Narcissists usually love bomb by giving excessive attention and affection in order to win their target’s trust, lower their guard, and make him or her attached to them.
A typical narcissist’s comfort zone is when he is being a little arrogant, self-absorbed, and aloof. A certain amount of effort is required to step out of this comfort zone, put aside their ego and become a loving fellow. Narcissists usually love bomb expecting to get something in return. Be it a sexual favour, excessive attention or quick commitment, they cannot give someone the happiness of being put on a pedestal for free.
This does not mean that the love and affection displayed during a love bombing phase is 100% fake as some people think. Narcissists don’t love bomb anyone they meet in the street. They select someone whom they are already genuinely attracted to, but they show this attraction in exaggerated way. Even in case they use love bombing to attract their ex back, it means that they have fallen for him or her again. Of course their love is selfish and conditional as usual and there is no guarantee that it will not turn into abuse.
Why can’t a Narcissist Keep love bombing?
It is strenuous to pretend to be someone else. Once they win over their target, they usually go back to their normal self, exhausted. In a worst case scenario where they fail, they usually feel wronged and harshly devalue and discard the target.
Another reason why the love bomb phase is short lived even in case they do manage to win over their target, is because narcissists usually have high and unrealistic expectations because of their big ego. This makes it harder to satisfy them. When they compare the energy that they have invested in love bombs and the amount of satisfaction they are getting, they usually feel disappointed. When this touches their ego, the love bombing behaviour is not only shut off, but it can be replaced with abuse.
This confuses the person involved who was being showered with love but all of a sudden starts getting mistreated. See also: why do narcissists seem to move on so quickly.
Love Bombing in Abusive Relationships
Abusive narcissists use love bombing tactics to bring back their victim, when they realise that he or she is creating emotional distance because of the abuse.
Most abusers are usually afraid of abandonment. To make sure that they are never abandoned, they use abuse to lower the victim’s confidence in ever finding someone else. Abuse conveys the message “I’m mistreating you because you are worthless and nobody will ever find you attractive except me.” But the emotional distance that the victim creates during abusive phases makes the abuser feel abandoned. To lure them back quickly, the abuser uses love bombs.
But love bombing comes in conflict with the agenda of lowering the victim’s self-esteem. Abusers believe that excessive love can make their victim feel lovable, who in return would leave them for someone else. When an abusive narcissist starts to sniff confidence and a little comfort in their victim, they usually rush into abuse to neutralise them.
How to Deal With Love Bomb
The best way to deal with a narcissist’s love bombs, is to act indifferent. Because, when a narcissist believes that they have elevated their target’s confidence and happiness, through love bombs, they usually raise the expectations for their target. Acting a little affected can make them try harder; this would be effective if you want to keep them closer. In abusive relationship the only way to deal with it is to leave the abuser for good.
The feedback a narcissist gets, has a big impact of their self-esteem. The more they believe that they can control someone through love bombing tactics, they higher they think about themselves. Sometimes love bombing is only used to test their level of attractiveness. (See also: How to help a narcissist change)