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How long do love bomb relationships last?

Love bombing typically refers to lavish displays of affection at the start of a relationship, when one partner showers the other with constant praise, gifts, and attention. This intense affection is not sustainable long-term and often leads to an unhealthy dynamic.

What is Love Bombing?

Love bombing involves overwhelming someone with grand gestures, flattery, and promises of a future together very early on. It creates an artificial sense of intimacy and connection. The ‘bomber’ idealizes their partner and seem obsessed at the start.

Some signs of love bombing include:

  • Exaggerated flattery, praise, and compliments
  • Constant texting, calling, and messaging
  • Grand romantic gestures like over-the-top gifts or trips
  • Making intense future plans early on
  • Showering with affection and attention
  • Wanting constant contact and time together
  • Seeming too perfect – no flaws early on

Love bombing tactics are sometimes used by people with narcissistic traits or other toxic behavior patterns to manipulate a partner. But some simply get carried away with infatuation and come on too strong.

Why Does Love Bombing Happen?

There are a few potential motivations behind love bombing:

  • Early infatuation – Some bombard partners when genuinely swept up in new relationship energy. They idealize the other person and want to spend all their time together.
  • Insecurity – People who crave excessive reassurance and validation may love bomb to fulfill those emotional needs.
  • Narcissism – Narcissists use love bombing to manipulate and control partners. It hooks the target in so they can later be mistreated.
  • Masking abuse – An abuser may bomb their victim with affection, gifts, and promises after incidents of mistreatment to keep them hooked in the relationship.

Regardless of motive, love bombing forms an unhealthy dynamic that cannot be sustained.

Stages of Love Bombing Relationships

There are typically three stages to a love bombing relationship:

Stage 1: Idealization

This is the love bombing phase. One partner showers the other with constant attention, affection, gifts, and praise. They seem head-over-heels instantly and want to speed things up.

Stage 2: Devaluation

The love bomber cannot keep up the act forever. The idealization wears off as their true colors emerge. They start to withdraw affection, criticize their partner, or act out in hurtful ways.

Stage 3: Discard

The manipulative partner ends the relationship suddenly and callously. Or the other person ends it after seeing the love bomber’s real nature. The bomber may come back and try to hoover their partner back in.

How Long Does the Love Bombing Phase Last?

The love bombing or idealization stage can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the individuals and circumstances involved. Some key factors include:

  • If one person is intentionally manipulating, they may keep the act up for longer to secure their partner’s affections.
  • Love bombing that stems from genuine infatuation and new relationship energy tends to be shorter-lived.
  • Long distance courtships can prolong love bombing, as the people involved do not spend enough time together to see each other’s real selves.
  • Existing relationship issues or personality disorders may lead to longer periods of idealization to compensate.

On average, experts suggest most love bombing relationships see the idealization fade around 3 months in. But there are always exceptions based on the people and scenarios involved.

Red Flags to Watch For

While love bombing can just be part of an overzealous start to a relationship, there are some concerning patterns to watch for:

  • They seem “too perfect” early on – no flaws, issues, or disagreements.
  • Your romantic gestures are much grander than theirs.
  • They try to speed things up, wanting commitment and exclusivity right away.
  • Their feelings shift from hot to cold unexpectedly.
  • They get upset with you for not reciprocating enough.
  • They show signs of controlling, manipulative, or abusive behavior.
  • Your family and friends express concern about warning signs they see.

Pay close attention to any tendencies that feel worrying or try to push your boundaries. Trust your gut.

Is it Possible to Have a Healthy Relationship After Love Bombing?

If two people genuinely fell hard and fast for each other, they can potentially recalibrate into a healthy relationship once that initial intoxication fades. Open and honest communication is key.

But if love bombing stems from malicious motivations like narcissism or conditioning for future abuse, the dynamic cannot be trusted long-term. Those people are unlikely to change.

Look at how your partner treats you once the bombing ends. That will reveal their true priorities and intentions. For a shot at success after an intense start, you both must be willing to create realistic relationship habits.

How to Have a Healthy Relationship After Love Bombing

Here are some tips to build a strong connection after an over-the-top start:

  • Communicate openly and set realistic expectations together.
  • Don’t ignore red flags or partner’s toxic traits – address them.
  • Build trust and intimacy gradually in healthy ways.
  • Spend quality time together, not just quantity.
  • Give each other space to keep up your own hobbies and interests.
  • Work to align your values and life goals.
  • Compromise and show you care in real, concrete ways.
  • Seek couples counseling if you continue to struggle.

With mutual trust and effort, an extreme start does not have to define your relationship’s course. But both individuals must be committed to creating new patterns.

How to Safely Exit a Love Bombing Relationship

If your partner’s behavior reveals they are manipulative or abusive, you need to safely leave the relationship. Some tips:

  • Make an exit plan – have a place to stay lined up, gather important documents.
  • Avoid couples counseling with abusers – they can use it to further manipulation.
  • Leave safely when your partner is not around to avoid potential violence.
  • Get help from family, friends, domestic violence resources.
  • Consider a restraining order if you feel you may be in danger when leaving.
  • Seek individual counseling to process the relationship and boost self-esteem.
  • Cut off contact and do not go back, even if they hoover you.

You deserve genuine mutual love – not a facade. Trust yourself.

In Summary

While love bombing may seem romantic at first, these grand displays are impossible to maintain. They often mask dark intentions or unstable relationship habits. Real intimacy develops gradually on a foundation of trust and respect.

Evaluate how your partner treats you once the bombing ends. Communicate openly to reset unrealistic expectations. But if they prove manipulative or abusive, safely exit. You want sustainable affection, not an illusion.