You may have heard of love bombing, but have you heard of the other types of relationship bombs? Here are the three types of relationship bombs that can reel you back into a toxic dynamic.
💣 Love Bomb – the use of excessive affection, grand gestures, and promises for the future as a manipulation tactic. But right when you’re feeling high from all the love and attention, it’s followed by a period of withdrawal, avoidance, or abuse. You are then left wondering what you did wrong or get obsessive about getting that old feeling back.
💣 Anger Bomb – this is when someone provokes you so that you’ll engage with them in a fight. To the bomber, some attention, even if it’s rage, is better than no attention at all. Also, for those who are addicted to chaos, getting in a fight or a dramatic text exchange can create a rush of endorphins.
💣 Seduction Bomb – there are two kinds of this. One is when the bomber acts helpless and pulls on your empathy strings and guilt so you help them. The other is using provocative seduction to reel you back in.
Don’t we all love bomb to some degree?
You might be wondering: Aren’t these things a part of courtship and a normal relationship?
The difference between healthy romantic overtures and love bombing is that the latter is used as a manipulation tactic. The intention is to exert and maintain control and power over you.
If you’re in the early stages of this, communicate to the person you do not want to rush the relationship, and that the constant showering of affection/gestures is making you uncomfortable. If you’ve been stuck in a back and forth dynamic with someone who clearly uses these relationship bombs to control you, it’s important to stop participating in the push-pull.
The cycle of intensity keeps you hooked in the addictive cycle
How do we stop the addictive cycle with an ex or toxic person?
It can be really hard to get out of the toxic dynamic and you may want to seek professional help to support you in the process. Here are some tips that can also help:
Create, maintain and enforce your boundaries
If you’re starting off in a relationship and you notice they are coming on very strong with the romantic overtures, do not just react to the pace they are setting. Have a conversation to let them know that you want to slow things down, and get to know each other through time. If the person is invested in creating a healthy connection – they won’t try to rush you or pressure you into it. Practice communicating your boundaries.
Get another perspective
You might not be sure if you’re in a toxic cycle because if you’ve been gaslit, you will doubt your own judgement and perspective of reality. It’s important you talk to someone you trust, and if possible a mental health professional to get an objective point of view.
Prepare for withdrawal
If you recognize you’re in a toxic, addictive cycle with someone, you need to acknowledge that it’s an addictive cycle that you are in. You need to be aware of reality and not fantasy based about how the person can change. Understand that you will indeed go through a period of withdrawal, and you’ll need a support system to help you through it. Create a strategy of healthy coping mechanisms and tools that you can use to self-soothe and emotionally regulate when you feel the angst of withdrawl. Meditation, mindfulness and self-compassion practices done daily will help you ride the emotional waves that follow.
You can also join a community such as Sex and Love Addicts Annonymous or go to a breakup retreat focused on creating healthy relationship patterns.