From ‘bread crumbing’ (leading you on with small morsels of interest) and ‘benching’ (keeping you on the subs bench while they date other people) to ‘trickle-ghosting’ (disappearing gradually), the list of terrible dating behaviours we have to deal with seems never-ending. But what if, instead of not enough interest and commitment, you get the opposite?
It’s been a weird old time for single people and if, after a long period of virtual video drinks and socially-distanced park dates, you’re dating in real life again, you might want to be cautious of behaviour that may seem too good to be true.
LOVE BOMBING is a 🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩
This is a manipulation tactic where a partner lavishes you with excessive time, attention or gifts.
It involves putting you on a pedestal, overly flattering you and making you believe you’re The One too quickly.
— the Dove 🕊️ (@DovesKristina) November 9, 2021
What is ‘love bombing’?
When two people meet and the chemistry is right, there can be a rush of intense emotions, affection and hopes for what it might become, and that’s all good, right? In theory, yes, but just be alert to the signs of the other person’s behaviour being too intense, too quickly.
Psychotherapist and relationship expert Noel McDermott says: “Love bombing is an inappropriately intense and exaggerated display of emotional or sexual affection, and is aimed at influencing the behaviour of the target.”
So, watch out for an overabundance of attention and compliments, non-stop contact, neediness, over-the-top declarations of love and promises about the future far too early on.
“If it happens at the dating stage, it should be a very serious red flag that you should exit,” McDermott says. “It’s often used by sex addicts as a way of getting their fix.” After bombarding you, they often cool off, or disappear after it serves a purpose for them.
What if you’re further down the line?
Love bombing isn’t confined to the early days of dating sadly. The behaviour can also crop up later down the line in coercive relationships. “In domestic abuse and control situations, it creates an extremely unhealthy pattern of distorted love dependencies,” says McDermott. “It can be seen to produce a type of neuro-chemical numbing of negative experiences in a relationship on the part of the victim.”
So, if a partner has treated you badly, they might counteract it by showering you with …….