Like all good procrastinators, I spend a lot of time on the internet. This means a) I have of course watched the Netflix true-crime documentary The Tinder Swindler and b) I am aware of the concept of love bombing.
Cool story Hansel, but what do these two things have to do with each other?
Well, um, only EVERYTHING. Watching this documentary was, at least for me, like sitting through a masterclass of love bombing... and even the experts agree.
Watch the trailer for The Tinder Swindler. Post continues below.
"Simon Leviev (aka The Tinder Swindler) displays all the signs of love bombing," says Melissa Ferrari, a psychotherapist and relationship expert. "Lavish gifts, compliments, and he overwhelms his victims with a display of what seems like 'love' when in effect he is only entering these relationships to place control over the women."
"Once he has control, the three women who fall for Simon are then emotionally and financially abused living in the world of manipulation and lies that Simon has created – everything is about Simon and he has no regard for any of the women he is hurting. What it shows is how unhealthy, confusing and ultimately emotionally damaging a relationship with a narcissist can be," adds Melissa.
Of course, The Tinder Swindler is an extreme example of love bombing, but it doesn’t make the behaviours any less concerning.
As Mamamia's Adrienne Tam recently wrote, many people are quick to blame the victims and say they could never be conned by someone like Leviev, and honestly here’s hoping you never are. But just to be on the safe side, we spoke to three experts to find out everything you need to know about love bombing and why it’s so dangerous.
Firstly, what is love bombing?
"Love bombing is when at the beginning of a romantic relationship... you shower a person in compliments, affection, gifts, and outward communication in order to obtain power and control over another person's life," says Tamara Cavenett, President of the Australian Psychological Society and a practising clinical psychologist.