Love Bombing' is scary, watch out
Deccan Chronicle.| Bindu Gopal Rao
It's heady being the focus of someone's love and attention but how much is too much?
In the film, Pushpa, Allu Arjun and Rashmika Mandanna sit in a car romancing. He touches her chest and she goes crazy. When she resists, he gets upset for not allowing him to touch her, so he decides to get down from the car. He love bombs her and she gives into him, eventually, allowing him to touch. (Photo by arrangement)
Anita Khanna, a 20 something freelance graphic artist was on Cloud 9 when she thought she found her soul mate in her boyfriend Vikas Singh. Her friends even complimented her saying the couple looked like they were always made for each other. Singh showered her with flattering comments, tokens of affection, love notes on the windshield, flowers and more. While she enjoyed the attention initially, slowly she felt too much was happening too soon. When she tried explaining this to her boyfriend, he dismissed her without a thought and continued stalking her on social media and constantly being in touch. After a couple of months, she finally called in quits after a painful showdown.
Khanna, however, is not alone. She was a victim of a syndrome called Love Bombing that is quite scarily common.
Bombed in Love
Love bombing basically refers to excessive display of intense emotions, affection, and attention that someone gives to another in a love relationship. It’s not mere flattery and romantic gestures or giving flowers and gifts etc. It could be extreme manipulation to gain trust and build intimacy in the early stages of a relationship.
"However, some people do love bombing in the early days of the relationship to show their commitment and gain praise and acceptance in the relationship as they are insecure and feel that their newly found partner might lose interest in them if they don’t take charge and shower them with ocean of love and attention," says Anamika Yaduvanshi, motivational speaker.
See the Signs
Narcissists’ self-love makes them use flattery and attention as tools to build them up as the perfect partners. "It is so easy to identify love bombing. Excessive 24*7 attention is one of the most common traits. You will not stop getting calls and texts from people who’re into this dating practice. Over-the-top compliments, unnecessary convincing about proving them your soulmate, early push for commitment, no respect for boundaries, and frequent lavish gifts are a few other traits," says Pawan Gupta, CEO, Betterhalf.ai, a matrimony app. Some people are fortunate to recognise these signals soon and manage to break away sooner.
Shalini Sinha, a Hyderabad based software professional started seeing someone who she met at a nightclub but broke up in a month. "Within a week, I had many messages from him saying ‘we are so good together’ and how much he missed me. He would always end up at my office to pick me up and soon it became very stifling."
Dr. Kanan Khatau, Clinical Psychologist, Hypnotherapist & Emotional Safety Evangelist, says, "the love bomber is typically aggressive and has low self-confidence within. At times can be narcissistic, not always, since his love is only a way to control the opposite person’s behaviour and choices in life. Any deviation from his or her way of living and thinking leads to withdrawal of the love to punish. The recipient by now, is addicted to the style of love, filled with guilt, will apologise very easily leading to the love bomber being filled with self-esteem which is lacking within. This lack of self-esteem within both love bomber and recipient are the root cause for this toxic relationship to exist and thrive." They may also keep a mental checklist of all the things they’ve done or gifted you, to use against you in an argument, or as a form of payback.
When someone is not getting what they want from someone they love, they should ask the person to talk about it. "Relationships need to be meaningful and need to be enjoyed by both. Instances where a partner feels their expectation is not being met needs to be communicated, this because many a time the poorly behaved partner may not know the impact they have on the relationship. And if the one-on-one communication does not work and the relationship is something both want to work upon then it makes sense to seek help from a therapist," says Shalini Singh, founder andwemet, a dating service for single urban Indians 25 years and above.
Sahil Gupta and Anushka Gupta, co-founders of MyMuse, a sexual wellness brand, add, "The gifts aren’t worth the price you pay in the long run. You don’t want to feel constantly indebted to someone when you are in a relationship. Talk it out with your partner. Sometimes, this behaviour is subconscious. If so, they may listen to you and you both can move forward in the relationship. If they don’t listen or get defensive, it’s a red flag that you shouldn’t ignore."