Your lover is perfect in every way. They shower you with gifts. They flatter you with compliments. And they wait on you hand and foot. It’s almost like a fairy tale, isn’t it?
But, even in fairy tales, nothing is what it seems. The beautiful queen is a witch. The frog is a prince. And the ugly old beggar is a fairy in disguise.
It’s the same thing with love.
Sometimes, gestures that seem to be out of kindness and compassion are, in fact, elaborate schemes to trap you in a web of lies and deceit. That’s how narcissists operate: They’re “kind” to their victims only for as long as it serves them. Once they get what they want from you, and they no longer see any benefit from keeping you around, that’s their cue to say Adios.
As a potential narcissist’s lover, how do you know what’s real and what’s not? How do you know if your lover is genuinely kind and loving, or is just pretending to be?
Here are a few red flags to look out for when it comes to love bombing.
Your relationship is moving too fast.
As far as your lover is concerned, it’s not just love at first sight. It has to be love at the first second. The moment you exchange numbers, your inbox gets flooded with 100 messages from your lover alone!
From a certain point of view, that may seem romantic. That may also be a sign that your lover is too inexperienced or socially inept to express affection like most people do. But when it comes to something where your heart is at stake, it’s better to err on the side of caution, and assume that your lover may have less-than-pure motives for escalating things too quickly.
You never hear anything negative from them at all.
Now, that’s not to say you should only accept criticism. Of course everyone should receive compliments on a regular basis! But if your lover can’t be honest with you about the not-so-pleasant aspects of your relationship, you have to wonder what else they’re not being honest about.
For example, let’s say you had to miss a date because of overtime work. If your lover truly cares about you, they’ll tell you afterwards: “I don’t mind you working overtime, but could you at least text me about it in the future?” Aside from showing good communication skills, this also suggests that your lover cares about both your needs.
On the other hand, a narcissist would say “Oh, it’s okay, you can work as late as you want!” and then give you the cold shoulder afterwards. They tell you what you want to hear, not because they care about your feelings, but because they’d rather not deal with conflict.
Your lover wants you to focus on them — and them alone.
It’s natural for your lover to want to feel special. After all, what you feel for your lover should be different from what you feel for your friends and family. But if your lover wants to be your only special someone, rather than just a special someone, be careful: You might be dealing with a narcissist.
For example, a good lover would say: “Oh, we can’t have our date on Friday night because you’re out with friends? I understand. Can we move our date to Saturday or Sunday instead?” A narcissist, on the other hand, would complain: “Why do you have to go out with friends? You have me, don’t you? Am I not enough for you?” If your lover is really serious about you, they’ll understand that, as special as they are to you, you also need to maintain a life outside your relationship.
Your lover paints an unrealistic picture of your relationship.
They tell you things like “From the moment I laid eyes on you, I knew you were the only one for me.” That sounds great — if you’re a character in a romance film.
In reality, even “perfect” relationships have their ups and downs. You and your lover will fight, kiss, make up, and fight again. The measure of your relationship is not what your lover says during the good times, but how they act during the bad times. If your lover sticks with you through thick and thin, and does their best to support you every step of the way, that’s when they’ve earned the right to say they’re the “one” for you.
Relationships are complex beasts. Sometimes, it’s hard to tell where you stand in them until it’s too late. But if you watch out for the signs of love bombing, and you keep your eyes open, your gut sharp, and your head on your shoulders, it’s not likely you’ll get heartbroken as easily or hopefully not at all.