Love Bombing

I’d never heard the term “love bombing” before, but I’ve experienced it. The beginning of a relationship when you are so inundated with text messages and phone calls and gifts and invitations and spontaneous pop-over visits that you don’t have time to ferret out whether or not you have concerns about this person who is flooding you with attention. Lloyd Doblering you.

In too many stories, that’s romance, right? This persistent battering of affection. I can’t breathe! I can’t sleep! You consume me!

Love bombing.

“They reflect you back to you,” my wife tells me. “You think that you have so much in common because they agree with you about everything.”

They’ve put you on a pedestal. And like all pedestals, the view is temporary.

Love bombing.

Just the phrase makes my throat tighten up. I can feel it. The unrelenting pursuit of it. You are the only person who can save me! You are the only person who understands me!

Sometimes, later, after we’ve extricated ourselves from these nightmare relationships, we tell ourselves a story that it was right person, wrong time. But that’s because we’re rarely willing to say that failure saved us. This relationship failed and I was finally fucking free. It failed because it was never real. It was never more than wishful, compulsive mirroring. Look how clearly I see you! I see the best version of you! We have all the same thoughts and opinions and desires! We get each other!

Love bombing.

Where facts are not facts. And you are not you. Not really. The intimacy as false as the sentiment.

Love bombing.

I have learned, at last, to love failure. To see these implosions in the past as the surest course to something safe and sane and real. To actual love. The kind that would never try to annihilate either one of us.

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