In case you’re wondering what it feels like to be love-bombed by a toxic narcissist, I’ve complied the answers of 28 anonymous members of a private support group for narcissistic abuse survivors. Please notice the patterns and take appropriate care to keep yourself safe in your current or future relationships.
- My ex (a narcissist) said things that were really negative about his ex and I totally fell for the tactic. It totally blew me away when he completely flipped into a different person once I got to know him.
- After he got fired from his job and because I had his fancy car he left at my place (even though I had a car and my mother’s car) and I had to leave truck driving school to go get him in OKC. When I got there, he unloaded his truck, clothes etc. And when we got back to my house he unloaded his belongings into my closet and just ‘moved in’. Then the ‘shaping me’ started happening and he just took over the household. My mother and daughter were still living with me. Because I was so stressed out from working/ going to school and taking care of mom; at the time his taking over was welcomed by me. But of course as I look back, I see now what he was doing.
- He kept the most recent ex in the forefront. His words: she was psycho, bi-polar, lier, cheater, abandoned him, and thought she might kill herself. He wouldn’t completely block her because he didn’t want to be responsible if she did hurt herself. He brought her up all the time and upset and hurt me terribly. I just realized yesterday that he was using triangulation. All those traits he described were his own. He also told the same stories over and over about the exes. They were all just horrible women according to him. I now think he was in contact with the most recent ex the whole time. I have no evidence and never caught him cheating but he was always quick to accuse me of cheating and lying, which as we know usually indicates that they are doing it themselves. I was suspicious and came so close to spying on him on his FB account and phone but couldn’t bring myself to do so. I think I feared what I would find.
- Blaming all his problems on others, saying they’re mentally ill, childish, incompetent, negative. phony. Arrogant attitude, condescending toward others who are different than him, or anyone who doesn’t agree politically or any other way. Feels entitled to special treatment in most situations.
- During the love bombing stage he exhibited extreme jealousy. We lived 100 miles apart. I had met a couple girlfriends for a drink. Now by this time I had bonded to him. There was constant texting and fb chatting. He knew I was meeting them…he was texting me the whole time I was with them and called…phone in my purse trying to visit, he called and I didn’t hear my phone. When I checked my phone and called him, I was interrogated as to where I was, what I was doing. What am I doing at a pub on a Friday night…why was I still there…must be more to it than meeting the girls…he was going to jump in his car and come there. I ended up crying and feeling guilty for doing nothing wrong. My girlfriends were not happy with him making me cry, etc. But I defended him because I thought his behavior was a result of how badly he had been treated by his exes. OMG…really!
- We were talking about romantic relationships and he said “I don’t think I’ve ever really loved anyone before…….I don’t think I ever really invested in anyone else”. Yet he had been in two long-term relationships, one was an engagement. I thought he was just emotionally very immature at the time.
- He said in what I thought was a joking way “I’m very good at taking things…..at receiving things” (meals, cleaning up after him, stuff he didn’t want to be bothered with as a single adult). We both laughed out loud – I thought he was laughing because we both realized the absurdity of that way of being and how no one could really be like that. In hindsight, a billboard couldn’t have been a bigger sign.
- He came back from a rare family visit that included his sister. He was outraged at how she behaved, constantly talking about herself, refusing to help prepare food or clean up anything, behaving as if everyone were there to act as her audience and make sure her wine glass or coffee cup was never empty. Went on and on forever about how he’d try to bring up a topic and she would in seconds steer the conversation back to herself. Not sure why I think I should have seen this as an early red flag – guess it was more of a moment before I was convinced he’s a narc when I thought maybe he was getting some clarity about his own behavior since he described to a T a female version of himself and how much he couldn’t stand it.
- He got kicked out of a program for school and said it was because the woman who ran it was sexist. Got fired from two jobs because someone didn’t like him. Asked me for clean urine for job drug screening. I gave it to him more than once. I feel so stupid reading that. Cannot believe how far I went to please my abuser.
- I’d only had 2 very casual afternoon dates with him. I was out with a bunch of friends, and was dancing with a guy. He walked into the bar, and wigged out, then got in his truck and peeled out of the parking lot. The guy I was dancing with wanted to know if that was my boyfriend, and I told him no, I was just barely getting to know him. He told me to watch out for that guy, his reaction was overblown. How I wish I had listened to him!
- In the beginning our dates would start with breakfast go on through lunch and we would end up spending so much time together we would then have dinner together. I thought it was because he liked being with me so much. Turned out he was a chronic over eater as well as a Narc. He always looked for an excuse for his behavior.
- I had no experience with this type of person, so I didn’t know what love bombing was. He wanted to get super close, super fast. He said “I think I love you” very early on. And the kicker………..I couldn’t understand why a single guy with a truck would trade it in for a family sized van. This happened 3 months after I met him. I was divorced with 2 little kids at the time. I didn’t even allow him to meet my children for about a year…………but he told me later the van was purchased with my kids in mind. After 3 months???
- He said God sent him to me. That he prayed specific for a woman like me and one that’s been hurt and he could love them so Much as he has so much love to give, and truly their kids as his own. My kids dad is alcoholic and was hurtful to them growing up, and he said God sent him to bring healing to my kids and be the dad they never had. He then worked on them. Also writing me poems all the time.
- My N told me that all his exes are not as classy as me. He swore that he wasn’t dating his ex when we met. But I later found out that was a lie. He cheated on her with me and dumped her like a hot potato. I should have seen this as a major red flag. But he said he fell in love with me and his relationship with her didn’t matter to him anymore because she had no ambition in life. Of course he was looking at my family and the money I would inherit.
- Well, I met him when I was 18 and he was 20….not a fully hatched N yet. The first sign of something wrong was the lying….more exaggerating and embellishing stories. After noticing a few I called him on it. He actually was kind of shocked and seemed mostly unaware that he was doing it or more likely that it was noticeable. I told him that one of our friends said to me that he had embellished a story…that people were noticing and gave him a few examples. We talked and he actually seemed like he wanted to change and actually did change for quite a while. It was years before I saw a ramp up of lying creeping in.
- Mine was still seeing a shrink to get over his ex. I didn’t know this until my stepfather saw him there. He said he was closing the book on his last relationship. To butter me up he said, “I told the shrink I had met you and I loved you. Then the shrink asked me what I loved about you. I said everything”. Today I know that it truly meant:” I don’t love her in any shape or form. I am triangulating her with my ex.”
- He told me he was divorced. Eight weeks later he slipped while talking to his mother in front of me complaining that she hadn’t signed the papers yet. So, yes they were separated but he knew I would never date a married man. I made that clear to him. He lied right from day one. And I had known him for almost 30 years. He lied so that I would compromise my moral standards. I should have bolted that very day. I was fuming but bought his next lie “I love you so much I just couldn’t tell you, I didn’t want to lose you”. Oh man, that would have saved 7 1/2 years of more crap.
- Yeah…I actually called his wife to make sure it was really over and that she was ok with me dating him. She was. She tried to warn me but I believed his lies. She and I are friends now! So sad. So very sad.
- He told me stories of how he did so many important things for people. he was never appreciated. I saw sighs even tried to break it off .He didn’t have friends no relationship with his grown sons. he cried told me not to do it. I knew he was broken. yet I loved him. I saw the pain, felt it.
- One of his grown sons told me how he tried to kill himself because of his father’s bullying and that I should leave him asap as he would destroy me. I had massive red flags from the very beginning but was very vulnerable having just left a very abusive relationship and him being the only friend who supported me.
- we actually argued often in text before we even met. I just had to win him over bring him into the light. I was taken into the dark. I always knew. He would gas light me all the time, i would tell him he was trying to justifying his bad behavior, I was right I just didn’t know the terminology. who knew there could be people so broken. I was broken heart broken from the loss of my husband to this horrific disease. I also kind of enjoyed that he was so opinionated as my husband didn’t speak with his disease. I needed a friend a safe place to lay my head, I laid with the devil. Deep breath. I will still take from this. He took me to a different place from where I was in the loss of my husband. I was devastated. See I’m a widow with a breathing body the shell of the most wonderful man I have ever known.
- There was no one in his life he loved as much as he loved me, not even his children. …to name a few. Oh yes, he loved me by the end of the first week, and was making plans for our future by week three. He asked me to move in with him by the second month and by the end of the third month the devaluation phase began.
- He had us both put GPS tracking on our phones so we could see where we were. He insinuated himself into every area of my life in a short time and said I love you within a couple weeks. He acted like everything about me was the greatest thing. He said and did all the right things.
- Usually a comment will be made on which there is both a positive and negative slant from his perspective: “you’re such a good mum (positive) and then “I’m never going to come before your children am I? (the negative for him…the warning sign for me).
- Looked at me like a dog in heat. Very strange. Second date, big display of ego and grandiosity coupled with rude hospitality once the friends crashed out date. He left me sitting and worked the uninvited crowd of drunk males. At this point I wanted to escape… His charm and ability to brainwash me existed from the beginning.. I normally would have stood up, said in outa here and left. Something immobilized me, he felt familiar..
- I lived in a garden apartment complex in high school, when I met him and learned he lived about 3 blocks away. During the love bombing phase, we would walk around the neighborhood at night for hours, talking. He walked, mostly, and I was the sympathetic ear. He shared how dysfunctional and cold his home environment had been. (One thing he had witnessed less than 10 years old, was his dad raping his mom). One night, it was super cold, and our relationship was still new. We went into the little hallway that goes between the buildings, which either leads down to a laundry facility or out to the back, where the garages were. We both crouched down against the wall and the floor….he at one wall, me at the opposite one. Now, mind you, everyone at our school always gave him a wide birth in the halls…he was angry, so he was somewhat feared. And as I said before, I loved this, because he chose ME! Being an unpopular girl, this inflated my ego. So, there we were in the little hallway, and I had a black wool calf-length coat wrapped around me. He stopped sharing about his troubled past, and said through a puff of his cigarette, “If you don’t quit standing there looking so hot, I’m gonna rape you.” I said, “Go ahead.” Sick or what? He did not follow through, mind you.
- Early in our relationship, one one sunny day, I was supposed to call him at a certain time. I was late calling him, because I went to the supermarket briefly with my mom. Yes, this was my bad, but it was a small and fixable infraction. However, I’m sure it triggered his abandonment issues from his past. So, I got home. He called me, acted all dramatic and foreboding, said, “I’m sending Fred [his stepfather] to come pick you up; we have to talk.” I was full of trepidation, didn’t know what to expect. Got to his house, went to his room [his two younger sisters were present] and he sat across from me. His jaw was clenched and his nostrils literally FLARING with anger. Looked at me with total fury, like a father would look at his child if he just caught her shoplifting $1,000 worth of merchandise. He said he was breaking up with me. I was devastated, wasn’t “done” with this relationship. I tried to look formidable, stand my own ground, but I couldn’t help but notice that with his nostrils flared, he looked like an angry bull. And it was hot. And I told him EXACTLY that, word-for-word. And this disarmed him, and he chose not to break up with me. Yes, quite sick.
- Something I always found uncomfortable, was that I was so into him, I mean…..I fell for him hook, line and sinker. He treated me like a trophy on a shelf. He wanted me to move in his social circles, but he was always across the room, lost in the crowd, smoking, laughing, drinking beer, and I was always sitting there on the couch, along the wall, making small talk here and there, but mostly, waiting for him to remember I was present. He’d always come over to me about every 45 minutes or so, smile, ask if I was having fun, give me a peck on the lips, and pounce away again.
Angela Atkinson is a Certified Life Coach and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic relationships since 2006, Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed coaching and has certifications in life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. In her life coaching practice, Atkinson’s clients enjoy her personalized approach that allows and encourages them to become the best possible versions of themselves and to succeed in doing what they love most. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online and NarcissismSupportCoach.com.