For some time, social networks and Netflix have become expert platforms in making visible some behaviors that we did not know how to verbalize even if we had lived them. An example: when at the beginning of last year Netflix premiered The Tinder scammer, a documentary that tells the story of a serial scammer, a term that had been circulating for a few weeks on the networks reappeared. We talk about love bombing, a concept that emerged when the details of the first date between Julia Fox and Ye (formerly known as Kanye West) were known. This concept actually dates from the seventies and is associated with the Unification Church (considered a sect), which launched tactics of excessive flattery and admiration to recruit more people. Now pop culture and digital debate has been responsible for moving it to the realm of relationships.
While The Tinder scammer entertained his victims with flattery, luxury trips and high-end gifts, the rapper gave Julia Fox an endless number of looks on his first date with which to renew his wardrobe. As if that were not enough, when they had barely been in a relationship for a month, he gave the actress and each of her friends a Birkin bag to celebrate the birthday of the Italian-American. "At first I lived it like a fairy tale but now, with the distance, I realize that it was a clear case of love bombing. If it's too good to seem true, chances are it's not so good," said the interpreter in her podcast, Forbidden Fruits, in which another former partner of Ye, Amber Rose, agreed with her in ensuring that this behavior is usual in Ye, expert in achieving, both say, that a "no" becomes a "yes" through gifts and attention.
Rose agreed to be the rapper's date to attend the Grammys, but since he was only in Los Angeles for a photo shoot, he didn't have anything to wear. Of course, Ye took her shopping in a veritable display of wealth and generosity. "I burst into tears in the store, because having been poor all my life, that Pretty Woman moment blew me away," the model explained.
When romance is a bomb
But how to differentiate someone romantic, dedicated and truly in love with a subject suspected of exercising the love bombardment? Montse Cazcarra, general health psychologist expert in self-esteem, secure relationships and well-being, highlights the importance of differentiating love bombing from everything that moves us inside in the phase of falling in love. "In that period, chemistry invades us and we want to spend more time with that person we are meeting. We think about it almost obsessively, we make proactive efforts to try to increase our interactions and the time we spend together. We idealize the other by minimizing their flaws and underlining their virtues and we feel naturally connected," he says. Although it is difficult to differentiate the inveterate romantic from the love bomber, Rocío Moñino, psychologist and sexologist of VivelaVita, says that the key lies in suspecting at the moment in which an exaggeration of flattery or gifts is perceived sometimes that are not appropriate.
"Even if you like them, you have to pay attention to whether they fit when you meet the other person. Surely there is not yet enough confidence or knowledge to have so many details. It's important to be prudent and protect ourselves." He also warns that the bombardment of love happens progressively, studied and without pressure. "Then the period of intermittency will come. Thus, the brain of the victim will want the prize that was previously produced and therefore, it will remain there. It is necessary that we establish healthy limits when we are meeting someone so that we do not fall into this type of manipulation that costs so much to get out, "he warns.
The burning bombing
The love bombing is again present hand in hand with the success of the series The body in flames, a fiction based on the murder of less than two local agents in Barcelona in which Úrsula Corberó gives life to Rosa Peral who, according to psychologist Lara Ferreiro, is a clear case of love and sexual bombing. "Rather than promising men eternal love, what he did was set in motion a sexual bombardment. It is a powerful tool for manipulating someone through overattention and is phase one of an abusive relationship. This type of people, who project a lot of self-confidence and are very ambitious, make the other get trapped, because they are experts in saying what their partner wants to hear, so the victim secretes oxytocin. Then the emotional anesthesia begins and phase two comes into play, in which the victim is manipulated and annulled until entering the third phase, in which he is instrumentalized, "says the author of Addicted to an asshole.
When the love bomber takes off the mask, he starts his true way of functioning in the field of the couple and other phases arrive, some with names also popular in recent years: manipulation or gaslighting. "It can also bet on nonsense, fierce criticism and contempt, thus entering the phase of devaluation. The devaluation and idealization will alternate throughout the relationship until the discard happens, "says Cazcarra, author of Healthy love, love of the good, who with her words perfectly portrays what happens in the Netflix series, in which after being instrumentalized men and having obtained Peral what he wants from them, it pushes them aside.
Ana Lombardía, psychologist and sexologist specialized in sexuality and affectivity, sex and couple therapy, recalls that in cases of love bombing the signs of love usually appear on the first dates and can be exaggerated and hasty. "There is usually no reflection or justification on them. They also tend to have an intermittent character, withdrawing from time to time intentionally. This makes the person who suffers the love bombing fight to keep those exceptional signs of affection and give them a very high value.
All the experts consulted agree that abandoning this type of toxic relationships is not easy and draw a simile with drug addiction, because after having experienced attention and overwhelming affection, getting away from those sensations is complicated. "It is essential to maintain space with oneself, with our friends and with our family. This way we can talk to trusted people, tell them what happens, talk about the strange behaviors we notice with our bond and share the reality we see. We must observe our emotions when the other person is not present and give them the importance they have. The knowledge of this type of relationship and knowing that anyone can fall into them is key to being aware if we become in that situation. Seeking professional help can be one of the best tools to understand and manage it," concludes Rocío Moñino.
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