A good friend shared with me the moment that catapulted her into chumpdom. I thought our shared experience, and my subsequent email to her, could possibly make a good Friday Challenge topic — chumps sharing the love-bombing technique used on them.
Here are our sagas…..
Hers began by her sharing how a dashing foreigner presented her with a bouquet of 2 dozen red long stemmed roses on their second date.
That was all it took….
She was in her late 60s at the time, as was he.
During their relatively brief marriage and subsequent divorce, she lost almost everything — roof over her head and her life savings. She got out with her life and sanity, but has been practically penniless ever since.
She is now 85 years old, happily single and much wiser.
The following is what I wrote to her after we hung up our phones:
I was just as much of a push-over as you were….
I can’t remember how soon in our ‘dating’ days this happened, but it was within the first 3 months.
We were meeting in a mall for some reason. It was evening. I recall feeling apprehensive…new relationship jitters??? Who knows.
I clearly remember that when I found him at the place we had planned to meet, he was standing there with a bouquet of a dozen long stemmed red roses in his hands with what I now know as ‘narcissistic charm’ oozing out of every pore of his body directed right at me — hook, line and sinker…. Like you, I was caught.
A dozen roses and he got 30 years of my life.
But I do believe I got the better end of that deal. I may not have the family I once had, but I do have my dignity — something he lost a long time ago and can never regain in this life time.
Moral of the story……Beware of charming men bearing long stem red roses…..A blatant RED FLAG.
Dear Elderly Chump,
Well, I don’t want to cast aspersions on long-stem roses. Flowers are not fuckwits. But yes, any over-the-top gesture early in the game could be suspect.
I define love bombing as any persistent disproportionate affection/attention that feels off, especially at the beginning of the relationship. (Although you can also be love-bombed by a freak when you’re trying to leave them — the mindfuck channel set at “charm.”)
“I love you” within days of meeting.
A pressure to move the relationship very quickly — Let’s move in together! Introduce me to your children!
Showy gestures with audiences. Those roses were presented in public. So to the chumpy receiver, you cannot appear uncomfortable, or anything less than gracious. The expected audience response is “Awww!”
Over-the-top flattery. You’re the most handsome/intelligent/sexy/winsome/clear-skinned person they have ever met! And you could be those things, but they just met you Thursday.
A disconnect between the ardency and other behaviors. They run very hot, then cold. You get a dozen roses, and then he doesn’t return your messages for days. (Double lives are hard to juggle. Remember, mixed messages are just one message — NEXT. You are not a human decoder ring.)
So, CN, your Friday Challenge — did you experience love bombing?
I felt a bit bad going with Mr. Cyclops as today’s cartoon. He looks so hopeful. I think he’s the chumpy target, not the love bomber. I hope he finds his special cyclops.