Love bombing then ghosting someone is a new trend that is as bad as it sounds. You meet someone you instantly click with, and all your faith in love and humanity is restored. You convince yourself (or they convince you) you’ve found “the one” and you’re as high as a child on Christmas Eve.
But suddenly without notice, they are gone, like a thief in the night. You’re left in a state of shock, confusion, and shame, and wondering what the heck just happened.
Welcome to the experience I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy: operation love bomb then ghost. In this article, we’ll explore what love bombing is, what ghosting is, what happens when you’re love bombed then ghosted, and the steps you can take to heal and move on with your life.
Love Bombing then Ghosting Explained
What is love bombing?
Love bombing can be described as a series of words, actions, gifts, and declarations a person makes to someone in a relatively short space of time. You might have just met an incredible, intelligent woman a week ago, and already they have said they feel like she has “known you forever” and are “in love with you.”
This is intentional on the love bomber’s part. They fake the intensity of their connection with you to put you in a vulnerable state to achieve a personal goal, whether it’s control, money, sex, or to intentionally hurt you. And love bombing often works because it feeds our innate desire to be understood and loved. Plus, when you feel that chemistry with someone and are convinced you’ve found your soul mate, your judgment can become clouded and you will miss the red flags.
According to a survey by Shane Co., 70% of respondents say they have been love bombed at some point.
Here are some of the clear signs you’re being love bombed:
The love bomber showers you with compliments and tells you that you are the most incredible person they have ever met. It’s as though they are in awe of your awesomeness and they will liberally remind you of this.
They text and/or call you non-stop, sucking you into a 24/7 dialog with them that you don’t want to put a stop to. They want to see you all the time, maybe they stop by your office at lunch or turn up at your place unexpectedly because they just couldn’t bear to be apart from you.
Yes, communication is a sign of interest. But 24/7 communication is unhealthy and a form of control.
A love bomber is clever and calculated in their strategy of manipulation. They will carefully listen to everything you say, and then show you they have remembered in the way of thoughtful gifts. A dozen red roses, champagne, and a string quartet on your first date, a framed quote from your favorite movie, or turning up at your door with a gorgeous chocolate brown lab puppy. They will shower you with gifts to show you how much they care, and to reel you into their web.
They will likely declare their love for you by date number three (if not earlier) and tell you that they’ve never met anyone like you. Often, they’ll make these declarations at inappropriate times, seemingly out of the blue when the conversation was somewhere else.
You love pizza?
So do they.
You love rock climbing?
It’s their all-time favorite hobby, and they know the best, secret spots to do it.
You’ve always wanted to travel around Australia?
Well, what do you know, that’s the next place on their bucket list!
Sure, there are those rare exceptional couples who met on a Monday and eloped in Bali two weeks later and lived happily ever after. But most of the time, shotgun relationships like this fail! Why? Because trust and an emotional connection take time to build and cannot be rushed.
Love bombers will usually fast-forward the typical dating and relationship timeline and say you’re the love of their life when they only met you a week ago. How can you possibly know that you love someone when you barely know them?!
What is ghosting?
Before we talk about being love-bombed then ghosted, let’s explore ghosting. Because ghosting is talked about more often, you’ve probably already got a good idea of what it is.
Ghosting refers to when a person you formed a connection with (whether romantic, friendly, or even a work connection) stops contacting you out of the blue without any reason, and you don’t hear from them again. There’s no fight or end scene, just a chilling silence. They send your calls to voicemail, leave your messages blue-ticked, block you on social media, and if they see you in public they’ll pretend they haven’t. There are different types of ghosting.
Perhaps they resurface weeks or months later as if nothing has happened and say, “hey, how are you?” and you’re left gobsmacked at the sheer brazenness of them to think they can walk in and out of your life as if your feelings don’t matter.
Let’s clear one thing up - when you love bomb then ghost, it’s not the same as love bombing then silent treatment. Silent treatment is when a partner punishes you by ignoring you, but they have no intention of ending the relationship. You’ll hear from them again eventually, once they think you’ve suffered enough. Whereas ghosting is a permanent thing that someone usually does because they want to get rid of you from their life.
Usually, people ghost because they want to avoid uncomfortable situations or don’t know how to properly express themselves. Ghosting helps them deal with their own anxiety or limitations. Other times, people ghost simply because they’re careless about other people’s feelings, or like the power of being able to “have” someone then “drop” them when they feel like it.
A study by Plenty of Fish found that 80% of millennials have been ghosted more than once while dating.
What happens when you’re love bombed then ghosted?
Yep, you guessed it. Love bombing then ghosting is a double whammy of these horrendous acts, one blow followed by another sometimes referred to as “ghost bombing.”
Whether it’s after two days, a week, a month, or more of showering you with love, affection, and praise, the love bomber will completely disappear. This is a common form of manipulation and can cause the victim a great deal of trauma. What’s worse is that ghost bombers usually repeat this cycle over and over again with you (if you let them) and others. People suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or those with narcissistic personality traits, will often follow this love bombing then ghosting pattern, even in a long-term relationship. It’s about satisfying their own ego, with zero concern for the other person’s feelings.
Generally, it’s more common to find men displaying these traits and love bombing then ghosting women or other men, but some women are guilty of doing this too.
What to Do if You’ve Been Love Bombed then Ghosted
If you’ve been love bombed then ghosted, I feel for you. It’s an awful experience to go through. Here are some steps to take to help you heal and move forward and make sure no one ever love bombs then ghosts you again.
Remember it’s not your fault
The first thing to do if you’re love bombed then ghosted is to remind yourself it’s not your fault. This person has manipulated you, and anyone can find themselves a victim of that. So don’t beat yourself up or wallow in embarrassment or shame for allowing yourself to be reeled in by their hook. What has happened to you is a result of their behavior, and you are not responsible for that.
Know that you dodged a bullet
Being on the receiving end of love bombing then ghosting hurts. I won’t argue with that. But honestly, it’s a blessing wrapped in a bullet. Think about how horrendous someone must be to do this to someone (probably many other people) and still be able to sleep at night. There is not something wrong with you - hurt people, hurt people. You’re much better off now that this person is out of your life.
Don’t try to contact them
That brings us nicely to the next point which is, do not under any circumstances try and get back in contact with your love bomb ghoster. If you find yourself missing their love and affection, remember that none of it was real, and remember how much they hurt you. They don’t care about you, they were using you the whole time.
In case you haven’t already, block them on all social media, delete their number from your phone, and don’t contact them ever again.
See a therapist or counselor
Being love bombed then ghosted is a traumatic experience and can prevent you from forming healthy connections with others. So if you’re struggling to heal and move on you may find it helpful to talk to a therapist or counselor. They can help you process what happened, understand your emotions, and provide you with strategies to regain trust in yourself and others.
There is no shame in seeking help when everything feels too much for you to handle on your own.
Focus your attention on things that make you feel good
The next step after being love bombed then ghosted is to refocus your attention and energy on things that take your mind off it and make you feel good. Whether it’s your career, your hobbies, or spending time with people who love and care about you. And if you feel like you’re lacking in those areas, now is the time to start a new hobby or join a club and be around other people.
Set clear boundaries going forward
Finally, to make sure you’re never love bombed then ghosted again, take some time to set clear boundaries in your dating life (and everywhere else if you haven’t already).
Be a little warier when meeting new people and going on first dates. Be discerning and look for cues that there’s real interest in you. If it feels like things are going too fast, don’t be afraid to hit the brakes and explain that you like them but want to take things slower. If someone tells you they love you in a very short space of time, question whether it’s genuine and what their motives might be.