Extreme love, affection, and attention.
Why on earth would someone do that? Why would the “perfect” partner suddenly disappear, as if you meant nothing to them?
If you’ve ever been ghosted after the love bombing phase, you know how confusing (and painful) it can be.
It’s a behavior that usually indicates narcissistic personality disorder, although it’s not just narcissists who do it.
And it’s a lot more common than you think. It’s kind of a pattern, and in this post you’ll learn to recognize the pattern and understand why it happens.
Let’s start with a quick definition of both love bombing and ghosting.
If you already know what they are, feel free to skip to the explanation and reasons behind them.
What does “love bombing” mean?
We use the term love bombing to describe a phase in which a potential partner shows intense affection and admiration.
It’s like the other person has desperately fallen in love with you, desperately needs you, and desperately wants to show you you are their everything.
Sometimes it looks like genuine behavior; sometimes it’s so extreme it feels a bit unnatural, and that gives you the chance to question the behavior before it’s too late.
Let’s have a look at the three most common signs…
Signs of love bombing
- It happens quickly. Like, way too quickly. The other person may have met you two weeks ago and now they’re acting like you are the love of their life. They may barely know you and yet shower you with all this love and affection. As mentioned above, this often feels unnatural.
- Excessive compliments. When we’re in love, when we really like someone, it’s perfectly normal to use kind words, to let them know we appreciate them. But there is such a thing as excessive compliments, and that’s what often happens during the love bombing phase.
- Excessive gifts. Same as above. Nothing wrong with giving, but you need to ask why the person you’ve just met is comfortable giving you all these expensive (or important) gifts. Chances are it’s not love, nor generosity — but a sign of love bombing.
What does “ghosting” mean?
The term has different definitions and possible interpretations.
But usually, it refers to the act of ending all contact with another person, or group of people — without any warning, explanation, or goodbye.
The word “ghosting” first appeared about 20 years ago, when it was used to describe the sudden end of a relationship without any previous communication.
Then, the word became increasingly more popular, which is why today it also refers to friendship or any other type of non-romantic relationship between two or more people.
Interestingly enough, the term can also refer to business and employment.
A quick Google search will show forum posts where people complain about being ghosted by recruiters after seemingly successful interviews.
Ghosting is NOT the silent treatment
Occasionally, the act of ghosting may only be temporary: a person may ghost you for a few months or so, then come back.
They may explain all the reasons as to why they stopped talking to you, which could be lies, and ask you to forgive them.
Now, in general, ghosting is for good. And this is the key difference between the act of ghosting and what’s called the “silent treatment”.
The silent treatment is nothing but a punishment: your partner ignores you to punish you for something you have or have not done.
For example, you choose not to reply to one of their text messages, and their silent treatment is supposed to punish you and reinforce the thought that you should be more available.
But there is absolutely no intention of ending the relationship.
Ghosting, on the other hand, is more of a permanent thing — it’s used to get rid of you, to remove you from their life physically and emotionally.
5 reasons behind love bombing then ghosting
Alright, here is why some people go through this pattern.
When you understand the reasons behind this seemingly pointless behavior, you also have more power — you are less likely to fall prey to manipulators, or needy people for that matter.
Reasons behind love bombing
Love bombing feels good. Attention feels good. Compliments feel good. People who love bomb you usually do so to make you addicted to them.
In turn, this makes you more vulnerable; you are more likely to be available to them; you are more likely to say yes to their requests.
You probably wouldn’t do that with a stranger, but you may do that with someone you’re emotionally addicted to.
Another common reason for love bombing is neediness — your potential partner wants you to fall in love with them as soon as possible.
When someone is needy, in their mind there is never enough time; the relationship cannot develop spontaneously.
Love bombing also has the aim of getting all your attention, so you no longer give attention to other people, who may be seen as a threat.
Reasons for ghosting after love bombing
If their love isn’t reciprocated, if you are not as available as they hoped you’d be, if you haven’t totally fallen in love with them…
Then they may decide to simply get rid of you. And use the same tactic with someone else, and hope it works with them.
If it’s a narcissist or manipulator doing the love bombing, then as soon as they realize they cannot have total control over you, they’ll stop and try to find someone else.
Specifically, fear of embarrassment. Fear of being in a relationship with a person who has realized their behavior isn’t actually genuine.
Anyone who does this thing called love bombing is in some way insecure and needy, even though they often hide it.
This is why they crave control. If they believe you have control over them, and potentially take advantage of their vulnerabilities (yes, they have many), they’ll end all contact and ghost you.
The pause button
Another reason someone may ghost you after the love bombing phase is if they want to leave the door open… while dating other people.
It’s kind of like pausing the relationship. If they say goodbye, if they say it’s over — it’s really over.
If they “just” ghost, then at least theoretically they still have the option to come back and explain why they disappeared, no matter how unnatural it may be.
Love bombed then ghosted? Things to keep in mind
You may feel disoriented. Or lost. Or empty. You may have all these thoughts about it.
And the first thing to keep in mind is: whatever happened to you has nothing to do with you.
You also want to be 100 percent honest with yourself and realize that the person that showered you with love, affection, etc. probably wasn’t the right person.
In which case, being ghosted is a good thing. It just takes time to fully accept it and realize why it happened.
And please, don’t try to contact those who ghosted you. There is absolutely no reason to do so.
Being love bombed then ghosted is a clear sign that you don’t matter to the person who ghosted you. At least in the sense that they’re just using you.
One last thing…
Typically, love bombing (followed by ghosting or any other unusual behavior) happens in relationships.
Meaning: someone wants you to be their partner and that’s when the love bombing happens.
But… it doesn’t necessarily have to be a dating thing. Did you know that friends can love bomb, too? And parents or relatives as well?
The reasons behind it are always the same — I have explained them in this post already.
Love bombing is usually a sign of a (potential) toxic relationship, yes. But it could also be a sign of a fake friend, or a toxic coworker, you name it.
Consciously or unconsciously, some people have realized that extreme affection can influence other people’s behavior, and they have learned to use that to their advantage.
Whether it’s dating, career, friendship, or non-romantic relationships with other people in general.
I’ve seen it many times, and if you’re reading this, you’ve probably seen it (and experienced it) as well.
Although it’s disheartening, it teaches you to use your intuition and see people’s true nature.
And avoid anyone who is toxic or manipulative; and respect yourself.