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Love Bombing or Love? Which One Are You Into?

After allegations that West Elm Caleb was a serial dater and ghoster, sparked a firestorm of anger on TikTok, the act of "love bombing" has shot to the top of the internet's agenda. If you're not sure what love bombing is, read this article.

Picture a lively college campus buzzing with energetic freshman, wide-eyed and excited, talking non-stop about partying and socializing, hoping to find friends within their sorority sisters and fraternity brothers. Here and there, you could also spot some second-year students with the oh-so-typical sophomore slump.

Speaking of freshman and sophomore, have you read about the TikTok-famous University of Alabama rush? It was all over the platform in August 2021 and again in August 2022. Bubbling students were talking about the hotly contested and highly anticipated sorority recruitment process. They shared their OOTDs, outfits of the day, videos of their experiences, and reactions to the ups and downs of prospective new members (PNMs), trying to impress and fit in during rush.

The top 5 TikTok users who were PNMs received millions of views during the second season of “Bama Rush”. Some of the videos even picked up more views than the most-watched episodes of Keeping Up With the Kardashians. One filmmaker even documented the journey of four young ladies as they applied for sorority membership.

All four girls were concerned about how they portrayed themselves, even resorting to sporting rainbow dreadlocks to stand out among a sea of girls with edgy neon highlights and parrot locks, to mention a few. The 4 of them were worried about being dropped from their sorority. Everything was stated in their extensive and enforceable sorority codes of conduct, ranging from no drinking in the house to limitations on wet hair downstairs, dress code, makeup, and etiquette.

Amidst all this peer surveillance, the joy of meeting someone new, the butterflies in the stomach when forming a bond, and the thrill of falling in love mesmerized the students like bees drunk with honey, every single day. They could feel a tangible vibe of romance and love on campus, along with an air of academics and intellect.

Looks like “All is Not a Bed of Roses” for Millennials in Such a Dynamic Campus!

a group of multi-ethnic girls sitting in college campus and smiling with braided hairs in multi colors

An inquisitive group of researchers set out on a quest to learn the mysteries of love among millennials in the midst of this dynamic campus atmosphere. With the rise of narcissism and the growing need for psychological support on campuses, these researchers delved into the world of love-bombing. They gathered a bunch of college students, from a big southern university.

They wanted to understand this peculiar behavior where someone bombards their lover with PDA, aka public display of affection, right from the start. The ones who shower their lover with compliments, gifts, and an overwhelming amount of affection.

How Love-Bombing Turns into a Fight for Control: Unlocking the Story of Mark and Sarah!

man showers woman with flowers and love balloon in public place, they both smile

On their first date, Mark told Sarah that she was his soulmate and that he couldn’t live without her. He gave her an expensive bouquet of gardenias and Juliet roses. On their second date, he took her to a romantic candlelit dinner, during which he didn’t glance at his phone once. He even started talking about meeting her parents.

However, after a few more dates, Mark’s behavior took a concerning turn. He wouldn’t let Sarah have a moment of peace, bombarding her with texts, constantly calling her, and stalking her on Instagram and Snapchat. He became possessive and demanded every second of her time and attention.

Mark insisted on being by her side constantly, invading her personal space and making it difficult for her to have any time for herself. He frequently guilt-tripped her and made her feel terrible for wanting some alone time. So, when Sarah tried to assert herself and set reasonable boundaries, Mark had trouble accepting the word “no.” When she expressed her discomfort and need for space, he began to argue with her, saying,”What about those jewelry I got you?” This left her feeling self-doubtful and led her to believe that she was at fault for saying no.

Love-bombing? Is it a fiction or a fact?

One of the many such stories the researchers discovered was this one. So they concluded that love-bombing isn’t just a made-up fiction, after all. It was highly linked with people exhibiting toxic nature and struggled with insecure attachment styles.

And here’s the intriguing twist! The researchers also discovered that students with a secure attachment style, the ones who had faith in the strength of their relationships, actually showed higher levels of love-bombing behaviors. But how can that be?

Well, it’s important to understand that love-bombing is not always a malicious act. In some cases, students with a secure attachment style may engage in love-bombing as a way to express their affection for their lover.

Is love-bombing a fascinating paradox!

woman gifts man with christmas present and smiles at him

As a mark of her secure bond, Sarah showers Mark with hugs, kisses on the cheeks, complements him when he does well in school, and offers him meaningful gifts. She uses it as a means to convey her true emotions and establish a close connection. Sarah has good intentions, and she thinks that her actions would bring them closer together and make Mark feel valued.

But, Mark has an insecure attachment, which means he struggles with trust and has doubts about his own self-worth. Insecurity and fear of rejection may drive his behavior. Mark resorts to love-bombing tactics as a way to seek validation and control. He bombards Sarah with excessive attention, extravagant gifts, and constant communication, hoping to manipulate her emotions and gain power in the relationship. Mark’s intentions are driven by his own insecurities rather than genuine love and care for Sarah.

In this scenario, Sarah’s love-bombing behaviors, coming from a secure attachment style, are benign because they are grounded in genuine affection. She intended to build a strong connection with Mark based on trust and emotional support.

But, Mark’s love-bombing behaviours, stemming from an insecure attachment style, are not benign. His actions were driven by his fear of abandonment and a need for control. Mark’s love-bombing tactics made Sarah to question his true intentions and his intensity overwhelmed her most of the times. On top of that, Mark abruptly ended the relationship, leaving Sarah with a sense of blame and self-doubt. He swiftly moved on, finding a new partner to replace her.

Not every love story is a fairy tale brought to life!!

At first glance, being showered with compliments, grand gestures, and sweet talk, feels like a fairytale unfolding right before your eyes. You may feel as if you’re being swept off your feet by someone who seems completely smitten. So it becomes difficult to spot the warning signals of love bombing. But if you know what to look for, you can see right through the masquerade. You need to keep your eyes peeled for any red flags. Trust your gut and don’t let yourself get swept away by love-bombers.

Here’s what to do if you think you’ve ever been “love-bombed!

Being the target of a love bomb can be quite upsetting, especially if you believed your relationship was going well. To recover from such an experience, prioritize self-love and seek support through therapy and other emotional and spiritual resources. Take a break from romantic relationships and shift your focus towards the positive aspects of life. Remember that there is more to life than just romantic love.

MyFat Diet suggests the following mindful breathing exercises to help you get back on track:

You might be familiar with energy drain – that exhaustion which eats you up completely and makes you want only in the bed all day long. This amazing “Hand stretch breathing”, will instantly kick up your energy level to an all-time high, whenever you feel lost and overwhelmed.

As you progress in life, you start to realize who you are! Still, whenever self doubt sneaks in from time to time, do this “Calming breath” to restore the belief you have in yourself.

Even with the most optimistic aspects difficulties do arise! When you begin to view your difficulty as an opportunity for growth you become stronger and more capable. This amazing breathing exercise helps you to put back things in a perspective and return to positivity.

Use “The Supported Fish Pose with Deep Rhythmic Breathing” to settle your racing mind if you need to, which Restorative Yoga expert Darren Mein says we all need from time to time. As you actually relax into the pose, notice the added expansiveness of your breath.

In conclusion, recognizing the red flags of love-bombing can empower you to navigate relationships with clarity and protect yourself from manipulative tactics.

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