Love Addiction Drug

Love Bombing is the Gateway Drug to Love Addiction

If you’ve ever been in love with a narcissist, you’re likely aware of how good they are at manipulating your relationship.

One of their tools of manipulation is something called love bombing, which appeals to the dreams and hopes their targets have regarding being loved unconditionally, being rescued from past emotional harm, and never having to worry about infidelity or betrayal.

The more you know about your emotional triggers, the better equipped you’ll be to protect yourself. You’ll learn how to identify manipulative people, how to recognize if you’re dealing with love addiction, and find the courage necessary to let go of toxic relationships.

Maintaining no contact is one of the most important things you can do when you’ve ended a relationship with a narcissist. But it can be extremely difficult.

To help you take steps toward maintaining no contact, let’s review why love bombing is so detrimental. Then, learn about steps which will allow you to heal from your toxic relationships and focus on your recovery and transformation after narcissistic abuse.

What Is Love Bombing and Why Is It So Addictive?

The main reason it’s difficult to leave toxic relationships is that they’re highly addictive. It’s hard to recognize this in the moment, however.

To better understand the formation of love addiction, let’s take a look at love bombing.

Love bombing refers to a variety of words or actions that make the receiver feel loved, valued, and cared for. On the surface, it doesn’t seem like a negative thing, but it can be when it’s used by someone who has ulterior motives.

When used by a narcissist, love bombing is a tool of manipulation. Often, when those who are in a relationship with a narcissist express the desire to end things, the narcissist showers them with words of love.

The term “love bombing” originally referred to actions that members of cults would use to lure new members.

Alex Myles of states that, when in a relationship with a narcissist or sociopath, love bombing starts during the very first meeting. These are often considered whirlwind romances and, as Myles says, it can be “a dizzying experience.”

The love interest of the narcissist is so flattered and overtaken with their emotions that it can be difficult to see through all the love bombing to the heart of the matter. They create a fantasy world, totally absorbed in the euphoric ‘high’ from the feelings evoked by the narcissist’s validation and interest in them.

Over time, the love-bombing process, in fact, causes a biochemical addiction.  This addiction worsens after stints of the Silent Treatment and subsequent hoovering episodes.  

This interview I did with Dr. Rhonda Freeman explains how biochemical addiction makes it so difficult to leave toxic relationships:

The problem with love bombing is that, once the narcissist or sociopath is bored, they end the relationship. This leaves the other person feeling hurt, broken, and craving love. After all, they’re used to being showered with words of love and devotion. Once it’s gone, or the narcissist gets angry and abusive and stops their displays of affection, their partner is left feeling empty, even desperate. The target realizes their fantasy of having finally found true and unconditional love was just an illusion, after all.

Symptoms of Love Addiction

Loving a narcissist can have adverse effects on your physical, mental, and emotional health because they prey on the fantasy their partners have about true love and yellow brick roads. If you’re curious as to whether you’re dealing with love addiction or not, take a moment to review the following symptoms. These are just some of the most common symptoms of love addiction.

  • Obsession with a romantic love interest
  • Mistaking sex or romantic attention to mean there’s long-term potential and/or a true emotional bond
  • Believing you can be loved in a “special way” that will make you happy for the rest of your life, as seen in popular romantic comedies or romance novels
  • Compulsive behaviors regarding the relationship
  • Lack of control – reacting immediately to emotional triggers without thinking of consequences
  • A strong desire to go back to the narcissistic individual
  • Striving obsessively to maintain the chemistry and romantic intensity that seemed present at the beginning of the relationship
  • Since reaching adulthood, you haven’t spent any time alone. You’ve always been in a relationship or you start a new one immediately after one has ended

The problem with love bombing is that it’s too good to be true. And this is something that victims of abuse find out rather quickly.

Of course, a thoughtful partner will show affection, say kind words, and make romantic dinner reservations. But the narcissist goes above and beyond. They shower their victim with so much love that it literally becomes something they crave.  To be showered with such seeming affection activates the same pleasure centers in the brain as other types of addictions such as those to drugs, alcohol, and food.

Then, the narcissist pulls away, either because they want to leave the relationship, they’ve found another target, or because they’re angry at their partner. They blame their partner for ruining the relationship and for making them angry. The partner becomes afraid of losing the narcissist because they’re now addicted to the “love” they’ve been shown. It’s a vicious cycle. 

Maintaining No Contact and Other Healthy Ways to Cope with Love Addiction

You do not deserve to be with someone who treats you this way. Their actions and behavior are unacceptable. Deep down you probably realize this, but the idea of leaving is scary. Feelings of fear, self-doubt, and of whether you’ll find love in the future run rampant.

The key to recovery and transformation after narcissistic abuse may initially seem counterintuitive. The key is maintaining no contact with the abuser.  This is one of the first steps you need to take to break free from your love addiction.

It’s important to note, though, that like any addiction, love addiction has withdrawal symptoms. How can you healthfully work through these?

  1. Don’t give up. Again, this is an addiction. There may be times when you are overcome by your feelings. That’s ok – forgive yourself and move on. Remember: you don’t deserve to be in an abusive relationship.
  2. Get educated. Learn about your addiction. This will give you the upper hand. The more knowledge you have, the more you’ll be able to plan for and recognize triggers.
  3. Always be kind to yourself. Don’t ever treat yourself the way your abuser did. You’re not them, and you don’t deserve what they put you through.
  4. Get help. Talk to someone regularly about what you went through and what feelings you’re currently dealing with. The regularity is a good way to work through low points. Plus, the person you’re talking to probably sees more progress than you do. It’s good to hear how well you’re doing from someone outside the situation.

Recovery and Transformation After Narcissistic Abuse is Possible!

While you’re in the midst of an abusive relationship, the thought of getting out and feeling happy and healthy again seems impossible.

However, once you learn about your addiction, take steps to remove narcissistic people from your life, and get outside assistance, you will be able to overcome your love craving.

And, in time, you’ll make a full, healthful recovery and transformation after narcissistic abuse. You’ll get there – don’t give up!

I would LOVE for you to share your thoughts on this topic!  Are you still entangled in your relationship?  Do you have hints on how others can break free from their addiction to the narcissist?  

Please share in the comment section below.


  1. marga

    Good luck on your journey. Its been 2 months of no contact for me and it wasn’t easy at the start but it’s gonna get better.

  2. Mary

    I was the one after 5 yrs who ended the relationship with the Narcissist and I can tell you it was the hardest thing I had ever done. I still have flashbacks of things he said and did to me. I am grateful we never lived together and that he lives over an hour from me. This relationship changed my life in many ways and I can tell you I am grateful, yes grateful it happened. If it weren’t for the narcissist I would have never understood the many facets of my childhood. It was as though the light bulb finally came on and now I see things so differently. It opened a whole new door for me. I can tell you it was a blessing in disguise. I am truly grateful today for the knowledge and experience I gained and honestly I don’t regret anything. To those of you still in your toxic relationships. I can tell you there is hope for you, and it does get easier, it really does. With time and effort you can heal.

  3. I was discarded by my narcissistic ex almost a year ago. She is still trying to control me through my children. She took her ex back and now they call him daddy. I’m just biding my time, healing and learning everything I can. She will eventually come unstuck. And I’ll be able to smile serenely when she does.

  4. Sandi

    I feel it very important to get away, cease any & all contact, move as far away as possible, make sure he doesn’t know where you live, do alot of soul Searching, talk to people you trust, kerp a journal, love yourself more ; more each day, mine wouldn’t stop for 2 years, I have a daughter with him, he pulled so many stunts to get my address, he would text me non-stop for hours, at first I would fall into his trap of answering, when I became a nervous wreck, I refused to answer anymore, I ignored him completely, took 2 years, but it finally stopped, I don’t see him, talk or text him, he sees my older kids, & tells them how he still wants me back, I left for a reason, actually many reasons, for myself& our 13 year old daughter, he even tried to drag her into this, please learn the signs, make a plan & leave as soon as possible, this isn’t love, it is meantal, emotional abuse..

  5. Den

    Thanks so much for your very informative articles about narcs. I was lucky enough to get out of a narc abusive relationship after only six months, though I should have seen the warning signs after the first two months. I am slowly recovering and picking up the broken pieces. I find that eft helps tremendously, – emotional freedom techniques, tapping on acupressure points, has shifted me. thanks all, xxx D

    1. Kim Saeed

      Hi Den,

      Thank you so much for sharing. Yes, EFT is absolutely a great method for releasing negative emotions and trauma. I’ve actually written about it several times 🙂

      Kim XoXo

  6. Pauline Polk

    I’m at the beginning of leaving. It very over but so hard to let go. There was a friend there that I will miss. I won’t miss the abuse tho. I’m so weak I hate it. I use to be so much stronger. What happen to her and how do I find her again. God, I hate my life right now.

    1. Kim Saeed

      It’s absolutely hard to let go, Pauline. Hang in there, though. If you can make it through the first 30 days, it starts to get easier because that’s about how long it takes for the biochemical addiction to start fading. The psychological manipulation is a but tougher to overcome, but it can be done. If you haven’t already, feel free to check out my program. It’s helped lots of people like you to begin healing. The Essential Break Free Bootcamp

      Kim XoXo

  7. Bev

    I read this and realised that last night when my narc ( he left 2 months ago) sent me a message after my silent treatment towards him for a few hours saying “Please just stay in my life, be there because I need you” that even still he is keeping me in the background. Have still not been able to do the Block #NoContact because of this need to know his whereabouts and to hear how he needs me. He went back to his mother but has since been seeing his ex’s but says he can’t wait to see me. My weakness is wanting to be needed. I attract broken wings, have all my life & learnt now that I am perfect prey for narcs. I want to get over this …. I want to heal and breathe again. Why can’t I just do it

    1. Kim Saeed

      Hi Bev,

      I believe many of us have felt the way you do. It’s not an easy road to travel and will definitely take some inner work. Have you thought about joining my program? The Essential Break Free Bootcamp? It’s helped many people like yourself to begin healing and taking empowering steps to change their self-defeating habits.

      Kim XoXo

    2. Da

      Wow, that story matches mine, he said he had to take care of his mom too, he went back to live with his cousins,and he came back then left again. We were supposed to get married. He got mad for me asking any small questions and asking” why” got on his nerves so much that he called the wedding off!

  8. Shannon

    I’m proceeding w a divorce . It’s impossibke to maintain “no contact” He doesn’t want a divorce, but wants multiple relationships. The fighting for my freedom is making me broke and wearing . Starting over at 60 seems impossible. I’ll have to pay spousal support and I’ll never retire. It seems maybe easier to be married and just go my own way without the financial burden of lawyers and paying spousal support. He’ll fight till I’m homeless. Dating a narc is different than being married to one.

  9. Dave Mortell

    Here is my advise when you feel anger: stop everything you are doing, slowly count to ten, take a deep breath in between each count to ten, and tell yourself that you do not get yourself into situations that result in DV. Tell the person you understand them (even if you do not) and that you are sorry (even if you do feel sorry). Remember you are a good person and will get through it just fine.

    Best wishes,

  10. Robyn

    I’m still trapped after being discarded…still craving for the love bomb again…its torture …

  11. Paige

    I have been no comtact with my ex psychopath for one month and seven days, this is the longest that I have continuously done it, I have unblocked him numerous times and every time just makes me feel worse. He has psychically and emotionally abused me for three years I had no idea such evil existed, I feel so much shame and guilt and depression, I have ptsd and can’t get these racing thoughts out of my mind, he projected everything on to me and made me feel as everything was my fault, After reading as much as I can I realize he is just a predator, a wolf in sheeps clothing, studied me so intensely and used everything against me, he will not leave me alone he will show up at my door and when I get in trouble is when my emotions do into overdrive then I have no control and if I open that door it’s done, so I have notes now on the inside of the door to hopefully stop me, I know I have to have him completely out of my life to have a chance of getting threw this, everything says it takes time and self love and no contact I am very determined this time I cannot let myself be treated like this anymore I have lost everything to this person ex specially my self respect, self dignity, my soul and my sanity some days I don’t even think I can go on, with flashbacks and things just popping in my head of what he did to me and horrible things he said almost drives me insaine at times it does but I have to keep telling myself he can not change, I used to foolishly think if I knew how much I really loved him he would change we could work it all out together now I know that was just an illusion thank you so much for your information it does help a lot I constantly read and read about how they operate and everything you wrote is EXACTLY what I have been and I’m going threw so it makes me feel less crazy which helps me make it threw, it is so hard to break that trauma bond it is the biggest addiction of my life but I know that when I do I will be the strongest I have ever been and every min, hour day that I keep away from him makes me stronger!

    1. Dave Mortell

      Hi Paige, I read your post I wish you all the best. I know if you stay on your path of no contact you will be just fine.


    2. Pam

      “I had no idea such evil existed.” I said that same thing and everything else you said. I’m eight months out and I can tell you that it does get better, but it’s hard work. Strict No Contact is essential and that includes not peeking at social media or having any reminders of him. We were victims of a con man and nothing we could have done would have made a difference. The fault is entirely with them. Remember that. Hang in there!

  12. Kat

    What took me what seemed like FOREVER, was the ability to finally go fully no contact. I made every excuse in the world for my XN. What clicked and made it all of the sudden a piece of cake was the realization the person I loved, made excuses for, admired, and thought loved me, was a creative allusion the narc had built. My Prince never existed. The longer I went no contact, the more I saw, or really less I should say, the more there was to support that my Prince was nothing more than a storybook character. Coming to this realization made it very easy for me to let go. I want and deserve my real-life true Prince. Now, I have to work on loving ME enough to avoid being trapped ever again!!

  13. Hallo all–
    I have felt sick and a poisoned after a nearly one year long relationship, i which I got engaged (too quickly) and then we were to marry last June. i loved “her” and she started with the triangulating ; mentioning an ex– I told her to get rid of this guy and block him. She got a job and we lived together for 4 months. She wanted to move house really quick– I said lets leave it till after marriage. After a few things happening — I asked her to leave. She did and NEVER tried to discuss the relationship at all–she was cold and unengaged (crude at times) plus she started the icy silent treatments. I tried to meet her on our wedding day – I had flowers delivered etc an she was acting OK but weird–she mentioned the ex yet again (on our bloody wedding day??) I stayed that night. We were intimate but she never seemed any closer after intimacy??
    The next day she asked to lend money as she had quit her job in a really irresponsible manner. After about a few days, she said we cant talk anymore as her kids — did not “like it” This woman is a full scale lunatic. She also posed as a born-again Christian—that to me was the lowest thing of all. As we had met on a Christian dating site. She has changed her photos on there and is posing as some sort of Christian. Thats one thing she will have to answer for. The whole thing was crushing and because I have some smarts, I knew something was “wrong” but thats all it was. I could not put a name to it. Its been about nine months. I was going to take the idiot to court to get my money. She has returned the engagement ring. She emailed me in January to say —it could have been wonderful together??? And that she was still “very much” single?? I have found out everything about this mendacious and evil form of existence only since she left. I was guided towards it and it is amazing how few people know anything about this?
    This is a learning curve I did not wish to go on. So; feeling not great and have felt sick. A type of poisoning alright!
    of one’s heart and soul and body. A while afterwards I got very ill.
    So very physically sick–I could not move or get out of bed—it was horrendous! Also the confusion it creates is almost mind altering.
    Thanks to these communities for spreading light into this darkness.

  14. I can relate about how the media can slow down the recovery from a narcissistic relationship. Reading the negative coments on his (?) still had an impact on my recovery. Thak you for reminding me that I have to stop going to any type of media and making myself upset.
    Every day is a battle.
    The addiction to a narssist person took over one day and I lost it.
    Regarless, of the awful experience I lerned about me. Yes, Me, the most important person in this soap opera. By getting educated about a narcissistic passive aggressive personality has made me understand that I must observe but not absorved. It has taking me three years to acquired just a few tool through your videos, as well as your positive guide pointers, books, sicology sessions etc..
    I only know that I only have given very few steps to recovery.

    So, please do not stop educating us about learning more about ourselves and how to deal with this ugly Narcissists that already have more traumas than me.

  15. Jim

    I’m actually looking for some advice. I am madly in love with a woman who has been in a 20 year marriage with a narcissist. Never any physical abuse but lots of mental and emotional abuse. She truly is an angel and deserves a loving relationship where she feels worthy of love. Is there any advice you can offer with how to take care of her better as well as handle my own emotions when some of the ugly feelings from her marriage crop up in our relationship. I’ve already prepared myself that there will be times that things I say or do remind her of him and I just want to make sure I don’t add to her pain and sad feelings. She is my best friend and we wish to spend the rest of our lives together . Thanks for any help that you can provide.

    1. Kim Saeed

      Hi Jim,

      It’s kind of hard to offer suggestions without knowing what kind of therapy or healing work she’s done. If she hasn’t been in therapy or hasn’t engaged in any kind of healing program, then it might be very difficult to really help her in any way because she would typically be operating from triggers and trauma. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.


    2. Kat

      First, you say she has been in a 20 yr marriage with a narc… you don’t say that she is still in this relationship or has moved on…. If it is past, the best thing is to give her room, move VERY slowly, and know there will be mood swings and things that may trigger her that have nothing to do with you. The wounds are extremely deep and fester and need time and work to start to heal. It’s hard to trust after narc abuse. If she is still on this relationship, I would not pursue a romantic relationship. This will just make things worse for her. You can be a friend and supportive, but don’t go any further.

  16. Oh, I forget to mention in the message below, that’s me also, that all these disordered people are magnets to empaths, which I also found out about myself. These preditors are out on the prowell for gentle caring people because we over look a lot of bullshit and put up with way too much crap. So if you keep attracting these idiots you could very well be an empath or as I call myself ” A highly sensitive person” and that’s because of all the abuse and crap I put up with growing with an idiot for a father and never learning what a good man really was. This was a dark night of the soul for me, I’m still quivering almost three years later!

  17. Julia

    It is very sad to realize the narscist manipulates to get their needs met
    I too was giving to get. I thought if I give him what he wants I’ll get what I want . I thought this was compromise . Things did not work out so fair. He was angry abusive and acted like a spoiled brat. I’m glad I am basically pretty independent. With the help of this and other recovery programs I stopped focusing on him and tried to work on myself. I was hoping healthy behavior would rub off on him. I realize my care taking and being responsible was from being the oldest child . I was setting a good example. Things got worse. I gave up on the dream. I hold my own hand now. I was dieing

    1. Rebecca


      I love that quote “I hold my own hand now!” Powerful and True!!
      Thank you Kim for so much insight and enlightenment ….. it takes some darkness to finally emerge out into the LIGHT!

      Thank you

    2. Freida

      Thank you for this sharing. I am so sorry for your pain. I feel the exact same. I really thought I would either die of my own neglect of myself in those circumstances or be slowly poisoned by him in some way. (?) So strange to feel love and terror from the same person.

  18. Suzanne Spiers

    I have spent the past few years healing and find myself in a completely different and much healthier space.

    Recently, a man expressed a wish to get to know me better. I shared that I was open to see if we had enough in common to be friends, but was not open to a romantic connection.

    He seemed to be very nice and I enjoyed several conversations that appeared to be regular and appropriate. Some red flags appeared though in the form of his very early invitation to come to visit him at his home which is not near where I live. I expressed that this was perhaps inappropriate since we did not know each other well.

    He seemed nice and I simply got on with my everyday life and all seemed normal. However, the most recent red flag was when this man said he would text me when he got home. He had been in the habit of making contact with innocuous and pleasant texts about once each day.

    However, the promised text msg did not arrive after two days. I decided that someone who was not prepared to stay true to his word, even if that person is an acquaintance, is not someone who I want in my life. Trust is very important and from past experience, if a person acts in a specific manner that is inappropriate and is not something my other friends do, then that is an indication to me that it is time to let go and leave this person to himself. I have the right to be who I am and should not have to be other than who I am just in order to have someone in my life.

    I sent him a final text msg thanking him for some pleasant conversations and reminded him that trust is important and so is keeping one’s word. I have now blocked his msgs and let go. I am happy with my decision because when people act in such ways as to create a form of uncertainty, in the past, I would have put up with such behaviour. No longer! When a person acts in such a manner they are showing you who they are and it only tends to get worse over time. Self-respect is the way to go and supporting my own self, setting boundaries and taking care to protect me.

  19. Carl

    So sad that a person I’d known since she was a teenager and considered a dear friend chose me to love bomb, convince me to leave my wife, lose my house and retirement, divorce against my core values, marry her and then go through the hell of 3.5 years of devaluation and finally discard. What kind of a heartless, sick person does this? Oh yeah, a narcissist. I loved her unconditionally, I cherished her. I tried to model Christ’s love to her, forgiving her again and again. And she spun around and left me for her narcissist organization leader, who got her a nice job that provides her supply. I am 63 years old, broke and broken by someone who was my soulmate, best friend and forever friend. Unbelievable. Oh, that’s what that other narcissist says.

    1. Anonymous

      I left my husband for a man that love bombed me…he manipulated his way into my business and none of my employees liked or rewpected him. I loved and cherished him and still struggle with wishing our relationship would go back to when I thought he first truly loved me…..after a lot of research and self discovery, realized he is a narcissist. He is in the “take a break” stage, actuallly this is the forth take a break and I am working on strengthening myself to NO CONTACT. The addiction is so strong.

    2. Traci

      Im sorry to hear all of these stories, but yours is my word for word, except im the female and he is the narcissist. It’s truly sick and sad. I’m 40 starting over after 3.5 years with him. I found that finding someone who specializes in this type of abuse is the key. I went to 3 different counselors and they all tried to tell me I was bipolar. It was terrible. I wasn’t bipolar before him. Come to find out I had CPTSD. It took me almost a year and I’m finally making progress. My prayers are with you all.

  20. I left the narc/sociopath and returned twice. I was out this third time and still am out. I had contact by phone, the,t and would see him maybe twice a week. I feel first because the abuse started right away, I wanted to prove to him and family I was not this horrible person. From then on it was battles upon battles and I never gave him a break. I thought..why I stayed that I could help him because he showed signs of change..ha ha. So after calling him on his many abuses..perhaps I woke up I ended it. He did not want that. It has been 52 days of silence. I had some desire to see him squirm. Perhaps me fighting him so strongly made this easier.
    I come from extreme abuse and an abusive marriage and my sons are abusive. Anyway, I am so done with that done. Every moment of every day I smile and amazing things have happened to me..profound. I am seeing me..
    I am done..but they say the abuser is never done.

    1. Suzanne Spiers

      The n will do what he or she will do and we have no control over what they do. The only person over whom we have control is our own self. I know in my own case,all the wounded parts of me were the ones that were vulnerable. I have spent the past 4.5 years working with my kinesiologist to heal inner wounds and beliefs and now feel as if I am an entirely different and much-healed person.

      I know that in my last relationship, as I healed, I found that as I learned to value myself better, I stopped doing things that seemed to be normal such as picking up my ex-b from the train after work. He would simply get into the car and take for granted that I would pick him up and never gave a word of thanks, not paid for petrol and when he got into the car, he would put his earphones in his ear and concentrate on listening to his iPod.

      I got sick of this and other behaviours and the more I learned to do self-care and set boundaries, there came a time when I simply got bored of his drama and had no interest in being with someone who brought drama into my life along with a lot of other behaviours that were not serving me well.

      I terminated the relationship and took out a VRO that has been in place for the past two years. He suddenly turned up on my doorstep last November and I was able to look at this person and in three sentences, tell him why he had to go. I then shut the door and went about my day. I have not seen him since and am probably not likely to do so. I am pretty sure he has new supply somewhere.

      These days, I get what I need in appropriate ways and also am able to better meet my own needs and make sure that I create lots of lovely things to do for myself.

      I am sure that as you heal too, you will be able to feel stronger and set better boundaries and will also be able to keep this person out of your life. The more we nourish ourselves, the less we will look to toxic people to meet our needs with all their strings that are attached to what they give or choose not to give.

  21. mary

    I always enjoy your posts. The facts re that we are all mean to give and receive love because we are made in the image of god what is love.

    I grew up in an alcoholic home with an emotionally shut down dad. I was always looking for love which is natural. I did not know how love starved I was and that it is ok to love yourself. I did not get the love and nurturing I needed.

    This must have been obvious to the men I dated nd my sick, narcissistic x husband. I have been so betrayed and no I am afraid to love because I am still not healed.

    Your posts always speak the truth and help a lot of people and they are good reminders of what to look out for in the future if someone is looking to get I to another relationship.

    Also, we do need to know our emotional triggers and needs. And to know no o. Person can meet all of our needs.

    Thank you for your postings. Peace to you always.


    1. Kim Saeed

      Hi Mary,

      I’m glad to know my article resonated with you. I wish you all the very best in your healing journey.

      Kim XoXo

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