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What’s the Difference?

Being in a new relationship can be sweet and exhilarating, especially when you have a partner with similar interests who is genuinely into you. Imagining all the endless possibilities and all the possible date ideas can be fun. In fact, you might even be in the honeymoon phase of your relationship! And what’s not to love about the honeymoon phase? Your partner showers you with love and attention through sweet texts, elaborate and thoughtful dates, romantic gestures, and so on. I remember how much fun my relationship was during its honeymoon phase. But what can be considered the honeymoon phase can easily turn out to be love bombing. Yet, it’s hard to tell the difference between the two. So, let’s get into it.

Often linked to narcissism, love bombing is a form of emotional manipulation done to gain power and trust over one person in a relationship. It is done by making over-the-top romantic gestures, showering them with love and devotion, and bombarding them with compliments and expensive gifts. Love bombing is usually hard to spot since it can look and feel similar to what most people want in a relationship: to be loved and adored by their significant other. While love bombing may not seem like a red flag at first glance, it is unhealthy in the sense that personal boundaries cannot be established and maintained. In other words, similar to gaslighting, love bombing revolves around control and creating a codependent relationship while idealizing the other person. And when those ideals aren’t met, the person is deprived of the love and affection that was once showered on them. The other person just takes their love away.

What makes love bombing different from the honeymoon phase is that, first and foremost, the honeymoon phase is mutual and feels natural instead of rushed and one-sided. Another way to tell is that love bombing often feels overwhelming and ends abruptly, followed by ridicule and spite. Meanwhile, the honeymoon phase slowly progresses into being comfortable and accepting each other’s flaws. Thus, love bombing is an endless cycle of abuse and can have heavy consequences on the victim’s mental and emotional health.

The bottom line is that finding love shouldn’t be hard, nor should falling in love. Love bombing is abusive and can leave you blind-sided and confused when you’ve done nothing wrong. Seeing the difference between love bombing and the honeymoon phase can be hard to spot at first, especially during the early stages of the relationship. But once you spot it and know it’s love bombing, get out to save yourself the heartbreak later. Know that heartbreak will come. So, your job is to save yourself from it.

To find out more about the signs of love bombing, stay tuned for an upcoming article that details what signs to look out for and how to recover if you’ve unknowingly been a victim.

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