Narcissists usually love-bomb by giving someone excessive attention and affection in order to win their trust, and manipulate them.
A typical narcissist feels comfortable when he is being a little arrogant, self-absorbed, and aloof. A certain amount of effort is required for them to step out of that comfort zone, drop their ego, and show someone love and affection. Narcissists usually love-bomb for a short period of time expecting to get something in return. If a narcissist thinks that you are mad at him and wants to get something important from you, he may start love bombing you in order to calm you down first.
This does not mean that the love and affection displayed by narcissists is 100% fake as some people think. Narcissists don’t just love-bomb anyone they want to manipulate. They only use this manipulation tactic to someone they are already genuinely attracted to. For example, when a narcissist starts love bombing their ex in order to bring them back, it means that they genuinely want them back.
Why can’t a narcissist keep love bombing?
As I said, a narcissist has to step out of his comfort zone in order to shower someone with excessive love. Once they get what they want, they usually go back to their normal self. You may be wondering what happens if they fail to manipulate their target. When the love bombing tactic fails, they usually feel hurt. This makes them devalue or even discard their 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 sometimes feel disappointed. When this happens, 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 abuse their target in order to destroy their self-esteem so that they won’t think of looking for another relationship partner. Abuse sends 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.
However, love bombing comes in conflict with the narcissist’s intentions of destroying 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. That’s why they quickly replace excessive love with abuse whenever they see that their victim is getting on their feet. (See: why do narcissists ignore texts)
What to do when a narcissist love-bombs you
The best way to deal with a narcissist’s “love bombs” is to act indifferent. This is because, when a narcissist believes that they have elevated their target’s self-confidence and happiness through love bombs, they usually expect to get something big in return. So, when they don’t get what they want they try to undo the love bombing tactic by abusing their target.
The feedback a narcissist gets has a big impact on their self-esteem. The more they believe that they can control someone through love bombing tactics, the higher they think about themselves. Sometimes love bombing is only used to test their ability to attract someone. (See: what do narcissists want in a relationship)