Why We Fall for Love Bombing With a Narcissist

Michelle Jaqua


I’ve done it. You may have done it. Many people do it every day. We become intimately involved with a narcissist.

But why? Why would we fall for someone who treats us as if we were born to cater only to their needs?

We fall for the narcissist because they don't treat us like dirt at the beginning of the relationship. In fact, they are very loving, kind, and generous.

And flattering.

And charming.

And…well…they love bomb you.

Love bombing is the narcissist’s game.

Love bombing is when a narcissist showers you with affection, flattery, praise, and intense closeness early on in a relationship. It’s a game of control they play and they're very good at their game.

We can be attracted to someone who shows us they are self-confident and charming. We crave passion if we haven’t had any for a while. They knows this and use it to their advantage. The narcissist has well-developed social skills and is good at reading people. They're good at portraying themselves in a desirable light.

However, the narcissist doesn’t shower you with affection because they're enamored with you. They love bomb you as a manipulative tactic to control you.

In truth, they need your appreciation to feed their ego.

For a narcissist, they aren't capable of truly loving someone. Instead, they views relationships as a transaction…they give you something and then get something in return. Their goal is to win your affection, only becauseit satisfies their need to be admired, and for sexual satisfaction. Once you’ve committed, they’ll use your love against you.

How a narcissist will love bomb you

Both men and women can get caught up with a narcissist, however, 50-75% of people who are diagnosed with NPD are men, and it's more common for women to experience love bombing and narcissism from men.

There’s a way to tell if you’re being love-bombed. All it takes is a keen objective view of your potential partner’s behaviors toward you. Here are some red flags you will see in the early stages of the relationship:

  • Intense Initial Intimacy —He comes on strong, even before your first date. He's passionate with a capital “P,” and will shower you with physical affection. He will say all the things you want to hear, and want to know everything about you, good and bad.
  • Constant Attention — She’ll bombard you with text messages and/or phone calls. She may continuously take photos of the two of you and put them on social media. If you introduce her to people you know, she will be very affectionate and warm with you in front of them. This is her way of showing everyone you are together.
  • Instant Commitment — The narcissist will attach himself to you early on and demand the same of you. If you believe he wants a genuine commitment, you’ll find out later that commitment is only okay on his terms rather than as an equal partnership.
  • Over-the-top Compliments — “I love everything about you,” or “you’re everything I’ve been looking for in a partner.” She will put you on a pedestal and make you believe you are her entire world. She does this to condition you and mold you into who she wants you to be.
  • Disrespecting Boundaries — He will text first thing in the morning and last thing at night. He’ll try to get hold of you at work. He will not take “no” for an answer, and he may keep on you until you agree with him. Your boundaries get in the way of his goals, and he’ll do whatever he can to tear them down.
  • “Soulmate” Claims — “We were meant to be together,” “I’ve become a whole person since I met you,” “It was fate that we met.” Any claim, especially if it’s one-sided (her side) that you are "soulmates."
  • Elaborate Gestures — Once I went on a first date, and my narcissist date showed up in a horse-drawn carriage. It was a fantastic display of romance. It was ridiculous. Nobody sane does this on a first date.
  • Expensive Gifts — Gifts aren’t terrible, and a small, sweet gift (like flowers) from a date is a kind gesture. Gift-giving is a love language, and some people show love this way. However, if you’re receiving spendy gifts from him very early on, it will often come with strings attached, and you may feel you owe something in return.
  • Uneasiness — Your head will be spinning from the love bombing, you might think that this woman is too good to be true (and you will be right). If you want to slow down or become unavailable, she will make you feel like you’re doing something wrong. You’ll have a deep-down sense something isn’t right in this new relationship, although you can’t put your finger on it.

Love-bombing is a pattern. If you see these behaviors early in your relationship, take a deep breath and then take a step back for a moment. Slow down and take your time with your relationship. Interrupt it with a couple days off hanging out with your friends or family. A person who truly loves you and wants to have a healthy relationship will not give you grief.

You can take the lead and set a pace that makes you most comfortable, instead of letting them string you along. You may see another side to this “too good to be true” partner. Just know that you may be dealing with someone who cannot love you or anyone else.

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Michelle Jaqua is a freelance writer who lives in the beautiful state of Oregon. She writes about a variety of news and happenings in the Pacific Northwest, along with some PNW history and fun facts. Subscribe to her page and get her posts in your email.


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