Does He Genuinely Care Or Is He Love Bombing You? People Reveal The Difference
As someone who has experienced love bombing, I can say it is nothing short of emotional abuse. They treat you with utmost love; they go out of their way to do things for you while treating you like shit otherwise. Say for instance, the first time I met the love bomber, he got me something that I told him I was going to order. I thought it was sweet. I didn’t see it as love bombing. The second time I met him, he tried to make a move on me, he tried to kiss me and when I didn’t, he claimed I was probably a virgin. Within no time at all (less than two months!), he started telling me how I am his soul mate and how he wants to marry me. And when I told him that he doesn’t know me well enough to be genuinely so sure of his love for me, he fought with me and said I am the one with issues. Anyhoo, ignoring the red flags I continued talking to him and he did over the top things for me, said how much he loves me and more. He violated my boundaries by randomly showing up at my doorstep, when I wasn’t comfortable with it.
Eventually, I realised that the guy just wanted to make me feel indebted to him so his shitty, toxic behaviour could be ignored. You know things like him not wanting to listen to what I shared, him mansplaining me and getting mad at me each time I confronted him about something.
Thankfully, I didn’t take time. I had already dated one guy who did love bombing to make me more dependent on him and all that. This time, I recognised the red flags faster and his ego was hurt because I chose to not fan it. Of course, the moment I told him it’s over, he went on and on about what a terrible human being I am for not putting up with his emotional abuse.
Moral of the story? There are several people who will knowingly or unknowingly be the kind to do love bombing. According to Psychology Today, love bombing is a phenomenon when a narcissist showers someone with a lot of love and attention “to achieve their end goal.” It also says that such people use this trick to “hold a codependent in a relationship” and that “it is a highly calculated and manipulative tactic that has absolutely nothing to do with love.” It sucks because it takes no time to escalate to abuse.
A netizen took to Reddit to discuss this form of emotional abuse, and people shared in abundance. They asked how to know the difference between love bombing and genuine care. There were some really good insights in the comments. “Going through emotionally abusive relationships can scar you and make you extra cautious about new partners. How do you know that it’s genuine care and affection and not love bombing in early stages of the relationship,” they asked.
“Usually love bombing appears very fast, and if you’re not comfortable with receiving something so soon just watching how the giver reacts can let you know if they’ll respond to slow things down or ignore you. Genuine care is mostly about respecting your feelings, and being comfortable to discuss things without walking on eggshells. If you have a close friend or family member you get along with. A good relationship will remind of what’s it like having trust worthy friends,” a user wrote. This, right here. A healthy relationship will make you feel the kind of security you feel with your closest friends and family and not like you are under some sort of pressure.
They don’t push you if they care genuinely for you. A woman shared how her amazing boyfriend was respectful of the pace she preferred. “My boyfriend (now husband) felt strong feeling right away (to be fair, so did I). We said the L word real fast and our relationship moved quickly. He began to use the L word all the time and some things he talked about made me think “Omg what am I doing? I’m not a commitment person!” But the second I felt that way, I sat him down and explained it to him. He was surprised but mostly upset that he had ever made me feel that way. He promised me that we would go slower, no matter how slow it would be. And that he still cares as strongly as before. What came next was taking our relationship at “our” speed, and it worked for us. 3 years of marriage later and we still openly communicate about our feelings and relationship progress,” she wrote.
A guy love bombing you will gaslight you for not accepting his “affection”. “Oof. The last guy I talked to was so ~nice~ but often overwhelming. I thought there was something wrong with me for not being able to accept his affection. I told him I wasn’t comfortable with him quarantining for 2 weeks just to spend his birthday with me after only like 2 months of talking, and he said “It’s a bit red flaggy for you to say that when it’s what I want to do on my birthday” and I knew at that moment that I’d never be seeing him again. It was a red flag for him that I tried to have boundaries! Talk about a real red flag lol,” a woman wrote.
A guy love bombing you doesn’t want to get to know you; he just likes the idea of you. “It is too fast! Like you barely know each other, have barely taken the time to speak to each other and the person is throwing you a parade of compliments that make you wonder: What are you talking about?! Also makes you wonder why are we spending time focusing on that instead of getting to know each other,” a user wrote. “I’d like to add onto that and say: they do it whether you like it or not, and don’t get to know you well enough to know it’s making you uncomfortable…. or make you feel unable to say no,” another user added. “It’s love bombing when they’re not actually curious about you. Like you get a sense that it’s almost a performance that only benefits them somehow, you’re the means to an end for their emotional need. They kind of dont ‘see’ you when you’re not participating in the romancing and just being a normal person. Man it’s hard though. The dopamine(?) rush from being “loved” (#notloved) like that is like nothing else. I knew it wasn’t real and couldn’t last at that pace, for reasons outside of this,” someone shared.
However, if someone genuinely loves you they care for you even when they are mad at you. “One of the biggest green flags I noticed in my bf is that even if he’s mad at me or I’ve done something wrong, he is still kind and he cares about me. Like the time we fought outside and he paused heated discussion (no yelling) to give me his jacket without asking because he noticed I was cold. I come from an emotionally abusive family, so the fact that he didn’t want to hurt me or be mean just because we disagreed was a revelation. As far as I know, love bombing does not happen if you’re the one in the wrong- only when they are and instead of addressing the issue, they shower you with meaningless gifts and gestures,” a user wrote.
Someone who genuinely cares for you is consistent and their involvement doesn’t feel suffocating. A person who is love bombing you will show pathetic behaviour time and again. “If you don’t act like an extension of them and meet their emotional needs perfectly, they’ll get really upset and won’t really be able to handle it. The narcissist I dated really got uncomfortable when I disagreed with him about anything at all. He would go from telling me I’m the one to saying we don’t get along at all simply because I disagreed with him. Like you’re saying, he also kind of stopped showing interest in me and my life once he felt I was ‘hooked’,” a user wrote.
People do try to make up for their mistakes by saying sorry and doing something special for you. That’s genuine care if they don’t repeat it again. If they use good behaviour as a way to cover up their abusive behaviour, that’s definitely love bombing. “In my experience, love bombing was excessive affection and felt genuine — holding you on the couch, making you dinner, cleaning the house, many compliments. It was fleeting and made you sort of forget the horrible behavior from the night before,” a user wrote. “Love bombing will often feel like a gesture you can’t possibly repay, like “you gave me this and it’s so grand I now feel indebted to you” (which is what they want). genuine care will feel more natural, and if it is too much for you the person will understand and respect those boundaries when you share your feelings,” another added.