Emotional rollercoaster

The inconsistency of the manipulator's behaviour can lead to emotional instability for the targeted individual, as they may constantly feel the need to regain the affection and approval they initially received. 

Difficulty trusting others

Experiencing love bombing can make it difficult for the targeted person to trust their own instincts or the intentions of others in future relationships, leading to long-term emotional and psychological distress. 

What do I do if I’m being love bombed? 

If you suspect you're experiencing love bombing or want to protect yourself from it in a future relationship, it's essential to establish and maintain boundaries for yourself. Here are some suggestions on how to stop love bombing: 

Set clear limits

Establish clear boundaries with the person and communicate your limits and expectations for the relationship. Be firm in maintaining these boundaries, even if the person tries to ignore them or make you feel guilty for setting them. 

Trust your instincts

If something doesn’t feel right, you’re feeling overwhelmed or maybe even trapped, trust your gut feelings. If you’re being asked to do things or go to places you don’t wish to, then let your partner know how you’re feeling. 

Take your time

Don't rush into commitments or make major decisions early in a relationship. Give yourself time to get to know the person and observe how their behaviour evolves over time. 

Maintain your support network

Stay connected with friends and family who can provide objective insights and support. Share your experiences and feelings with them and listen to their concerns about your wellbeing.  

Seek professional help

If you're unsure whether you're experiencing love bombing or need guidance on how to navigate the situation, consider seeking help from a professional counsellor or therapist. 

Focus on self-care

Prioritise your well-being and self-esteem, and engage in activities that promote your emotional health and resilience. Remember that you deserve a healthy, balanced relationship. 

Be prepared to walk away

If you've set boundaries and communicated your concerns but the person continues to engage in behaviour that you don’t like, be prepared to end the relationship.  

I’m worried I’m love bombing my partner, what do I do? 

It's important to recognise and address your own behaviour if you're concerned that you may be love bombing your partner. Acknowledging this concern is the first step towards creating a healthier relationship dynamic. Here are some suggestions on what to do: 

Reflect on your behaviour

Take some time to examine your actions and intentions within the relationship. Are you showering your partner with excessive attention, gifts, or praise? Are you pushing for commitment too quickly? Be honest with yourself about your motivations and consider whether your behaviour is driven by a genuine desire to connect?  Or does it stem from insecurity, maybe because of previous relationships that have not worked out, or perhaps a need for control? 

Slow down

If you recognise love bombing tendencies in your behaviour, make a conscious effort to slow down and give your partner space. Allow the relationship to develop at a slower pace, without putting undue pressure on your partner to meet your emotional needs.   

Establish healthy boundaries

Work on setting and respecting boundaries in your relationship. This includes giving your partner space and time for themselves, allowing them to maintain connections with friends and family, and respecting their emotional needs and limits. 

Communicate openly

Engage in open and honest communication with your partner. Share your concerns about your behaviour, and invite them to provide feedback on how they feel about the relationship dynamic. 

Practice self-awareness

Regularly check in with yourself to monitor your behaviour and emotions in the relationship. Be mindful of any tendencies to manipulate or control your partner, and work on cultivating healthier communication patterns. 

Seek professional help

If you're struggling to change your behaviour or navigate your emotions, consider seeking support from a professional counsellor or therapist. They can help you explore the underlying issues that may be contributing to your love bombing tendencies and help you to create a healthier relationship dynamic. 

Remember, recognising and addressing this behaviour is a significant step towards creating a healthier, more balanced relationship. It's essential to be patient with yourself and your partner as you work towards change. 

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