An Education

“I feel old. But not very wise.”

Oxford-hopeful Jenny (Carey Mulligan) falls head over heels for older gentleman, David (Peter Sarsgaard). Although David manages to seduce most of Jenny’s friends and her family, Jenny’s teachers are apprehensive about the relationship.

David’s Problem
Even when Jenny finds out that David is married, all of his problems are hard to discern because he’s done such a grand job of hiding them. Instead, let’s take a look at a telltale sign of something wrong – something that’s not always so obvious when you’re on the receiving end.

Love Bombing
Characteristic of personality disorders – often of Narcissistic Personality Disorder – love bombing refers to charmers. This is the partner that really pulls out all the stops from day one. They give gifts (usually very expensive gifts); they make lavish romantic gestures like taking their dates on impromptu trips; they smooth-talk. While the person being wooed may feel like this is the greatest thing that’s ever happened to them, there is such a thing as being too charming.

In David’s case, his charm covers up the fact that he’s married, but it doesn’t stop there. His wife admits as much when Jenny finally meets her, informing the poor girl that there have been others. It’s also worth noting that David is significantly older than Jenny, which means he might have a taste for underage girls.

This is not to say that if a lover or a partner gets an expensive gift or takes you on a grand vacation, they’re definitely hiding something. Love bombing is a specific tactic used by predators. It refers to these outrageous gestures at the start of the relationship, with no apparent explanation for such behavior. These early exuberances make it all the more difficult for the partner to leave when they start to see the carefully concealed reasons for all of the love bombing – whether these are abusive tendencies, lies about the person’s identity, or spouses.

The other thing to remember, Readers, is that love bombing isn’t sustainable. When someone first starts dating, it’s nice to get flowers or reminders that they are thinking of you, but it’s nearly impossible to maintain getaways to Paris when you’ve been married for a decade and therein lies the heart of the love-bomber: They have no intention of sustaining the relationship in the first place.

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