The love bombing phase makes victims of narcissistic abuse feel like they’ve found someone who completes them. It is often characterized as magical, special, unique, a once in a lifetime experience, fulfilling, and intense. However, the love bombing phase doesn’t last forever so for those being love bombed by a narcissist it is important to know how long the love bombing phase lasts.

A survey we conducted among 220 survivors of narcissistic abuse who experienced love bombing from the narcissist in their life revealed that the average duration of the love bombing phase with narcissistic men is five-and-a-half months and with narcissistic women it is three-and-a-half months.

In this survey we connected with 110 male survivors and 110 female survivors. There’s a ton of important information packed into this article because there are four different types of narcissistic personalities, grandiose, malignant, covert, and communal, so we conducted an additional survey to determine the average length of the love bombing phase with each type of narcissistic personality. 

This article is going to guide you through the love bombing phase with all four types of narcissistic personalities and we’ve created a short video below that outlines the different characteristics of each type of narcissistic personality so that you can dive into all the information in this article as informed as possible.

A Short Video About the Characteristics and Personality Traits of Narcissism and Narcissistic Personalities

The Length of the Love Bombing Phase With Different Narcissistic Personalities

When learning about the different types of narcissistic personalities the most important thing that you have to remember is that narcissism is on a continuum. A continuum is a continuous sequence in which adjacent elements are not perceptibly different from each other, but the extremes are quite distinct. 

This means that narcissists who are considered to be on the extreme end of grandiose narcissism are highly distinguishable from narcissists who are considered to be on the extreme end of malignant, covert, and communal narcissism and vice versa. 

However, grandiose narcissists who are considered to be “less extreme” are barely distinguishable from malignant, covert, and communal narcissists who are also considered to be “less extreme” and vice versa.

Now that you have a better understanding of the difference between the four narcissistic personalities, let’s take a look at all of the data we collected in our survey to determine the average length of the love bombing phase with each type of narcissistic personality.

Love Bombing Survey Among 220 Survivors of Narcissistic Abuse

In this survey we wanted to determine the most common reason that our participant felt like they were drawn to the narcissist in their life, how long it took for the narcissist to seduce them, and how long the love bombing phase lasted. We had a total of 220 survivors of narcissistic abuse who experienced love bombing with exactly 55 participants for each type of narcissistic personality. 

Data for Love Bombing With a Grandiose Narcissist 

The most common reason that our participants were drawn to the grandiose narcissist in their life was because they had an unhealthy/abusive childhood that left them with a corrupted definition of love, low self-esteem, and with a sense of inadequacy. The grandiose narcissist in their lives made them feel seen, special, capable, and alive. It took the grandiose narcissist a month to seduce our participants and the average duration of the love bombing phase with a grandiose narcissist was five-and-a-half months.

Data for Love Bombing With a Malignant Narcissist

The most common reason that our participants were drawn to the malignant narcissist in their lives was because they made them feel secure and stable. Malignant narcissist often focus on power, pleasure, and profit so they are often very successful and make their victims feel secure during the love bombing phase. It took the malignant narcissist two months to seduce our participants and the love bombing phase lasted four-and-a-half months.

Data for Love Bombing With a Covert Narcissist

The most common reasons that our participants were drawn to the covert narcissist in their lives was because they felt the need to “rescue” the narcissist. A covert narcissist will victimize themselves so much that they often come off as depressed. So it is very common for the overly empathic to find themselves wanting to help or “rescue” them. It took the covert narcissist one-and-a-half months to seduce our participants and the love bombing phase lasted five-and-a-half months.

Data For Love Bombing With a Communal Narcissist

The most common reason that our participants were drawn to the communal narcissist in their lives was because of how virtuous and genuine they presented themselves as. A communal narcissist gets their narcissistic supply by doing good things for others, when an audience is present to witness their “selflessness”, so they often look like really good people. It took the communal narcissist two-and-a-half months to seduce our participants and the love bombing phase lasted for six months.

What Can This Love Bombing Survey Teach Victims of Narcissistic Abuse?

The most important piece of information about narcissism that victims of narcissistic abuse should walk away from is that narcissism is on a continuum. We mentioned this before but the similarity in the data solidified this fact. 

The reason that this is so important to understand is because a majority of the information about narcissism is taught from the grandiose narcissist’s perspective because a grandiose narcissist is the “poster child” of narcissism. 

If a picture popped up when you searched narcissism in the dictionary, a grandiose narcissist would be it. These are your charming, charismatic, flashy, articulate, arrogant, successful, celebrity-like, and attractive narcissists. A fantastic example of narcissism only being taught from a grandiose perspective is love bombing.

Love bombing is often described as a phase in the beginning stages of a narcissistic relationship that is filled with affection, attention, attraction, passion, intimacy, communication, and spontaneous moments, that makes victims of narcissistic abuse feel as if they have a special, unique, and magical connection with the narcissist.

This description resonates with many victims of narcissistic abuse but it only illuminates a small part of a much bigger scheme that narcissists are working during the love bombing phase. We cover this much more thoroughly in our article How Do Narcissists Use Mirroring but love bombing is really just an elite form of mirroring.

Mirroring in a narcissistic relationship is when a narcissist will absorb an extraordinary amount of information about their victim’s identity and use that information to create a falsified identity that is designed to fill a void in their life.

The love bombing phase and mirroring is all about the narcissist being exactly who the victim needs them to be. If the victim desires an affectionate, passionate, intense, intimate, and spontaneous relationship, the narcissist will fill that void in their life. That is what love bombing is usually depicted as but it is important to remember that there are many different forms of love bombing.

We are going to guide you through the different types of love bombing but first we’ve created a short video with three different examples of mirroring in three different types of narcissistic relationships just so you can grasp a comprehensive understanding of how versatile it can be. 

A Short Video With Three Different Examples of Mirroring

What Does Love Bombing Look Like From a Grandiose Narcissist?

The love bombing phase with a grandiose narcissist is going to circulate around their grandiosity, need for attention, charm and charisma, and theatrical ability. There will be a lot of affection, attention, attraction, passion, intimacy, communication, and spontaneous moments.

Love bombing from a grandiose narcissist will make victims of narcissistic abuse feel as if they have a special, unique, and magical connection with the narcissist in their life. The feeling they get from seducing others into the abuse cycle is a major source of narcissistic supply for them and feels exhilarating. 

A grandiose narcissist in a red and white shirt love bombing his victim

What Does Love Bombing Look Like From a Malignant Narcissist?

The love bombing phase with a malignant narcissist is going to correlate with their paranoia, intensity, and need for power and control. They are going to want to know what you’re doing, where you’re doing it, and who you’re doing it with at all times. 

Malignant narcissists are very exploitative, they’re pathological liars, they have an addiction to power, profit, and pleasure that often lands them in successful positions with a lot of power and control. 

It’s very common for malignant narcissists to buy gifts for their victims that are designed to give them a significant amount of power and control. These could be things like cell phones, cars, houses, rent money, plane tickets, and so on.

A malignant narcissist buying his girlfriend a new phone during the love bombing phase to have control over her.

What Does Love Bombing Look Like From a Covert Narcissist?

A covert narcissist is very vulnerable and needy, they often victimize themselves, they’re socially inadequate and anxious, they’re passive aggressive and argumentative, and they often come off as depressed.  The love bombing phase with a covert narcissist is the complete opposite of the love bombing phase with a grandiose narcissist. 

A covert narcissist portraying herself as underrated by the world during the love bombing phase.

They are going to be so “depressed” and sullen that they will attract those who have a desire to rescue them, just like our participants did in the survey above. They make the victim feel like they are the only ones who see the covert narcissist’s greatness and it will make them want to help others see it too. In a weird and twisted way, covert narcissists are masterful at making their victims feel responsible for their happiness and that is how they get people to stay.

What Does Love Bombing Look Like From a Communal Narcissist?

A communal narcissist gets their validation, admiration, and reassurance from helping other people, when there is an audience to witness their “good-heartedness”. What this means is that they often come off as really good people.

The love bombing phase with a communal narcissist is going to circulate around this “good-heartedness”. They are going to inspire you to be the best version of yourself and to spread that to others. This could manifest in the form of helping out on the weekends at your local homeless shelter or going all the way to a developing nation to be of assistance there. 

A communal narcissist in a white dress showing of her charitable nature during the love bombing phase

Communal narcissism is a difficult narcissistic personality to spot for those who aren’t familiar with narcissism, narcissistic personalities, and narcissistic abuse. Communal narcissists come off as really good people that others want to associate themselves with but as great as the things that they do are, it is superficial and fake.

What Should You Take Away From This Article?

The love bombing phase is a huge part of many narcissistic relationships. It often lays the foundation that keeps victims of narcissistic abuse trapped within the narcissistic abuse cycle for months, years, and even decades.

We highly recommend that you become as educated as possible on love bombing and the love bombing phase so that you can have all the information that you need to defend yourself against a love bombing narcissist and the best place to start would be our content hub about love bombing.

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  • 7 Affirmations for the Upcoming Week
  • 4 Helpful Tips for a Successful Healing Journey

All of the content that Unfilteredd creates is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for clinical care — please visit here for qualified organizations and here for qualified professionals that you can reach out to for help. This article has been reviewed by our editorial board and has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policies.

References

Strutzenberg, Claire. “Love-bombing: a narcissistic approach to relationship formation.” (2016