Love-Bombing, also known as the 'Idealization Stage' is the first stage a Narcissist uses to engage, snare and capture you. The narcissist will hone in on his (or her) target like bees round a honeypot. He (or she) will have researched you (via social media, friends, or colleagues), to find out as much as possible about you. This means that when they contact you, they know exactly what to say to get your interest. You’ll feel an immediate rapport with this person. According to various online sources, the term 'Love Bombing' was coined in the 1970s by members of the Unification Church of the United States, whose roots were in South Korea. The term was meant to denote genuine love and interest shown to others. I suppose, a bit like the 'free love' and 'peace' movement of the 1960s.
Once you meet, a guy (or a girl) will take you to lovely places, behave impeccably, make you feel like a queen, and before you know what’s hit you, you’ll be head over heels in love. You’ll share your deepest, darkest secrets with him and feel that finally, you’ve found someone who truly understands you. You’ll be drowning in your own dopamine bath and it feels amazing. If it's a woman, she'll fawn over you and seem totally entranced with everything you do, say and everywhere you take her. You suddenly feel like a king or a queen. You walk on water! And so do they, in your eyes! Before you know what’s hit you, you’ll be head over heels in love. You’ll share your deepest, darkest secrets with this person and feel that finally, you’ve found someone who truly understands you. You’ll be drowning in your own dopamine bath and it feels amazing.
And what will be more amazing still is that he/she feels the same way about you, and in a very short time, they'll be telling you that they love you... and here’s a huge red flag for you – it’s WAY TOO SOON to be telling you that they are in love with you, that you're the best thing since sliced bread, but they'll tell you that they'e never met anyone like you, that you are their soul mate, that you were destined to be together… and deep down inside, there is a little warning bell ringing, but you ignore it because the feelings of joy you’re experiencing now are just too good to ignore. You are desperate for them, and having been deprived of real love for so long, you can’t be blamed for grabbing at this chance with both hands.
There’s an incredibly potent chemical hormonal mix going on inside you and you are powerless to fight it. But actually, you’re not. If you only knew what to look out for, you’d keep your guard up and do your homework before going all-in with the relationship. So many people I’ve talked to said that they heard the warning bell, but they didn’t listen to it. It was there, nudging annoyingly in the deepest recesses of their minds, but they pushed it away.
You know that old saying "If it's too good to be true, it probably is'? Well in the case of Narcissistic Love-Bombing, it is ALWAYS too good to be true, and you are, unfortunately, going to pay very dearly down the line if you don't listen to your instincts.
The most powerful thing you can do to protect yourself from narcissists getting their grips into you is actually very simple. TRUST YOUR GUT! If something doesn’t feel right, pay attention to that feeling. Scope the relationship out and learn more about this person. There are a TON of red flags to watch out for in the early stages of the relationship. Pay attention to every single one of them. And trust your instincts!
If you don't, soon enough, the Love-Bombing will stop and the 'Discard' will start, and that's when your Knight in Shining Armour, or this Goddess of a Woman, turns into the nightmare demon from hell, and you're going to suffer heartbreak like you've never known. That will then be followed by the 'Discard' when they dump you because they've found a new, more exciting line of fuel. You'll be left in emotional shreds, and it's a horrible place to be.
You'll be left licking your wounds, wondering what the hell you did wrong, and going out of your mind with the stress of it all. At this point, you need to start learning all about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and the abuse that's part of the territory of falling for a Narcissist. You need to know it's not your fault, you did nothing wrong, and most importantly, you need to start believing that you can heal, because you can.
If you're still in love with this person when they discard you, life is going to be hell, because you're very likely Trauma Bonded, so you're desperately, aching to be back with this person, even though you know that being with them is toxic and they have already tried to destroy you, and left you a shadow of your former self. You don't understand what's going on inside you. How can you want them back when they caused you so much pain? WTF is wrong with you? You'll be asking yourself this, and many more questions. Trauma Bonding creates a dependency in you that the Narcissist created, and they know just how to do that. They've manipulated you into a position of loving them, becoming dependent on them, and then they've tossed you aside, gone off with their next 'target' and they flaunt this in your face, leaving you feeling wretched.
So what can you do? How do you start healing and getting your life, and your sanity back? My advice is to get professional help, from a therapist like myself who really knows what you are going through.
If you're really struggling with this right now, click to the contacts tab and get in touch. I can help you to get over this, and get over it quickly.