Thoughts on this post? Share them with me on Facebook, join the SPANily or Tweet me at @angieatkinson. ~Angie

Are you in a relationship with a narcissist? If so, you might have experienced the phenomenon known as “love bombing,” which is yet another form of manipulation that a narcissist uses to reel in their victims. 

The Urban Dictionary defines a love bomber as “a person who is full of love and always ready to express their love for somebody.” But when there’s a narcissist involved, it turns into a whole other ball of wax.

 

Why does love bombing work so well? 

We all know how predictable a narcissist can be. And in the early stages of a relationship (or even during a “renewal” period in a long-term relationship, in which he reactivates the love bomb), you can rest assured that certain things will happen, with almost any lovebombing narc.

Kim Saeed at LetMeReach.com says it’s because love is the one thing we all really want and need.

“Love is the most sought after human need,” Saeed writes. “So, when a target receives an overwhelming amount of love and acceptance, it’s very hard to analyze the reasons ‘why’ for fear of losing what they’ve desperately been longing for.”

She adds that after a while,  “the target becomes blindly dependent on their abuser; all while being hammered into submission.”

I can relate to that one. How about you?

Melanie Tonia Evans, a well-known narcissism expert, says that the narcissist engages in love bombing for a very specific reason: they are in desperate need of narcissistic supply.

“You must understand that the narcissistic emotional ‘love’ model is not the normal human one we know,” Evans writes. “Narcissists are insatiably needy. We know there are ‘needy’ people in the world – but the normal human version of ‘needy’ bares very little resemblance to a narcissist’s neediness.”

Are you trauma bonded? Take this quiz and find out. 

Healthy vs. Narcissistic Relationship Development

In a normal relationship, you grow closer over a number of months or years. But when it comes to a narcissist, one of the biggest red flags early in a relationship is his blatant desire to move quickly.

The narcissist will start off by rushing into it. He will idealize you and make you feel like he’s the part of you that’s been missing all of your life. You’ll be all, “OMG, love at first sight!”

Don’t get me wrong – I’m sure there are some totally legit “love at first sight” stories. But in general, if this happens, you’d do best to take a step back and reevaluate.

What Love Bombing Looks Like in Action

At first, it’ll all seem too good to be true. You’ll spend hours talking, and maybe you’ll get sweet little texts all day long. He will “like” every Facebook status you post, and maybe even comment on them all about how amazing/smart/beautiful, etc. you are.

He will say that you’re the best female he’s ever met – the rest are so crazy/unpredictable/whore-ish, etc. He will lavish attention on you like you’re his princess.

He might even take off work in order to spend more time with you – and at first, it all seems so perfect. You’ll think “maybe he’s my soulmate!” and he’ll take full advantage of such assumptions.

He will say all the right things, and it’ll just feel like you truly know him within days or weeks. You’ll feel like he understands you like no one else ever has, and no matter how smart you are, you’ll fall for it all – hook, line and sinker.

You might get overwhelmed with gifts (which, of course, as you’ll soon find out, always have strings attached).

This will lead to the inevitable next step – he starts mirroring you; that is, he will start “reflecting back to you” exactly what you really want to hear.

This is because, by becoming your ideal man, he gains a tiny bit of control over you. He can only gain the control if he has your full attention – and he knows the best way to get it.

“You just get me.”

He will tell you that somehow, you’re the first person he’s ever come along who “just gets him.” He’ll say that you understand him like no one ever could, and he will wonder how he ever got along without you.

He might even ask, “Where have you been all my life?”

You might even find yourself wondering the same thing.

The Soulmate Con

“Oh my god, I’ve never felt like this before!”

Narcissists play on our insecurities, and they tend to be rather attracted to empaths (mostly because they’re easy targets as they tend to be very in touch with others’ emotions – the narc uses this to their advantage).

In many cases, they use our deepest fears against us, including and especially the fear of being alone.

In love bombing, this takes a whole other turn – they go the other direction and make you feel loved, needed and protected.

One common way they do this is to tell you that they feel like you’re their soulmate. You fall for it, because we all want to believe that our perfect One is out there, and the narcissist knows this and uses it against us.

His Evil Ex

How does he talk about his ex? Most narcissists will have a terrible sob story to tell you about theirs. They will tell you how toxic she was and how crazy, and how by the end of it, he basically hated her.

They will also sometimes tell you that “she left him” because of cheating or some other reason, but often, they blatantly lie because, let’s face it, it works.

You feel sorry for him and without even realizing it, you may just vow to yourself that you’re going to become His Perfect Woman and make sure the poor thing doesn’t go through all of that ever again.

See, as women, we’re caregivers. It’s in our nature to want to take care of and fix people and their problems. Especially when we’re in love with them.

But it all feels so good!

So, here’s the thing. If you’re currently in the love bombing phase, it’s unlikely that you’re actually reading this article right now. That’s because, during the “bombing” period, you’re going to feel absolutely amazing.

You’ll reason that this must be the person you’ve been waiting your whole life to meet. You’ll feel that this relationship is special, different – and yes, you’ll be certain that he’s your soulmate.

When you’re in that place, you have no reason to go around researching stuff like this.

Most likely, though, you’re here because you want to know what happened to the guy you fell in love with. You feel like he changed so drastically, and you want to know what you’ve done wrong.

You might even think you’re going a little crazy, or that somehow you’re to blame for all of this.

Here are some things you need to know

If you think you’re in a relationship with a narcissist, check out this resource page – and don’t forget to join my new online support group, SPAN, right here. 

Have you experienced love bombing before? What other red-flags did you notice? Need help? Here’s a video playlist that will help you recognize the red flags of narcissists. 

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11 Responses to The Narcissist’s Soulmate Scam: Identifying a Love Bomber

  1. So how can you tell the difference between a narc love bombing as set-up and some poor slob who actually is just that much smitten? I hope to someday find someone I can love and trust. I’d hate to miss the chance just cus I’d be afraid demonstrative behavior was interpreted as Narc Love Bombs again. Confused.

  2. Your article was so right on. The comebt about the miroring was so right on. I was married to a narc for 47 years we have been separated for 2 I met him at a bible college. My father was a pastor. What did this narc I married claim he wanted to be a pastor. That never came about in fact several months into the marriage he never mentioned it again. I never could figure out why the narc lost interest in his calling so quickly. Now I know mirroring If I had only had this information 50 years ago could have saved myself a lot of misery. Now I will use it for healing. Thanks

  3. This sounds like my relationship with my ex. Like exactly on the dot!! Crazy that it’s a thing narcissists do! Totally my ex and how he got me hooked!

  4. Just swap ‘He’ with ‘She’ and it’s verbatim like it was. And one day, she just dropped me like a hot potato. It made me feel like a stubborn stain on her shoe. It has taken me almost two years to work it out, and would you believe when I read this article I burst out laughing. And the spell was broken.

  5. This article is spot on. My narc and I have been in a rehatetionship for over 20 years. He has tried but somehow failed to destroy me over and over again. Something in me always said there was something very wrong. Right from the outset I just knew things didn’t stack up. Anyway my recovery is being greatly helped by resources such as these and also that with a little detective work I have uncovered dozens – many dozens, of poor women he has messed with. Promising new lives (he’s very wealthy) and getting them to end their relationships with others, only to withdraw and make out they misunderstood his “friendship”. I can’t believe the evidence was all so easy to find once I knew where to look.

    Love bombers are terrorists. They steal your time, your balance, your emotions and your trust. They also do it deliberately knowing they will discard you.

  6. I just read about love bombing, makes sense really, the first 30 days were magical, the next 12 years a lot of hell, when it finally broke me and I asked for a sep, I saw hell unleashed on earth for me. He’s been showering his new gf endlessly where he never would take me anywhere or buy me things, anyone know do they do this with all their gf’s ? I mean I only got 30 days.

  7. Comment

  8. I got out of a relationship with a narcissist in a record 11 days. On our first date when he first mentioned how his ex was a narcissist, my spidey-sense tingled. At first, when he talked about his celebrity clients, I thought he was just making conversation, but then he actually pulled out a photo album filled with pictures of him with those clients (he called it a photo resume). I checked his facebook later that night and it was full of bullshit credentials, including mentions of his appearances on tv shows that haven’t been on the air for 25 years and no one has ever heard of as well as sports teams he played on that only existed for 2 seasons (it was seriously 15 lines of bs (including being an extra in a movie) where most people just list their profession). His facebook was also full of celebrity name-drops, showing off about VIP status at clubs, and generally bragging with comments like “club owner said I was the best dancer there.” Dude was 47, it was pathetic. I had obviously liked him on our first date since I bothered doing research, so I decided to give him a second date but keep my eyes open. On our second date he mentioned a second ex-wife (and the timing of his life – as told by him on our first date – shifted by 5 years). He also said that every ex he’d had had cheated on him. When I asked him about why he was into celebrities and VIP status, he denied it. I pointed out that it was both all over his facebook profile and on his online dating profile he put “Celebs/VIP” under his likes. He said he hadn’t updated it in awhile. He made a big show of being concerned when I left to bike home and how I should message him as soon as I got home. I did, no response. The next day I sent him a text about some good news I got. No response. When I messaged him asking if I’d offended him on our second date, he then responded that he appreciated how seriously I was taking things between us and that he understood why I hadn’t presented a “perfect” self to him. A few days later he messaged me his schedule for the week, including that he would be working late that night. He didn’t ask me out, but his schedule message indicated that I had the option to watch him at his fighting practice. The next day, I responded that I was busy the night of his fighting practice. Then I said something about the dating app we were using and he responded that he had gone out on a 4th date with someone else the night before. I responded “Glad to hear you’re dating.” And I actually was half-serious because he had been coming on so intense in some of his messages (between dates 1 and 2) that it was scaring me a little and I’d even asked him point blank if he was “love bombing” me. But I was half being sarcastic because it was like he was showing off or trying to make me jealous telling me that. He responded “I’m more interested in you, you have nothing to worry about, you were busy.” That was the last straw for me. It was like he was trying to gaslight me before we even went on date 3. I hadn’t been busy the night before; he had never asked me out for the night before; and his message with his scheduled he’d send me the day before had said he was working late that night. Also I was grossed out that he would go on a 4th date with anyone and then text another girl that he’s more into her. And finally, I was grossed out that he had insinuated that somehow I was to blame for his going out with this girl because I was busy? It was too much. So I messaged him that I had thought about things further and did not think we were a match. He waited a day and then responded “It’s ok. I knew that on our first date, but I would mind hanging out with you as friends.” Yuck. Another instance of gaslighting and also a logical bind. If he knew on our first date, then he was lying to me when he pursued me for date 2. If he was being genuine in his pursuit, then he is lying in his response to my ending things. Either way I hate liars and his response confirmed for me that he is in fact a textbook narcissist. Even in the way he stated that he “wouldn’t mind hanging out” as if he was doing me the favor (after I had literally just dumped him). Obviously I will not be “hanging out” with him anytime in the future.

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