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What exactly is love bombing?

What exactly is love bombing?
Have you ever had a date drown you in flattery, only to ghost you later? Meehika Barua shares how to spot love bombing…and how to handle it
In April, when I was living in Paris for a month, I was dating this guy who confessed on the third date after kissing me that he was in love with me. The alarm bells went off in my head immediately, but I wrote it off as a French thing, since all of my Parisian friends had warned me that the French dating scene is different from the English. They told me that men in Paris consider you their official girlfriend as soon as you kiss them. So it felt par for the course, rather than someone telling me exactly what I want to hear in order to get into my pants. 
What is love bombing?
But when I returned to London, and went on a countryside holiday where I met another man who lavished me with compliments, a tour of his town and an expensive dinner followed by a goodnight kiss at my doorstep, the same trend seemed to continue. He said he really wanted to see me in the morning before I leave town. “Let’s have a brekkie together, or maybe lunch?” and I whispered, “Okay,” only to never hear from him again the next day. It felt so bizarre, since this man couldn’t stop talking about how he wants to come down to London, to “make this work.”  
A few similar incidents with men back in London and a few conversations with other female friends around the world who couldn’t believe some guy spent hours convincing them that they were the woman of his dreams, only to have him ghost her, made me realise I wasn’t the only one going through this. Thanks to social media, where women complained of almost identical situations with men, I discovered the "love bombing" trend—an attempt to influence a person or their decisions by demonstrations of extreme attention and affection. 
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What are the signs of love bombing?

It’s difficult to spot when it’s happening because in that moment of flattery, you really want to believe that the love bomber means every word they say. But from my experience with them, the bigger the words, the smaller the action. They would always promise the moon and the stars, but would fail to keep the smallest of commitments.
How to spot love bombing
I dated an older guy last year who made sure the first two weeks into our relationship were pure bliss. He would bend over backwards with his busy schedule to spend time with me, would cook for me or tell me how lucky he felt sitting across from me in a restaurant. But when I told him I wasn’t ready for sex yet and needed more time, his entire act dropped and it was like the person I knew in the first two weeks didn’t exist at all.  
"I used to be so fixated on those moments of pure bliss. I demanded closure"
That’s the thing with love bombing. The pace is so unsustainable that no one can keep it going for a long time. Eventually the truth comes out. But what’s hard for the victims is accepting that they have been love bombed. I used to be so fixated on those moments of pure bliss. I demanded closure. We were so perfect two weeks or 24 hours ago. He couldn’t stop complimenting me, so what changed? I would obsess: Did I do something wrong?
Determining the purpose behind love bombing could get exhausting. For some men, the end goal was sex, while for others it was approval through emotional dependency. 

Trust people's actions, not their words

But with time, and therapy, I realised that I was not responsible for other people’s actions and hence, stopped banging my head trying to figure out why they did what they did. 
So this summer, when I met a guy from Hinge and we spent six hours together talking about our life, fears and traumas, only to have him ghost me the next day, despite him continuously telling me in texts that he couldn’t wait to see me next, I reached a state of acceptance that I hadn’t quite mastered before. 
Love bombing
At first, it was hard not to react or demand closure. After all, there were moments during our date where he had revealed such deep personal stuff that I thought he was going to cry. We definitely had a connection. My fingers were itching to type, “Haven’t heard from you in a while, hope everything’s okay.” But I resisted that urge. If there’s anything my past experiences have taught me, it’s that I needed to train my brain to trust actions rather than words.  
"I knew that if I were to survive in a world full of love bombers, trusting my gut instinct is the only tool I have"
As much as I wanted to give him the benefit of doubt, I knew that if I were to survive in a world full of love bombers, trusting my gut instinct is the only tool I have. A week later, my flatmate suggested that I should text him. “Maybe something happened. Maybe he got ill or had an accident?” he suggested. So when I opened his profile on the app to text him, I noticed he had changed his profile pictures. And that was all the closure I needed.  
That was the last time I ever tried to make sense of love bombers. 
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