Love Bombing or Genuine: Knowing the 9 Differences to Protect Yourself

Is it love bombing or genuine love for you? When in a new relationship, it’s tricky to tell the difference. But some signs can help you determine that genuine affection for you. Here we’ll talk about the signs to help you decide whether you’re being loved bombed or not.

love bomb or genuine

What is Love Bombing?

Love bombing is a manipulative behavior often used by narcissists in the early stages of a relationship. Love bombing involves excessive displays of affection, attention, and gifts. The goal of love bombing is to create an emotional connection and dependency swiftly.

Think of love bombing as an excessive bombardment of attention and affection. It is directed towards an individual to establish an immediate emotional connection and dependency. Often love bombers use this technique in the initial stages of a relationship.

It is vital to understand that despite the outpouring of affection, love bombing is manipulative and transactional. This controlling behavior is designed to make the recipient feel indebted and emotionally reliant on the love bomber.

The manipulator employs these tactics with an end goal in sight. They want to shape a scenario where an emotional balance is tilted in their favor. It all seems genuine. But it’s a well-crafted illusion that’s simply emotional abuse because it never cares about the other’s well being.

What is Genuine Love?

In contrast, genuine love manifests with specific traits you can use to distinguish from diverse forms of manipulation. Genuine affection often has mutual respect, shared interests, trust, and honesty.

Here you genuinely care about each other’s personal growth and other’s well-being. There’s also a deep bond and strong emotional connection.

love bomb or genuine

You must also note that you can feel your partners respect for you untethered by hidden ulterior motives. Indeed, respect is a cornerstone, particularly regarding upholding and acknowledging your personal space.

Moreover, genuine love is often accompanied by a long-term commitment. This genuine connection is rooted in the understanding and acceptance of each other’s individuality and personal growth. You can quickly tell the difference through how they respect you.

Thus, genuine love fosters a stable and healthy relationship environment free from controlling behavior.

Love Bombing or Genuine Love: Signs to Look For

Now let’s talk about the signs to look for to determine whether it’s love bombing or genuine love. Identifying love bombing at the initial stage of the relationship can help you avoid possible emotional harm.

1. Excessive attention

You’ll especially find that a love bomber pays you excessive attention. It’s literally as though they cannot take their eyes off you. Love bombers make themselves front and center in all aspects of your life, making it difficult to breathe without having them nearby. That excessive attention is a ploy to gain control. And yes, it’s easy to mistake it for genuine love or concern.

2. Excessive Complimenting and Flattery

Narcissists often use excessive compliments to quickly win over their target. The compliments can feel overwhelming and are typically disproportionate to the amount of time the individuals have known each other. Usually, they also exaggerate situations, giving praises that aren’t due. When a person overwhelms you with praises you don’t feel you deserve, it’s a sign of love bombing.

3. Intense Communication

Another sign to determine whether you are being loved bombed or not is the intensity of communication. A love bomber may bombard you with constant messages, calls, and emails. Often, love bombers also expect you to respond immediately. Doing this helps them create a sense of intense connection that is not based on genuine emotional intimacy.

love bomb or genuine

4. Premature Commitment

Narcissists may push for a serious commitment in that new relationship. They might talk about marriage, moving in together, or a future together far sooner than is typical in a healthy relationship. This is a sign of boundaries love bombing. They want to invade your personal space right away in a bid to gain control.

5. Expensive Gifts and Elaborate Dates

Love bombers also use grand gestures, expensive gifts, and elaborate dates. This is an important way to differentiate a love bomber from an actual partner. Their goal is as a way to impress and win over their target. Love bombers do this to create a sense of obligation or indebtedness.

6. Isolation from Others

Love bombers may try to monopolize your time and slowly isolate you from friends and family. They make you feel that they are the only important person in your life. When someone has genuine affection for you, they don’t try to take over your other relationships.

7. Rapid Pace

When you’re being love bombed, the relationship moves very quickly. You can feel the emotions being super intense from the start. This can be thrilling but is often a red flag for superficiality. It is a hallmark of emotional abuse. Love bombers use this to try and gain control quickly before you can determine whether it’s a healthy relationship or not.

8. Dramatic Changes in Treatment

After the initial stage of intense affection and excessive compliments, there may be sudden shifts in their behavior. The narcissist might withdraw affection or become critical, only to return to loving behavior when it suits them. In everything, the key difference is the lack of partners respect or disregard for the partner’s boundaries. They might also suddenly go off the radar and return as though they never left. Love bombers use this because they want to keep their partner off-balance.

9. Playing the Victim

Narcissists often use personal stories of hardship or injustice to gain sympathy. This is also one of the key differences to look out for.

It’s also one of the foundations of narcissistic abuse. Sometimes, their stories might seem similar to theirs creating a sense of camaraderie.

Other times, they make you feel uncomfortable about your relatively easier background and story. Regardless, the goal is to make their partner feel a special sense of duty to support them.

In contrast, genuine love won’t try to take over with their awful past stories. They don’t need you to try and heal them, because they’ve confronted and healed from it.

love bomb or genuine

How to Protect Yourself from Love Bombing

Now you know the key differences that determine whether it is love bombing or genuine love. Overall, you can see that it lies in the intention. Love bombers use manipulative behavior because they want to gain control of the other’s well being.

In contrast, genuine love seeks to nurture and grow. It’s essential to distinguish between these two to identify healthier relationships. Remember, real love allows time and space for individual growth. Nevertheless, here are some tips to help you tell the difference.

Trust your intuition

When love makes you feel uncomfortable, there’s a good chance the deep bond you feel already isn’t actually there. Build your self-awareness. It helps you determine when you have genuine affection with someone or not.

Set healthy boundaries

Genuine connection always respects the partner’s boundaries. However, you need to have them in place to help you determine if someone is being disrespectful about your personal space. Boundaries love bombing is always a way to determine genuine affection or being love bombed. Hence, boundaries act as protective barriers. They shield you from emotional manipulation and exploitation. They are your personal ‘non-negotiables’ and signify your value and self-worth.

Seek professional help

When you feel that your boundaries are being beached, it’s advisable to seek professional help. Therapists and counselors can provide tools and strategies to deal with such encroachments effectively. They can also help you avoid the potential pitfalls of love bombing.

Bottom Line

Knowing the signs of being love bombed isn’t enough. You also need to understand the motivations behind love bombing. People who resort to such tactics usually have psychological reasons. Love bombers generally seek to gain control over their partners.

It is often a symptom of narcissistic or borderline personality disorders.

Social factors can also influence this behavior. In societies that encourage individualistic behavior, love bombing can be used as a strategy to gain dominance.

Cultural elements can play a part too. In cultures where expressiveness is valued, love bombing may seem normal.

Beyond that, a love bomber might choose this route due to personal issues. Perhaps, they are dealing with past emotional trauma and fear of abandonment or rejection.

So, love bombing is not only a relationship issue. It is also deeply connected to psychological, social, and cultural contexts. That said, you cannot heal a love bomber. The narcissistic abuse you’ll endure and the toxic or co-dependent relationship will only erode your health and well-being.

Overall, you can now tell the difference whether it’s love bombing or genuine love. So, yes, love bombing is tricky to identify. But understanding the signs and motivations can help you protect yourself. And then, you can push past and focus on building a healthy relationship where mutual respect and personal growth thrives.



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