Understanding the Differences Between Kindness and Love Bombing

By Rachel Puryear

We all want to feel loved. It’s human nature. Many of the things we all do but don’t understand why are rooted in our desire to love and to be loved. That’s a good point to always keep in mind.

Efforts to love and be loved are nothing to be ashamed of. This simply means you are human. However, in pursuing your need to be loved, don’t go down a path that leads you instead to a very unloving place – let me explain.

If you’re getting a lot of attention and being showered with affection from a certain someone as of late, make sure that it’s coming from a sincere and genuine place, and being done for the right reasons – as opposed to just love bombing.

A grenade covered in little red hearts.

How does love bombing differ from the normal high emotions and excitement of new love or friendship (also called new relationship energy)? The difference is less in the flashy behaviors, and more in the underlying goals.

Someone who genuinely likes you and wants to express their feelings for you has the goal of winning you over because they want to get closer to you, and it’s coming from a good and loving place.

On the other hand, someone who is love bombing you wants to use you for their own benefit, and that’s coming from a dishonest and malicious place.

Love bombing is associated largely with con artists, domestic abusers, and cults – and for good reason. Such people target others by showering them with affection in order to secure the target’s trust and love – and for many people, it’s surprisingly effective. Later on, when the target is hooked, the true colors of the love bomber show. If the love bomber was honest about their intentions from the get-go, they would hook in very few people.

Detecting the difference between love bombing and genuine affection is a skill that can be learned with experience and practice. There are signs to look for, but this requires vigilance. If someone seems to be coming on too fast, and your instincts tell you that it’s too soon for a person to have developed genuine feelings for you, it’s best to look at the situation objectively rather than getting caught up in the emotional excitement.

No matter how wonderful and lovable you are – and, you certainly are those things – people don’t just fall in love overnight. They can like you overnight, they can lust you overnight, they can be interested overnight; but they do not develop deep and lasting feelings of love immediately. Something that will last and is real takes some time to develop.

When you are around someone who genuinely likes you, even if it has not yet developed into full-blown love, you should generally feel good, relaxed, supported, and fulfilled inside after spending time with that person. That feeling should increase over time as you spend more and more time with that person.

When you’re in the company of a love bomber, however, it doesn’t feel that way. You may feel thrilled and exhilarated while you’re with the person – but when they’re not around, you might suddenly feel tired and drained shortly after spending time with them. If you don’t see or hear from them for a while, you may become anxious and even depressed. You might even feel like you’re dependent on them to feel okay again. It’s not unlike how dependency on alcohol and many other drugs works. And while you may have fun with them and find them exciting to be around, they don’t really meet your needs on a deeper level.

Furthermore, if you’re unsure about someone, talk to other people who know them well – their family members, close friends, colleagues. If they don’t seem close to anyone or won’t let you meet any such people, that in itself is concerning. See what people who love them and have known them a long time say about them, and pay attention – if you find yourself getting defensive about what they say, remember that they’ve probably known this person a lot longer than you have.

If you’re ensnared by a love bomber, the best way to free yourself from their emotional grips is – and, this will be really hard, because you likely have strong feelings around them – but you must distance yourself from them for at least a little while, and see if you truly miss them – or if instead, you instead start to feel more like your normal self again.

If you’re not ready to burn the bridge, that’s okay, and you could say you need some space for a short time – like a few days, or a week or two – rather than outright breaking it off. If you’re fairly sure they’re a love bomber, they would likely dump or just ghost you the moment they’re not getting what they want or you become inconvenient to them, so don’t feel bad about protecting yourself here. If this person is reluctant to give you a little bit of space or gets hostile about the idea, there’s a good chance there’s an unhealthy dynamic to this relationship, whether or not you are getting love bombed.

A big word of caution, though: If you think you might be dealing with a cult or a domestic abuser, things can turn dangerous and violent if you’re suddenly trying to get out of it. Be sure to utilize local domestic violence assistance resources if that’s the case.

Thank you, dear readers, for reading, following, and sharing. Here’s to knowing the difference between real love and fake charm. If you enjoyed this content and want to see more of it, please hit “like” and subscribe, if you have not done so already. xoxo

4 responses to “Understanding the Differences Between Kindness and Love Bombing”

  1. […] Once you’re hooked, though, the true nightmare of the emotional manipulator finally comes out. I’ve written more before about love bombing, in greater depth. […]


  2. […] fact, in the beginning, the groomer’s behavior can seem flattering and charming, rather than overbearing and controlli…. The groomer can be irresistible to a lonely person with an unloved past, such that the target […]


  3. […] ghosting follows an intensive love bombing campaign, only for them to go “poof” when they got what they want from you. Often, they […]


  4. […] Furthermore, there are nefarious types of people out there who will say they care about you, but their actions speak otherwise – because they were just looking to get something else out of you all along (see here and here and here). […]


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