About “Love Bombers”

I am not sure if I believe in relationships and love the way I used to. I have run into an assortment of characters in my life (mainly "good" church men), and frankly the conundrum of tomfoolery I have encountered has left me baffled. "Good" men are not supposed to be "shady", right? 

There are good men! Let me repeat... There are good men!

I am the daughter of a good man (who goes to church EVERY Sunday and leads in his church). Further,  I am raising my son to be a good man. I can't be the only one. It's just that there are some men who seem good who act as if they want something real when they are dating a woman, but they have ulterior motives. For them, love is a game and women are pawns. 

Why am I writing this?

I spoke to a group of younger women recently, and they seemed shocked to learn that "good" men had thrown me a few curve balls over the years. Perhaps they thought lovebombing was a new age dating issue. I am not sure, but I wanted to provide them with answers, so I did what I always do. I researched it so I could explain it. So here goes...

I started with an essay I wrote last year on "The Science of Love." After getting the psychological facts about "lovebombing" as a way to initiate interest and mystique in the initial stages of a relationship, I cross-referenced the same concept in my most current research in A Course in Miracles. In ACIM, the concept falls under the premise of a special relationship. The findings from my research offered the cause and cure for one of the ways love catches you off guard and then leaves you dazed and confused.

So exactly why are seemingly "good" men so shady?

The women I spoke to wanted answers to this question. They wanted to know when to remain in a relationship with a "good" person, or when to leave the relationship because the "good" person had major flaws. When I say major flaws, I mean issues that lead to heartache and not minor issues that cause irritation and result in headaches.

There is a difference. Perfectly good men have minor issues that simply get on your nerves. For instance, they may chew with their mouth open, slurp their drinks, or lick their fingers. These guys may be keepers, and you may need to get over your attachment to your pet peeves. That's another blog post for another day. I am not talking about those guys.

Instead, I would like to address a common relationship issue women (and men) face that result in relational confusion and heartache. I'm talking about what I like to call "The Love Bomb Disappearing Act".

The Love Bomb Disappearing Act.

This pattern is stems from narcissistic tendencies. It is the result of what A Course in Miracles calls a special relationship. In the special relationship, the ego is fed candy coated words meant to woo their love interest by making them feel special, or better than all other women. Consciously or unconsciously, the lovebomber wants this in return. Essentially, the lover and beloved are together because they make each other feel special. It sounds good, but it it isn't.

The lovebomber strokes his love interest's ego.

The lovebomber's candy coated words taste great because they address some sort of insecurity that she has either expressed to him or something he has discerned on his own. Once he knows enough information (that he usually gets by telling her she's beautiful over and over again), she opens her heart to him because he tells her what she wants to hear.

She becomes addicted to his compliments and attention, so she shares more. The more she shares, the more he becomes what she says she wants - either through what she says directly or what he can discern based upon his questions. Through this process, he convinces her that he is one of the good guys and that she can trust him. With the information she has shared, he paints himself as the perfect answer to her prayers and masquerades as the opposite of other men who have hurt her. He is consistent and persistent in maintaining this persona. His persistent consistency makes him more believable. Keep in mind, his words are mostly bait - even if the comments are true.

How do you know a lovebomber?

This type of guy is usually well respected, educated and he has a lot of experience with women when it comes to romance and lovemaking. According to him, his exes are deeply flawed, and he will compare you to them. Initially, you will always come out on top while he his attempting to woo you. However, after a while, the same thing he said he loved about you in the beginning, when he was comparing you to his exes, is the exact same thing he will use against you later. You will become just like his exes to him, and you may find yourself defending normal behavior in a relationship. 

He will reject ideas about the relationship that he initially suggested and strongly petitioned for, and then he will paint himself as a victim in the relationship if you remind him of it and expect him to follow through with what he said he wanted. All the while, he will still connect his life experiences to yours so that you think you are still connected, although he is slowly backing away from you. The further he backs away, the more perfect he will seem. This retreat triggers a chemical in the brain that is intoxicating. It's crazy, and this is the aspect of his psyche that is linked to narcissism. Its a game to him and if you are not careful, it will become a game of cat and mouse to you as well. You will find yourself competing with him and others for his love.

The lovebomber likes an emotional tug of war.

Initially, in relationships women tend to be cautious or closed off because they have experienced heartbreak. The lovebomber likes this type of woman because she is a challenge. The strategy is to get a woman caught in an emotional tug of war. He knows that over time, she will eventually let her guard down if he tells her she is beautiful, smart or special over and over again. His goal is to convince her that she is the most special woman in the world. Lovebombers will spend an enormous amount of time, money and energy investing in her if he really wants her. 

Most of the time, he is getting something in exchange for his investment.

It could be sex, money, her beauty, talent, status or even just her attention. For him, it is about owning her power. It is about boosting his ego. Although it seems like he is investing in her, he is really investing in himself. It is his own ego fulfillment. She's just a pawn.

Once the lovebomber woos her into thinking they are perfect for each other, he retreats and leaves her very confused.

She doesn't know what hit her. She's been on a high and now she's addicted. She doesn't know what she did to make him leave nor how to change their relationship back to the way it was. She didn't do anything. He just got bored and needed someone new to play with. The game is over, and his competitive itch has been scratched. He keeps her around for entertainment to fuel his ego until he finds the next person to enact the same pattern. Good guys do this all of the time. I am not judging them. I'm just saying...

In the end, the woman is left analyzing everything she did or said to figure out what happened. She tries to understand the lovebomber so that she can resolve the situation in her mind. Take comfort in knowing that you didn't do anything except open your heart to someone who wasn't interested in your heart. They were focused on fulfilling their ego driven narcissistic needs.

Don't get upset with the lovebomber or react. Simply remove yourself from his grip and return to a peaceful spiritual place by turning your attention inward. Focus on the loving relationships you have around you and engage in a meditation practice that takes you back to the center. If you have been involved with a lovebomber, you are likely off balance. Hold your head up. There's a cure.

The Cure

The cure is exchanging a special relationship for a holy relationship. In the special relationship, its easy to get love bombed because both parties are so into each other and both are feeding each other's egos. In the special relationship, God will only be a part of their individual spiritual lives, but usually not a part of their relationship beyond spiritual platitudes. (And no, praying over food does not constitute a holy relationship. Most of the time, people do this as a religious ritual, not as a real invocation to invite God into their dwelling place. Lol.)  

Avoiding special relationships and investing in a holy relationships, where both parties are involved with each other in an authentic way, helps the other person grow through good and bad moments in a constructive way. This is the way relationships are supposed to work. This is the only antidote to the special relationship issue. In other words, don't fall for the okie doke. Ok?

Have you had a lovebomber before? Let me hear from you.

Hugs and love,

On Being a "Strong Black Woman"

On Divorce and New Beginnings: After the Pain

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