Relationships with a Narcissist: Are You Being Love Bombed?
Love bombing is the first of three stages in a relationship with a narcissist. This behaviour is synonymous with this type of character and many of us will encounter relationships with someone like this in our lifetime. It’s defined as the attempt to influence someone by demonstrations of affection or adoration. Psychologists have determined it as part of the cycle of abuse. The cycle can take days, weeks, or hours to cycle through.
Cycle of Abuse in a Relationship with a Narcissist:
It’s natural that everyone when they get into a new relationship will feel a rush of excitement. When that relationship is seemingly moving too fast and becoming an obsession from the other side, you might be a victim of love bombing. Love bombing may feel like a soulmate or twin flame connection. It’s hard to spot since all new relationships are exciting and you view the other person with rose tinted spectacles and therefore it’s hard to know when it crosses into dangerous territory. The intention of love bombing is to make the victim helpless, vulnerable and appeasing of the perpetrator. This phase doesn’t last long and it’s what manipulative people use to hook in their victims.
So how do you distinguish between genuine expressions of love and actions of a narcissist?
10 Signs to Look Out For:
1. Constant Praise and Admiration
Do you feel you are receiving constant praise and admiration for no reason and they are expressing their undying love for your after a short time? This might be a way of getting you under their spell.
2. Lavish Gifts
Involves over the top gestures to make you feel like you owe them something. It might be flowers at work, expensive plane tickets or lavish dinners. This might be the nice part of the relationship that you hold onto, but it will have consequences.
3. They Bombard You with Phone Calls and Texts
When you first enter a relationship, it’s common to have regular contact. But if communication is becoming heavily one-sided and too much, it might be worth assessing and placing boundaries. Take note if you feel like they’re calling you 24/7.
4. They Want Your Undivided Attention
As soon as you show care towards anyone else, they will be upset or angry with you and may accuse you of being “selfish”. They won’t be able to comprehend that you have other things going on in your life. Ask yourself, do you feel like you have little time left for friends and family? Do you feel guilty for leaving them even though you’ve been with them all day?
5. They Try to Manipulate You into Thinking That You’re Soulmates
They might use lines like “it’s fate that we met” and will give you regular reminders of how good you are together. This is the kind of manipulation tactic they might use to make you think you are meant to end up together.
6. They Get Upset When You Put in Boundaries
They will get upset when you tell them to slow down and that you can’t be giving them your undivided attention. You may say to them that you don’t have time for them at a particular time (during children’s holidays or at a certain time of day). Someone who isn’t a narcissist will be understanding, accept this and will change their behaviour accordingly.
7. They’re Needy
No matter how much you do for them – whether it’s running errands, speaking to them on the phone or doing nice things for them – it never seems to be enough. After buying you all those expensive gifts, you might be feeling like you owe them something and are getting trapped in a submissive relationship.
8. Do you feel like things are progressing more quickly than you intended?
9. Being with Them Feels Overly Intense
You never know what to expect when you see them and when you do, you come away feeling exhausted.
Once you’ve read these signs you might consider the following:
· Listen to your gut instincts. If something seems wrong with the relationship, notice the behaviour and seek support if necessary
· Be honest with yourself how you’re feeling and don’t feel ashamed to share any doubts you have with others (that you trust)
· Call your partner out on moving too fast and let them know how you feel. Ask if they might dial it back a bit. If they’re unwilling to listen and compromise, it might be a clear indicator of how the relationship would be in the future – restricted freedom, one-sided and your partner playing the leading role
Does it sound like you are in a relationship with a narcissist? Do you need help with understanding the patterns of behaviour? Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org to speak to one of our Certified Divorce Coaches. We're here to help you every step of the way.