Are you getting love bombed? Claire gives you some tips on how to spot this toxic behavior and how to get away from the person doing it. Plus, she answers a question from a listener who doesn’t see eye-to-eye with her husband on taking family trips.
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Claire Bidwell-Smith 00:00
Love bombing. It sounds so good. I want to be loved bombed. And I want to love bomb someone. So how can something so great be so dangerous? I’m Claire Bidwell Smith and that’s what we’re talking about today on NEW DAY. Love bombing is being talked about everywhere right now. But what is it? Basically, it’s a tactic of drawing someone into a relationship. It’s mostly used in the context of romantic relationships, but it can happen with friendships too. A love bomber is a person who lavish his you with gifts, fancy dinners, endless compliments and grand gestures right from the start. It can seem too good to be true, but you’re sucked in anyway because well, it feels so good. The bad news is that typical love bombers are usually narcissists or even sociopaths. They are people who deep down have an insatiable need to be loved. So they figure out what their victims like and mimic those characteristics. Doing this helps them gain your trust quickly, also helps them create a version of themselves that you’re enchanted by. The term love bombing was actually coined by the Unification Church, also known as a cult, as a way of drawing in new members, a tactic that’s also been used by other cult leaders like Jim Jones and Charles Manson. And these days, it’s a tactic you might encounter on Tinder. Love bombers will present you with the best version of themselves in order to lure you in and sweep you off your feet. They’ll shower you with gifts, charm your friends, make you feel like the most special person in the universe. But before you know it, they’ve also started cutting you off from your loved ones undermining your self-confidence, and even making you feel like you’re going crazy. Basically, they take you on an abusive rollercoaster ride. They make you feel so good in the beginning, that you may find yourself acting out of character or lowering your defenses very early on in the relationship. And by the time you realize how deep you’re in with this person, they’ve likely isolated you from friends and family and shown their true manipulative sides. But by that time, you’re so hooked that you keep desperately trying to find the version of them that you fell in love with in the beginning, the one who made you feel so good. But once loved bombed the devaluing starts, the love bomber will inevitably begin to withdraw their displays of love, and they’ll start blaming the relationship problems on you. It literally can make you feel like you’re going crazy, fun. So start by looking out for signs that you’re being loved bombed. Be wary of people who right away want to spend all of their time together, and who get upset even when you have obligations and responsibilities that prohibit you from giving them your complete attention. Beware of people who shower you with lavish gifts and over the top gestures, definitely pay attention if they immediately give you their full commitment. Back in my single mom days, I actually dated a guy who told me he loved me on our third date. I can tell you now that relationship did not end well. Love bombers like that will try to fast track any relationship and they’ll get upset when you resist or try to create boundaries. But again, it can be hard to walk away from so much attention and all the efforts someone like this will go to make you feel good. If you’re listening to this and realizing you’re already into deep you got love bombed in the beginning, but now you’re in a full on abusive relationship, and it’s definitely time to get out. Do everything you can to remove yourself safely from the relationship. Cut off contact, seek support from people who can help you extricate yourself, work on building up your self-esteem and practice tons and tons of self-compassion. Look, it’s so nice to feel loved. Deep down. I don’t think there’s anyone out there who doesn’t want to feel cherished and adored. So don’t beat yourself up for falling for a love bomber. Just try love bombing yourself from now on instead.
Claire Bidwell-Smith 03:46
Today’s listener question is a follow up from a recent episode has something you heard on the show resonated with you and brought up something you want to ask me about? I’d love to hear from you. You can send me your questions a couple of different ways. Email me at email@example.com or fill out my online form at bit.ly/newdayask you’ll find the link in the show notes. Lynne filled out the form and wrote I wanted to write in after hearing you and Mark talk with Elizabeth Earnshaw. My husband believes it’s best to work constantly while he’s young. He’s 35, to earn and save money. I like his drive and that he’s looking out for our futures best interest. However, I want to make memories with our kids and do some traveling experience fun things together like concerts, fairs, movies, camping, etc. While our kids are growing up. He wants to do all this when he retires. How can we compromise on this? We haven’t taken a vacation as a family ever. We do small things as a family like attending fairs, fishing, dinners. So I can’t say we never do anything. But I want more. Like every three years maybe take a vacation somewhere doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive. He just doesn’t see it the way I do because he wasn’t raised like that. He only sees dollar signs going out the window and It’s always an argument. What do you suggest we do? Hi, Lynne, I feel you on this question, obviously, since you listen to my episode with my husband and Elizabeth Earnshaw, but really, it’s a tough dynamic, and it’s one I definitely struggle with. I feel pretty obsessed with making sure my family is living in the moment. And I’m making as many memories together as possible right now. But my husband feels really differently. And it’s just been a constant source of friction for us. To begin with, I definitely recommend going back and listening to that episode really closely, really just the part where Elizabeth explains how to help each other understand the others viewpoint, she really encouraged us to think about where our beliefs and desires stemmed from, and what they really mean on a deep level. If you can get your husband to listen to it, even better. I also really recommend Elizabeth’s book; it’s called I want this to work. And it has exercises that couples can do in each chapter. And it’s even really helpful if just you are reading it and kind of doing some work behind the scenes with your husband. Best yet, if you can get your husband to do some couples therapy around this, that would be really helpful. They might be resistant to it; I get that too. I basically tricked Mark into some therapy by having him come on the podcast.
Claire Bidwell-Smith 06:10
But Elizabeth recommends that when a partner is resistant, try pointing out how you keep having the same arguments and that it’s really hurting your relationship. And then ask them to commit to just three sessions. Usually, you can either make a little headway with three sessions, or get them interested enough to keep going to more. And then the other side of this is just to stop relying on your husband to change and do some of the things you want to do without him if you can. I know it’s not ideal, you’ll have to grieve a little that you’re giving up on the idea of doing these things together as a family. But you’ll also feel really good satisfying that need to have some fun and memories with your kids. Take them to some concerts on your own, go camping, or stay in a fun hotel with them for a couple of nights. Find another mom friend who wants to travel with you. That might sound crazy or even impossible, but I promise it’s not. When I was a single mom, I got really good at traveling on my own and just doing fun stuff on my own with my kids. I also found friends who were either also single, or had partners who were unavailable. And so my friends and I took trips with the kids together. Freeing myself up to realize I could do these things on my own was really liberating. In fact, this summer when Mark was not available to travel for multiple reasons. I decided not to let that hold me back and I took my three kids to Italy by myself. I almost had a panic attack right before we left wondering what the hell I was doing. But you know what? The trip was fucking amazing. And I’m so glad we went. Best yet, Mark was definitely jealous. And I know it helped him to see how important that says to me. And it made him realize that he doesn’t want to miss out next time. Obviously going to Italy is an extreme example. But start by going to a concert with your kids or just a way to a fun hotel with a pool for a night. I think you’ll be glad you did. Wishing you Lachlan and thank you for writing.
Claire Bidwell-Smith 08:02
That’s it for today. Make sure you come back on Wednesday when I’ll give you some tips for dealing with narcissists. Chances are you’ve encountered one or more of them in your life and it can be really tricky to navigate. So if you haven’t already, please subscribe to NEW DAY so you never miss an episode.
NEW DAY is a Lemonada Media Original. The show was produced by Kryssy Pease and Erianna Jiles. Kat Yore is our engineer. Music is by Hannis Brown. New Day is produced in partnership with the well-being trust the Jed foundation and Education Development Center. Thanks for listening.