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Love Bombing: What It Is and Signs to Look For In a Partner – The New York Times

Grand romantic gestures in the early days of a relationship could be sweet — or a sign you’re dating a narcissist. Here’s how to tell the difference, according to experts.

Imagine you’re at a restaurant one night, and after dinner you decide to order not one but two slices of cheesecake for dessert. Many would say that’s unhealthy — or at least indulgent — but everyone deserves a treat once in a while. Right?

If you keep ordering two slices of cake for dessert every night for months, however, your health may suffer.

This is one analogy that Chitra Raghavan, a professor of psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, used to explain how romantic behaviors can transform into a manipulative dating practice known as “love bombing”: lavishing a new romantic partner with grand gestures and constant contact in order to gain an upper hand in the relationship.

“One partner, typically male but not exclusively, showers the other person with attention, affection, compliments, flattery, and essentially creates this context where she feels like she’s met her soul mate and it’s effortless,” Dr. Raghavan said in a phone interview. “The reality is, the person who is doing the love bombing is creating or manipulating the environment to look like he’s the perfect or she’s the perfect mate.”

Sound familiar? Here are some signs and patterns to keep in mind in order to avoid getting love bombed — and advice for what to do if you think it may be happening to you.

Excessive Attention and Flattery

One of the complicated things about dating, Dr. Raghavan said, is that everything that happens in healthy relationships can also happen in unhealthy relationships. Showing excessive attention is one example.

“If someone pays you attention and is generally present during the first date, that generally signals interest,” said Dr. Raghavan, who also specializes in domestic violence and sex trafficking. “But then there’s also someone that pays you interest in such a way that you’re consumed by it.”

She added that it can be hard recognize the mismatch of familiarity (remember, this is someone you’ve only just met) and affection in the moment, especially when a person is uttering words you’ve longed to hear: “you are my soul mate,” “I never met anyone I feel so close to” or “everything about you is what I wanted.”

“It’s very exaggerated, histrionic, but could also be seen as deeply seductive and romantic, depending on what happens in between, what happens after,” Dr. Raghavan said.

Isolation From Friends and Family

It may seem sweet that your new mate wants to spend all of their time with you. But more often, it’s a red flag: The person may be a narcissist trying to isolate you from the other connections in your life as a way of exerting control.

Amy Brunell, a psychology professor at the Ohio State University whose research is focused on narcissism in social and romantic relationships, said that while there isn’t a ton of research on intimate partner abuse and narcissism, there is a connection. Controlling a person’s social life from the get-go may leave the person with nowhere to turn when a relationship sours.

“It does plant the seeds for intimate partner violence because typically a person will finally have enough and want to get out of it, and then it’s really hard,” Dr. Brunell said in a phone interview.

Over-the-Top Gifts

Dr. Raghavan said that showering new partners with presents is a common way for love bombers to exert influence, and even if they don’t have money, they may act as if they do.

“It’s part of the idea of excess and overwhelming the person so that they’re swept off their feet,” she said, adding that the “constant attention, flattery, seduction, gifts” make it hard “to process that you’re overwhelmed. And when you’re overwhelmed, you don’t see danger.”

Narcissists tend to be materialistic themselves, Dr. Brunell said, so they may also give gifts to boost their value and self-esteem.

“It kind of reminds me a little bit of the Christian Grey stuff in that series, the chronic high-end gift giving,” she said, referring to the titular character in “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Because such characters abound in romantic media, she added, their behavior “becomes our equivalent idea of romance.”

Paul Eastwick, a psychology professor at the University of California, Davis, whose research examines how people initiate and commit to romantic relationships, noted that not all grand gestures should be red flags.

“Generally speaking, the way we give affection to other people, the way we show them that we care about them, the way we try to support them, all of those things tend to robustly predict good outcomes,” Dr. Eastwick said in a phone interview. Love bombing, he said, likely represents a “small subset” of that behavior.

Post-Love Bombed

In healthy adult romantic relationships, support, desire and affection tend to be reciprocal, Dr. Eastwick said. But in cases of love bombing, attention flows in a single direction: One person tries to become the other’s whole world.

Dr. Raghavan said that people who have been love bombed often feel as though they’ve lost their sense of self, which can take a long time to rebuild.

“You lose the sense of who you are because little things are being managed for you and these little things can be anything from how you dress to how you present yourself,” Dr. Raghavan said. “But it can also be the kind of jokes you’re allowed to tell in public or the kind of woman that he wants you to be.”

These experts said that victims should give themselves patience and forgiveness, and could also benefit from therapy. They should try to reconnect with the activities and people who mattered to them before the love bomber entered their life, the experts advised.

“That needs to happen, the acceptance of the tragic events and embracing the positiveness of the future,” Dr. Raghavan said.

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Who is playing in the Africa Cup of Nations’ last 16? – BreakingNews.ie

The Africa Cup of Nations is heading into the knock-out stage after completion of the final round of group fixtures on Thursday.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at the last-16 ties.

Burkina Faso v Gabon

January 23rd, Limbe, 1600 GMT

Burkina Faso, who are 60th in the FIFA world rankings, went through to the last 16 as runners-up behind Cameroon from Group A, but only by the narrowest of margins. After losing their opener to the hosts, the Stallions beat Cape Verde and then drew with Ethiopia. That saw them finish level with Cape Verde, but their superior head-to-head record saw them take second place.

Gabon made it to the knock-out stages for the first time since 2012 after finishing second in Group C behind Morocco. However, the Panthers will be missing Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has returned to his club for health checks amid reports of indiscipline, which the striker denied as “false rumours”.

Nigeria v Tunisia

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January 23rd, Garoua, 1900

Nigeria underlined their status as one of the favourites by becoming the only nation to qualify with a 100 per cent record. Beating Egypt in their opening match set up a relatively straightforward passage with wins over Sudan and Guinea-Bissaua, and the Super Eagles have conceded just one goal in three games.

Tunisia qualified as one of the best third-placed teams despite losing two of their group games, thanks to a convincing 4-0 win over Mauritania. The group stage ended on a low note as they were beaten 1-0 by Gambia after having a man sent off. They have also missed a penalty in all three of their games.

Guinea v Gambia

January 24th, Bafoussam, 1600

Guinea reached the last 16 after edging out Malawi to secure second place in Group B behind Senegal. The National Elephants have captain Naby Keita at the heart of their team, with the Liverpool midfielder scoring a fine strike in the 2-1 defeat to already eliminated Zimbabwe in the final group game.

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Gambia are revelling in their maiden appearance at the tournament. The Scorpions qualified unbeaten after taking second spot in Group F with seven points from their three games. The group phase ended in dramatic fashion with their last-gasp win over Tunisia but Mali pipped them to top spot.

Cameroon v Comoros

January 24th, Yaounde, 1900

The Indomitable Lions will hope to continue making full use of home advantage, having progressed undefeated at the top of Group A with Al-Nassr forward Vincent Aboubakar scoring five goals. Cameroon are unbeaten in their capital since 1988 and will be favourites to extend that record when they meet surprise package Comoros.

Comoros, Africa’s fourth-smallest country, pulled off a huge shock when they stunned Ghana in their final group game. The unexpected 3-2 win, their only victory of first round, not only put the islanders into contention for a third-place qualification spot but eliminated the much-fancied, four-times champions Ghana in the process. Results elsewhere then fell into place to see them through.

Senegal v Cape Verde

January 25th, Bafoussam, 1600

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Senegal were undefeated in the group stage, but did play out two goalless draws after opening with a 1-0 win over Zimbabwe secured by stoppage-time penalty from Liverpool forward Sadio Mane. The Lions of Teranga, the top African side in FIFA’s rankings in 20th place, have plenty of other Premier League interest in their squad in Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, Leicester’s Nampalys Mendy and Crystal Palace midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate, but Watford’s Ismaila Sarr is out injured.

Cape Verde, an Atlantic archipelago named after a peninsula on the Senegal coast to its west, went through as one of the best third-placed teams after claiming four points in Group A. The 2013 quarter-finalists lack the star names of Senegal but Shamrock Rovers defender Roberto Lopes has provided plenty of interest for Irish viewers.

Morocco v Malawi

January 25th, Yaounde, 1900

Morocco clinched top spot in Group C after fighting back to earn a 2-2 draw against Gabon in the final match through a superb free-kick from Paris Saint-Germain right-back Achraf Hakimi with just six minutes left. The Atlas Lions – captained by Wolves defender Romain Saiss, with Watford duo Adam Masina and Imran Louza also part of the squad – are trying to reach the final for the first time since they were runners-up in 2004.

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Malawi are through to the knockout stages for the first time after qualifying from Group C as one of the best third-placed teams. The Flames, minnows in the tournament at 129 in the FIFA rankings, were beaten in their opener by Guinea but then revived hopes by beating Zimbabwe 2-1. A highly creditable goalless draw with Senegal, coupled with results elsewhere, clinched their place.

Ivory Coast v Egypt

January 26th, Douala, 1600

Ivory Coast have been one of the form teams so far and they secured top spot in Group E in style with a convincing 3-1 win over defending champions Algeria, eliminating the holders in the process. Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe scored a superb individual goal in that game and the Elephants, with other Premier League goal threats such as Wilfried Zaha and Maxwel Cornet in their squad, look sharp.

Despite having Mohamed Salah, arguably the most in-form player in the world at present, Egypt are yet to fire in the tournament. An opening defeat to Nigeria was followed by 1-0 wins over Guinea-Bissau – when Salah scored his first goal of the tournament – and Sudan, which saw them through as Group D runners-up.

Mali v Equatorial Guinea

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January 26th, Limbe, 1900

Mali were involved in one of the tournament’s more bizarre episodes as the final whistle was blown prematurely – twice – in their opener against Tunisia. They eventually emerged from a chaotic finish to top Group F after two more solid results, a 1-1 draw against Gambia and 2-0 win over Mauritania.

Equatorial Guinea bounced back from defeat to Ivory Coast in their first match by producing a stunning upset against holders Algeria in their second outing. The 1-0 win, secured by a goal from unheralded defender Esteban Obiang, was one of the biggest shocks in the history of the tournament. They followed up by beating Sierra Leone 1-0 to go through.

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Who is playing in the Africa Cup of Nations' last 16? – NW Evening Mail

The Africa Cup of Nations is heading into the knock-out stage after completion of the final round of group fixtures on Thursday.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at the last-16 ties.

Burkina Faso v Gabon

January 23, Limbe, 1600 GMT

Burkina Faso, who are 60th in the FIFA world rankings, went through to the last 16 as runners-up behind Cameroon from Group A, but only by the narrowest of margins. After losing their opener to the hosts, the Stallions beat Cape Verde and then drew with Ethiopia. That saw them finish level with Cape Verde, but their superior head-to-head record saw them take second place.

Gabon made it to the knock-out stages for the first time since 2012 after finishing second in Group C behind Morocco. However, the Panthers will be missing Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has returned to his club for health checks amid reports of indiscipline, which the striker denied as “false rumours”.

Nigeria v Tunisia

January 23, Garoua, 1900

Nigeria underlined their status as one of the favourites by becoming the only nation to qualify with a 100 per cent record. Beating Egypt in their opening match set up a relatively straightforward passage with wins over Sudan and Guinea-Bissaua, and the Super Eagles have conceded just one goal in three games.

Tunisia qualified as one of the best third-placed teams despite losing two of their group games, thanks to a convincing 4-0 win over Mauritania. The group stage ended on a low note as they were beaten 1-0 by Gambia after having a man sent off. They have also missed a penalty in all three of their games.

Guinea v Gambia

January 24, Bafoussam, 1600

Guinea reached the last 16 after edging out Malawi to secure second place in Group B behind Senegal. The National Elephants have captain Naby Keita at the heart of their team, with the Liverpool midfielder scoring a fine strike in the 2-1 defeat to already eliminated Zimbabwe in the final group game.

Gambia are revelling in their maiden appearance at the tournament. The Scorpions qualified unbeaten after taking second spot in Group F with seven points from their three games. The group phase ended in dramatic fashion with their last-gasp win over Tunisia but Mali pipped them to top spot.

Cameroon v Comoros

January 24, Yaounde, 1900

The Indomitable Lions will hope to continue making full use of home advantage, having progressed undefeated at the top of Group A with Al-Nassr forward Vincent Aboubakar scoring five goals. Cameroon are unbeaten in their capital since 1988 and will be favourites to extend that record when they meet surprise package Comoros.

Comoros, Africa’s fourth-smallest country, pulled off a huge shock when they stunned Ghana in their final group game. The unexpected 3-2 win, their only victory of first round, not only put the islanders into contention for a third-place qualification spot but eliminated the much-fancied, four-times champions Ghana in the process. Results elsewhere then fell into place to see them through.

Senegal v Cape Verde

January 25, Bafoussam, 1600

Senegal were undefeated in the group stage, but did play out two goalless draws after opening with a 1-0 win over Zimbabwe secured by stoppage-time penalty from Liverpool forward Sadio Mane. The Lions of Teranga, the top African side in FIFA’s rankings in 20th place, have plenty of other Premier League interest in their squad in Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, Leicester’s Nampalys Mendy and Crystal Palace midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate, but Watford’s Ismaila Sarr is out injured.

Cape Verde, an Atlantic archipelago named after a peninsula on the Senegal coast to its west, went through as one of the best third-placed teams after claiming four points in Group A. The 2013 quarter-finalists lack the star names of Senegal but Shamrock Rovers defender Roberto Lopes has provided plenty of interest for Irish viewers.

Morocco v Malawi

January 25, Yaounde, 1900

Morocco clinched top spot in Group C after fighting back to earn a 2-2 draw against Gabon in the final match through a superb free-kick from Paris Saint-Germain right-back Achraf Hakimi with just six minutes left. The Atlas Lions – captained by Wolves defender Romain Saiss, with Watford duo Adam Masina and Imran Louza also part of the squad – are trying to reach the final for the first time since they were runners-up in 2004.

Malawi are through to the knockout stages for the first time after qualifying from Group C as one of the best third-placed teams. The Flames, minnows in the tournament at 129 in the FIFA rankings, were beaten in their opener by Guinea but then revived hopes by beating Zimbabwe 2-1. A highly creditable goalless draw with Senegal, coupled with results elsewhere, clinched their place.

Ivory Coast v Egypt

January 26, Douala, 1600

Ivory Coast have been one of the form teams so far and they secured top spot in Group E in style with a convincing 3-1 win over defending champions Algeria, eliminating the holders in the process. Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe scored a superb individual goal in that game and the Elephants, with other Premier League goal threats such as Wilfried Zaha and Maxwel Cornet in their squad, look sharp.

Despite having Mohamed Salah, arguably the most in-form player in the world at present, Egypt are yet to fire in the tournament. An opening defeat to Nigeria was followed by 1-0 wins over Guinea-Bissau – when Salah scored his first goal of the tournament – and Sudan, which saw them through as Group D runners-up.

Mali v Equatorial Guinea

January 26, Limbe, 1900

Mali were involved in one of the tournament’s more bizarre episodes as the final whistle was blown prematurely – twice – in their opener against Tunisia. They eventually emerged from a chaotic finish to top Group F after two more solid results, a 1-1 draw against Gambia and 2-0 win over Mauritania.

Equatorial Guinea bounced back from defeat to Ivory Coast in their first match by producing a stunning upset against holders Algeria in their second outing. The 1-0 win, secured by a goal from unheralded defender Esteban Obiang, was one of the biggest shocks in the history of the tournament. They followed up by beating Sierra Leone 1-0 to go through.

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Who is playing in the Africa Cup of Nations' last 16? – The Northern Echo

The Africa Cup of Nations is heading into the knock-out stage after completion of the final round of group fixtures on Thursday.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at the last-16 ties.

Burkina Faso v Gabon

January 23, Limbe, 1600 GMT

Burkina Faso, who are 60th in the FIFA world rankings, went through to the last 16 as runners-up behind Cameroon from Group A, but only by the narrowest of margins. After losing their opener to the hosts, the Stallions beat Cape Verde and then drew with Ethiopia. That saw them finish level with Cape Verde, but their superior head-to-head record saw them take second place.

Gabon made it to the knock-out stages for the first time since 2012 after finishing second in Group C behind Morocco. However, the Panthers will be missing Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has returned to his club for health checks amid reports of indiscipline, which the striker denied as “false rumours”.

Nigeria v Tunisia

January 23, Garoua, 1900

Nigeria underlined their status as one of the favourites by becoming the only nation to qualify with a 100 per cent record. Beating Egypt in their opening match set up a relatively straightforward passage with wins over Sudan and Guinea-Bissaua, and the Super Eagles have conceded just one goal in three games.

Tunisia qualified as one of the best third-placed teams despite losing two of their group games, thanks to a convincing 4-0 win over Mauritania. The group stage ended on a low note as they were beaten 1-0 by Gambia after having a man sent off. They have also missed a penalty in all three of their games.

Guinea v Gambia

January 24, Bafoussam, 1600

Guinea reached the last 16 after edging out Malawi to secure second place in Group B behind Senegal. The National Elephants have captain Naby Keita at the heart of their team, with the Liverpool midfielder scoring a fine strike in the 2-1 defeat to already eliminated Zimbabwe in the final group game.

Gambia are revelling in their maiden appearance at the tournament. The Scorpions qualified unbeaten after taking second spot in Group F with seven points from their three games. The group phase ended in dramatic fashion with their last-gasp win over Tunisia but Mali pipped them to top spot.

Cameroon v Comoros

January 24, Yaounde, 1900

The Indomitable Lions will hope to continue making full use of home advantage, having progressed undefeated at the top of Group A with Al-Nassr forward Vincent Aboubakar scoring five goals. Cameroon are unbeaten in their capital since 1988 and will be favourites to extend that record when they meet surprise package Comoros.

Comoros, Africa’s fourth-smallest country, pulled off a huge shock when they stunned Ghana in their final group game. The unexpected 3-2 win, their only victory of first round, not only put the islanders into contention for a third-place qualification spot but eliminated the much-fancied, four-times champions Ghana in the process. Results elsewhere then fell into place to see them through.

Senegal v Cape Verde

January 25, Bafoussam, 1600

Senegal were undefeated in the group stage, but did play out two goalless draws after opening with a 1-0 win over Zimbabwe secured by stoppage-time penalty from Liverpool forward Sadio Mane. The Lions of Teranga, the top African side in FIFA’s rankings in 20th place, have plenty of other Premier League interest in their squad in Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, Leicester’s Nampalys Mendy and Crystal Palace midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate, but Watford’s Ismaila Sarr is out injured.

Cape Verde, an Atlantic archipelago named after a peninsula on the Senegal coast to its west, went through as one of the best third-placed teams after claiming four points in Group A. The 2013 quarter-finalists lack the star names of Senegal but Shamrock Rovers defender Roberto Lopes has provided plenty of interest for Irish viewers.

Morocco v Malawi

January 25, Yaounde, 1900

Morocco clinched top spot in Group C after fighting back to earn a 2-2 draw against Gabon in the final match through a superb free-kick from Paris Saint-Germain right-back Achraf Hakimi with just six minutes left. The Atlas Lions – captained by Wolves defender Romain Saiss, with Watford duo Adam Masina and Imran Louza also part of the squad – are trying to reach the final for the first time since they were runners-up in 2004.

Malawi are through to the knockout stages for the first time after qualifying from Group C as one of the best third-placed teams. The Flames, minnows in the tournament at 129 in the FIFA rankings, were beaten in their opener by Guinea but then revived hopes by beating Zimbabwe 2-1. A highly creditable goalless draw with Senegal, coupled with results elsewhere, clinched their place.

Ivory Coast v Egypt

January 26, Douala, 1600

Ivory Coast have been one of the form teams so far and they secured top spot in Group E in style with a convincing 3-1 win over defending champions Algeria, eliminating the holders in the process. Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe scored a superb individual goal in that game and the Elephants, with other Premier League goal threats such as Wilfried Zaha and Maxwel Cornet in their squad, look sharp.

Despite having Mohamed Salah, arguably the most in-form player in the world at present, Egypt are yet to fire in the tournament. An opening defeat to Nigeria was followed by 1-0 wins over Guinea-Bissau – when Salah scored his first goal of the tournament – and Sudan, which saw them through as Group D runners-up.

Mali v Equatorial Guinea

January 26, Limbe, 1900

Mali were involved in one of the tournament’s more bizarre episodes as the final whistle was blown prematurely – twice – in their opener against Tunisia. They eventually emerged from a chaotic finish to top Group F after two more solid results, a 1-1 draw against Gambia and 2-0 win over Mauritania.

Equatorial Guinea bounced back from defeat to Ivory Coast in their first match by producing a stunning upset against holders Algeria in their second outing. The 1-0 win, secured by a goal from unheralded defender Esteban Obiang, was one of the biggest shocks in the history of the tournament. They followed up by beating Sierra Leone 1-0 to go through.

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