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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 feeling 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 in order to create an intense bond. It’s usually done by people who are 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 it takes for the person doing the love bombing 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.

Woman sitting on folding chair staring at her phone
What to do if you get love bombed then ghosted

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 to face, but it happens more often than you might think.

Why do people love bomb and then leave?

That is the million-dollar question. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a lot of research done 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 in 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 is feigning the intensity of their connection with you in order 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?

Here’s a list of unsatisfying reasons why this might happen:

  • They are love bombing multiple people and have moved on to a new victim.
  • They got what they wanted from you.
  • They get satisfaction from playing psychological games with people.
  • Manipulating and/or hurting people makes them feel powerful.
  • There is no reason.

That 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 it if you don’t need it.

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, single 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 with him 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 climbed up on Rat Rock in Central Park and had a heart-to-heart conversation about how he felt like was ready for a serious relationship in his life – a topic he brought up unprovoked, I might add (red flag #4).

Afterward, we went back to his apartment, a million ideas whirling around my head. Was this my person?

I’ll never forget what happened next.

He was standing there and looked as if he had a light bulb moment. His entire vibe shifted.

Actually, he didn’t think he could do a serious relationship right now. He needed to focus on his career before it was too late for him. (He was trying to move from the spoken word scene into music at the ripe old age of 34).

Before my brain could piece together what was happening, he told me I should leave.

Just like that.

I was shocked. “But you were just talking about wanting a relationship, now you’re telling me to leave?”

I honestly do not remember what he said in response. It does not matter.

While I sat on his couch stunned into silence, he got up and opened his front door. Apparently, 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 chronology 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 in order 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 so 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 when someone offers something resembling that, it’s natural to want to go along with it.

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 end 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 you with 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 who has 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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One Comment

  1. 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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