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Love Bombed Then Ghosted? Why People Do It.

Love bombing is becoming more commonplace in today’s dating world. One thing we don’t talk about nearly as much is what happens when you get love bombed then ghosted?

It is an incredibly disorienting experience, which often leaves victims unable to trust themselves or others. So let’s talk about why it happens.

What is love bombing?

Love bombing is when someone showers you with attention and affection at the beginning of a relationship to create an intense bond. It’s usually done by people trying to control or manipulate their partner.

How long does the love bombing stage last?

The love bombing stage can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. It all depends on how long the person doing the love bombing takes to achieve their goal.

Usually, that goal is to manipulate someone into a serious relationship too quickly.

But sometimes, love bombing ends abruptly. So abruptly, in fact, that the person doing it just disappears.

A woman with long dreads places her hand on her neck and stares off into the distance. There is a red broken heart. The title reads Love bombed then ghosted?
Love Bombed Then Ghosted: Why it Happens

Getting Ghosted after a Love Bombing

When you’re love bombed then ghosted, it can feel like you’ve been hit by a truck. One minute you’re on cloud nine, and the next, you’re left feeling confused, hurt, and rejected. It’s a harsh reality, but it happens more often than you think.

Why do people love bomb and then leave?

That is the million-dollar question. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been much research on ghosting in general, and certainly not among serial love bombers.

But there are some theories.

For one, the modern dating scene lends itself more to ghosting than pre-dating app eras.

Through the miracle of Tinder or Bumble, people who would have never otherwise met can connect, take an interest, and date one another without any social networks in common.

It’s easier to ditch someone out of the blue when there are no mutual people in common to hold you accountable.

Ghosting hurts in any circumstance, but it is especially confusing when the person who does it just got done love bombing you.

Related Post: What Ghosting Says About You (And Why You Should Care)

There is no logic to love bombing then ghosting.

Remember that love bombing is a form of emotional manipulation.

The person doing it feigns the intensity of their connection with you to achieve a goal. Sometimes that goal is to control; other times, it is to take advantage of the other person’s vulnerability.

But why go through the effort of love bombing someone just to disappear?

Reasons People Love Bomb Then Ghost:

The following reasons explain why someone might love bomb then ghost. None of them are satisfying, but it’s our best guess based on what we know about the psychology of this behavior.

1. They have multiple victims.

Sometimes people love bomb then ghost because they are love bombing multiple people and have moved on to a new victim. Ultimately, this is good for you because it means you’ve dodged a bullet.

It’s possible they sensed you were not going to be an easy target, or they are someone who likes to chase the high of new relationships, and the initial buzz of your romance was starting to wane.

Anyone who has been in a long-term relationship knows that the initial chemistry high always fades and settles into a more stable rhythm. Love bombers are allergic to stability, so off they go.

2. They got what they wanted from you.

If a person love bombs you to get something, they’ll disappear once that need has been met. It could be they wanted sex, attention, or money, as soon as they can tick that box, they may ghost and move on to the next victim.

3. They get satisfaction from playing psychological games with people.

There are people in this world who get a sense of fulfillment and affirmation by making people get attached or playing head games.

These types get bored or uncomfortable easily and disappear.

They’re emotionally immature and can’t handle confrontation. They also have no sense of responsibility for their actions.

Better to rip the bandaid off and act like it never happened.

4. They like the power.

This is closely related to #3, but some people love bomb and ghost because they like it when people fall in love with them quickly. Again, it’s very affirming.

They get to say, “Look at this person who is already in love with me! I’m so great!”

It’s less about wanting the person to actually love them than it is about claiming the prize. They get to feel like an attractive, desirable human being and that feels good to them.

But it’s very much like the dog who catches the car.

Once they’ve won the other person’s affection, the high of the chase wears off, reality sets in, and they get spooked and run away.

5. There is no reason.

This last one is probably the most unsatisfying of them all, but the truth is, sometimes love bombers and ghosts don’t know why they behave the way they do, which is even more reason to stay far away from them.

Related Post: Why Ghosters Come Back, But You Shouldn’t Let Them

The Worst Love Bombing I Ever Experienced

To paint a picture of how this happens, I’ll tell you a brief story of a guy we will call K. This is purely for illustrative purposes, and you are welcome to skip ahead.

I met K on a dating app and million years ago, and we seemed to hit it off right away, so we decided to meet in person.

K and I met up for coffee in Union Square and ended up staying for two hours before deciding to grab dinner, which lasted another couple of hours.

Because we were having such a great time, we embarked on a rom-com-style adventure at the nearby Barnes and Noble and then chatted on a bench until it was time to go home. In total, I think this date lasted 8 hours. We agreed to meet up the next day.

I would have sworn at the time that I’d just met my soul mate (red flag #1).

The next date was just as long.

We spent the following day hanging out a the park, holding hands around Brooklyn, carrying on like we’d known each other for years. He made comments to that effect – little suggestions that I was special, this was special.

The next week he texted or called me every day (red flag #2).

In my mind, this was kismet.

We carried on like this for maybe two weeks. The last time I saw him (spoiler alert), I remember going to his place in Harlem and having intense conversations about his life – his alcohol addiction as a teen, being adopted, and losing his adoptive mother.

I absorbed all of it.

His dog took an instant liking to me, something I will always remember him noting as “a sign” (red flag #3).

After spending the entire day together, we walked over to Central Park. We had a long conversation about how he felt ready for a serious relationship in his life – a topic he brought up unprovoked (red flag #4).

After “the talk”, we returned to his apartment, a million ideas whirling around my head. Was this my person? Was he about to ask me for a commitment? This was too fast, right?

No, no, and yes.

I never heard from him again.

We got back to his place and his entire demeanor shifted.

In an impressive show of “what is happening right now?” K decided he had changed his mind during the five-minute walk from the park to his apartment.

He didn’t want a relationship. He did, however, want me to leave.

Just like that.

While I sat on his couch, stunned into silence, he got up and opened his front door. I was to leave immediately. He didn’t want to hear from me again and never did.

If you’re reading this thinking that nothing about this makes sense, you would be correct.

I was devastated. Blindsided.

But even worse, I felt like I had imagined everything. What did I miss? How was I so wrong?

In retrospect, there was clearly something broken about K that drove him to be someone who did what he did.

Was/Is he a narcissist? A sociopath? Damaged goods? All of the above?

Who knows.

What I do know is that he did this to me at a vulnerable point in my life, and I immediately internalized his behavior, believing I caused it. Although it happened so fast, the damage was real. I felt like I could not trust myself or my instincts for a long time afterward.

The Impact of Love Bombing on Victims

The truth is love bombing can be incredibly harmful and even traumatizing for victims.

People who love bomb are often great at reading people.

They know how to hook us in by instantly recognizing the attributes and traits we want to be recognized for and then digging deeper to get us to open up and drop our guard.

My first date with K lasted nearly 8 hours, an experience I thought was akin to twin flames meeting when in actuality, this was probably something he routinely did to women he met.

K is probably someone who can talk to anyone and knows how to find the right threads to pull to manufacture a connection.

Woman sitting on bench alone with cigarette and phone looking sad
The impact of love bombing on victims

Why Love Bombing Works

Love bombing is effective because it plays on our innate desire to be understood and loved.

When there is an instant chemistry with someone, it is harder to see the situation objectively. We crave that intense, “love at first sight” connection, so it’s natural to want to go along with it when someone offers something resembling that.

When the love bombing ends, and that connection, attention, and admiration are yanked away, the victim feels like they are at fault.

The intensity of love bombing is by design.

It is meant to throw you off your game and leave you emotionally vulnerable. Whether they are doing it for control, money, sex, or to experience the adrenaline high of new connections – the result is the same.

The victim is left to wrestle with feelings of shame, regret, and worthlessness.

What to do if you get love bombed then ghosted.

The first thing you should do if you get love bombed then ghosted is to tell yourself that it isn’t your fault because it isn’t!

Remember that love bombing is a form of emotional manipulation, and anyone can fall victim to it.

I know that saying so doesn’t alleviate the hurt or confusion, but maybe it gives you the space to start the healing process without finding ways to blame yourself for the other person’s behavior.

Second, as much as getting love bombed then ghosted hurts, I promise it is a blessing in disguise. This is not someone you want in your life.

Love bombers do not ghost you because there is something wrong with you. They ghost you because they are bad people who hurt others.

If you feel like you’re struggling to move on after getting love bombed then ghosted and it is impacting your ability to form healthy connections with other people, it’s worth talking to a counselor.

They can help you process what happened and provide strategies to rebuild trust in yourself and others.

Access should not be a barrier to help.

Soberish is proudly sponsored by BetterHelp. If you have tried (and failed) to find a therapist with the knowledge and background to help you navigate your specific issues, try BetterHelp. Learn more about my counseling journey with BetterHelp or visit their website below.

Woman sitting alone on bench under the title love bombed then ghosted
love bombed then ghosted PIN

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6 Comments

  1. I met a guy and our first date lasted 9 hours (it started as a walk and he kept on asking himself how can he make it last longer) , our second lasted 6 hours and then I ended up staying over. We had our third date 2 days later (3 dates in 5 days). We spoke about everything under the sun and I felt like I’d met someone who would be in my life for ages. (Sidenote: not sure if it’s relevant but I’ve been on many first dates and they never progress to a second date because they’re just not good so this was a huge surprise for me). We had so much in common, and that night he he asked me where had I been since I was so special and that his mum would love me . On our third date he told me he had dated a girl 4 months ago (they went on 5/6 dates) who had gone away on for the summer and while he didn’t know if he would go on a date with her, it would be way more likely that he’d still be dating me in 7 months as opposed to dumping me for her. I then went on holidays for ten days … They were the longest days of my life. We then both went on separate holidays very nearby each other. He invited me to meet more of his friends by spending the day with them and told me how they were all so excited to meet me and had heard so much about me. I didn’t go see him tho as he was too hungover:( He sent me love hearts in texts and X’s too. I came back from holidays a day after him and he got my from the airport I was so excited to see him. We got food and he invited me to a medal presentation and then dropped me home. On the way home he told me he wouldn’t want to go on a date with the other girl even if she texted him because he’d feel awkward because what we have is so good. That was Sunday and then he started texting less during the week. He was passing my house on Thursday so I asked if he wanted to grab a coffee. He said he was getting ones with friends but that I should join. He then said he had drank too much and wondered if I wanted to stay at his (and drive him home). We had a date preplanned for Friday anyway so I said sure. He spent the whole day on Friday pretty much in bed apart from going out for dinner (my turn to buy dinner). The entire date lasted 3.5 hours .. and I had been there ALL DAY! I dropped him to his car on Saturday and on the Monday at 9pm got a text saying something was missing and that it wouldn’t be fair to date me since he’s not fully in it. I think the girl texted him during the week because he changed so much. I even said to my friends it felt like a friend’s vibe when we left each other on Saturday.

    Does anyone think he was being true and honest from the beginning? I think he was but I don’t know. He was telling me about meeting his family and him meeting mine and thing’s we would do together. Was he love bombing me? Why did he love bomb me if he was never planning on staying with me? What do you guys all think?

  2. I think… I got love bombed and ghosted.
    It was an intense LDR, we met via a high interactive game and we had mutual online buddies and everything felt right. Or so i thought, cool we “know” each other and he has friends in game, he wouldn’t be a fake his niceness and caring nature right? (everyday everyone we knew mutually would ask me if he’s okay)
    We bonded over traumas, him being a young single dad… our mixed racial identity, family, goals, family goals for ourselves and eventually meeting up and actualising us.
    Last interaction was him telling me he loves me. Then silence. Nothing not a message or call.
    Now 3 weeks later (onto 4th week), I had left one or two messages per day to him riddled with concern for him and his family (he said he was a wreck and his sister was in an accident) and only then I realised it has triggered my anxiety and abandonment issues (I did not even realise how intense it was only learnt to ground myself but still struggling)
    I called his numbers, (work and private phone number) left messages on both our social inboxes and messages. But nothing. I realised if he truly loved me like he said… he would let me know by now that he is okay or taking a break. But nothing. But his numbers were straight “Call rejected” which I knew that he has decided to auto reject my calls.
    I did nothing but cry every night as though I was grieving as he told me he was so ready to meet me and make me his forever. Sweet loving words anyone would be blinded sided by his ghosting.
    Now I have decided I won’t cry anymore and just accept that I have been dropped.
    I do not question my self worth or hate myself, more upset this person would hurt after everything we bonded over and how much he declared to everyone we knew, he loved me and was so excited to see me. Only to ghost me.
    I hate to say it but deep down I wish he would come back but logically I am numb and tired of waiting.
    This article describe most of the points I feel with him. Thanks.

  3. I was recently love bomb then ghost. I felt I met my soul mate and I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. The weekend we met in person was the first time that I felt a connection that was perfect. I felt that we were made for each other. It was a closeness that I will never forget. When met him it was the first time in my life that I felt that I could be me and not be judged. He suddenly stopped texting and calling then it was over. I reached out once to assure him that if he needs to talk about anything I’m here to listen. I still feel like he is my soul mate just not now. He will always be in the back of my mind. I will date and have relationships because he will not stop me!! Even though he stop communicating he hasn’t blocked me on Facebook. I shouldn’t feel there’s hope but maybe one day.

    1. I’m so sorry you went through that Nikki. I hope with a little time and space, you’ll see he wasn’t right for you and you’re able to connect with someone who treats you the way you deserve to be treated.

  4. This just happened to me recently the ghosting is the worst part. Now I’ve come across this it makes sense and I can get over him a lot easier.
    I only saw his beautiful side I’m now sure there’s another side to him. If I was to meet his ex wife/girlfriends I wonder what they would have to say about him!! That’s why he’s done me a favour.

  5. I love this article, the details were so accurate. Love bombing truly sucks and anyone who do that to anyone is in fact not a good person, so don’t blame yourselves!

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