It can be really hard to shutdown the love bombing phase because of how good it makes the victim feel. It manipulates the victim into feeling like they have a special or unique connection with the love bomber. They manipulate the victim into believing that what they’re experiencing is a once in a lifetime experience. Love bombing is an elite form of manipulation but there is very reliable technique that you can use to deal with a love bomber.

The best defense against a love bomber is to educate yourself on the dynamics of a healthy relationship so that you can construct a healthy definition of love, have realistic expectations for the relationship that you’re in, and maintain firm boundaries that help protect you from the manipulation that love bombers use.

This is a really solid technique to deal with a love bomber so this article is going to guide you through the process step-by-step so you can grasp a comprehensive understanding of it. We’ve also created a short video below that summarizes our article Is Love Bombing Emotional Abuse just to give you a better understanding on why it is so important to learn how to deal with a love bomber.

A Short Video About Why Love Bombing Is Emotional Abuse

You Need to Educate Yourself on the Dynamics of a Healthy Relationship

It’s really important to educate yourself on the dynamics of a healthy relationship because love bombing is designed to exploit those with corrupted definitions of healthy relationships. 

For example, if someone grew up watching a very dysfunctional dynamic between their parents with a lot of love bombing, invalidation and devaluation, and no signs of intimacy or commitment, just passion, they are very likely to have a corrupted definition of healthy relationship.

To exploit their corrupted definition of a healthy relationship, the love bomber will use mirroring to absorb an extraordinary amount of information about the victim’s identity so that they can create a falsified identity that is designed to fill a void in the victim’s life. This “void” usually revolves around the victim’s goals, direction in life, and definition of a healthy relationship. 

This means that the love bomber is going to learn the victim’s likes and dislikes, their dreams and aspirations, what they are looking for in a relationship, their fears, insecurities, and vulnerabilities, and they’re going to use all of this information to create the ultimate seduction. 

So, the love bomber will create an environment full of intensity, spontaneity, unpredictability, overwhelming amounts of passion, lack of boundaries, and grandiosity to mimic the victim’s corrupted definition of a healthy relationship and fill the “void” in their life. 

a narcissist love bombing his victim

The love bombing phase is all about the abuser being exactly who the victim needs them to be. If the victim were to have a healthy definition of love, the chances of them falling for love bombing in the long run are very low because love bombers tend to not have the emotional capability of the fundamental requirements for a healthy relationship.

With that being said, everyone is going to have a slightly different opinion on what the fundamental requirements for a healthy relationship are but as a general rule they are commitment, emotional closeness, honesty, trust, mutuality, good communication, anger control, individuality, a willingness to make compromises, empathy, and an unwavering respect for boundaries. 

You Need to Have Realistic Expectations For the Relationship

Once you’ve established that you have a healthy definition of a healthy relationship, the next step is to develop realistic expectations for the relationship that you’re in. This is a really important step because a huge part of the love bombing phase is a manipulative technique called future faking. 

A future fake is when a love bomber will make a false promise in the future to manipulate their victim into doing exactly what they want in the present. It is a very powerful technique that can manifest in both a verbal and non-verbal form. It can be really difficult to spot a future fake because it usually isn’t revealed until the future.

A simple example of a verbal future fake would be if a love bomber promised to settle down with you, have kids, and be committed to you, but then five months later you find out that they have been cheating on you the entire time with no intentions of keeping their promises. 

The love bomber is using future fake to keep you hooked in the relationship. By promising to settle down with you, be committed to you, and have kids with you, they are manipulating you into seeing them in a very possessive light which allows their abusive behavior to fly under your radar. 

Another good example of a future fake would be if a love bomber asked you for a loan and promised to pay you back once they got back on their feet but then never paid you back. Here the love bomber is using a future fake swindling you out of money to fulfil their selfish needs. 

When it comes to non-verbal future faking, things get very interesting. You see, when a love bomber uses mirroring to absorb information about your identity so that they can create a falsified identity that is designed to fill a void in you life, they are manipulating you into envisioning a happy, healthy, and secure future with them. 

a woman daydreaming about love

This is the ultimate future fake because as we mentioned before, love bombers are too emotionally inadequate and immature to maintain the level of emotional closeness that is required to have a healthy relationship and the purpose of love bombing is to disguise many of the manipulative, unhealthy, and abusive characteristics that the love bomber has. 

If you have realistic expectations for the relationship that you are in that have been constructed by a healthy definition of a healthy relationship, you are going to have a much better chance of resisting the future faking because you’ll know  to pay attention to the love bomber’s actions, not just their words, when trying to figure out the direction the relationship is going. 

This is important because there are some people who naturally love bomb. Not because they are an abuser who is trying to manipulate you, but because that is who they are and the type of affection that they show. 

If you maintain realistic expectations for the relationship and have a healthy definition of healthy relationships, you’ll be able to spot the difference between a love bomber who is manipulative and abusive and a love bomber who is misguided, maybe a little bit insecure about themselves, but a really good person.

You Have to Set and Maintain Firm Boundaries

Unfortunately, having a healthy definition of a healthy relationship and realistic expectations for the relationship isn’t always enough because love bombers have so many different powerful forms of manipulation that can manipulate their victim into justifying, rationalizing, and normalizing the unhealthiness in the relationship. 

It is for this reason that setting and maintaining firm boundaries with the love bomber is so important. These boundaries should revolve around your healthy definition of a healthy relationship and the realistic expectations that you have for the relationship.

1.) Demand Emotional Closeness & Mutuality

One thing that love bombers are really good at is creating an environment that appears to be filled with emotional closeness and mutuality. The most common way they do this is by asking you a ton of questions. It feels really good because it makes you feel like they’re genuinely interested in you, but they aren’t. They are just gathering information about you that they can use to manipulate you under their power and control. 

A boundary that you can set to protect yourself from this is to demand emotional closeness and mutuality. This doesn’t mean that you have to force them to be interested in you but as a general rule, if someone is asking you a lot of questions about your vulnerabilities, insecurities, goals and aspirations, fears, and so on, you should demand that exchange of sensitive information be mutual. 

A woman setting healthy boundaries with the narcissist

As a general rule, someone who is capable of having a healthy relationship isn’t going to have a problem with this. But someone who is an abuser might get offended by your request, they won’t have any depth if they do decide to share about their life, and they’ll likely lie about their life to manipulate you even more.

2.) Demand Good Communication

A love bomber will often have an insecure need for power and control. In the beginning stages of the relationship this insecure need will look like the love bomber needing constant communication, time spent together, they will get jealous if you spend times with others, and they will find ways to justify ignoring your boundaries. 

This is very unhealthy behavior and a major red flag for forthcoming abuse. To keep yourself safe, you need to demand that the two of you have good communication. In a healthy relationship you are not expected to be communicating all day and be constantly updating the other person about where you are, who you are with, and what you are doing.

3.) Demand That the Trust Is Built Slowly

Generally speaking, love bombers are very insecure people that fear abandonment. In their relationships they are often very impatient and want things to progress quickly because they need to be in power and control of you to be able to trust you. This is a very unhealthy behavior that can be spotted if you set a boundary by demanding that the trust be built over time. 

You can do this by asking for space when you feel uncomfortable, holding realistic expectations for the relationship, being open and honest about what you’re looking for in a relationship, and remembering that you have the right to make decisions when you feel comfortable making them.

What Should You Take Away From This Article?

If left unchecked, the love bombing phase can keep victims of abuse trapped within the abuse cycle for months, years, and even decades.

In our article What Do Narcissists Do During the Love Bombing Phase we explain all of the different forms of manipulation within the love bombing phase and in our article Why Do Trauma Bonds Feel Like an Addiction we explain how the manipulation in the love bombing phase can lead to victims of abuse developing addictions that keep them trapped within the abusive relationship.

Both articles are really important to be aware of if you are in the love bombing phase. If you’re experiencing love bombing and are now wondering what is coming next, we highly recommend that you add What Comes After the Love Bombing Phase With a Narcissist to your reading list as well.

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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

Sternberg, Robert J. “A triangular theory of love.” Psychological review 93.2 (1986): 119.