By Chris Seiter

Published on September 19th, 2022

Today I’d like to have an honest discussion on love bombing and breakups.

I’m actually of the opinion, that if you are utilizing a strategy like the no contact rule you may be more likely to see love bombing type behaviors from an ex.

So I think it’s important for you to understand,

  1. Why They Do It
  2. How To Tell If Their Overtures Are Authentic

There’s a lot to cover here so let’s just jump right into it.

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What Is Love Bombing Exactly?

Generally when I refer to someone “Love Bombing” I’m talking about,

Their tendency to overwhelm new partners with compliments, gifts, attention and praise in order to gain affection or commitment early in a relationship

Some of the most common examples of this include,

  • Buying you gifts, excessively
  • Saying “I love you” really quickly
  • Wanting to move too fast

So, that’s love bombing but only for general people. If you are reading this article it means you probably aren’t in a normal situation. You are probably in the midst of reeling from a breakup. Love bombing can actually change when you are dealing with an ex.

So, what does an ex “love bombing” actually look like?

Well, the general idea remains the same. They are going to shower you with gifts, attention and praise but their reasons for doing so may differ.

And that’s where this conversation becomes really interesting.

What if I were to tell you that there are really only four motives for why people love bomb.

Understanding Why An Ex Would Love Bomb

When I was researching for this topic I came across this great article written by Dianne Grande Ph.D.

She argues that there are four main motives for why people love bomb.

  1. Growing Up With An Affectionate Family
  2. Loneliness And A Desire For A Relationship To Develop Quickly
  3. The “On Hold” Approach
  4. Desire To Manipulate/Take Advantage

So, the original question I put forth is how can you tell which of these “reasons” are most accurate for your ex?

Well, that’s where you have to play a bit of a detective game and think outside the box.

Here’s how to do it.

Let’s take each of the motives and talk a bit about them so we can come to a better understanding of who is most likely to exhibit them. So, here’s how I’ll be breaking down the rest of this article.

I’m going to take a few paragraphs to really dig in and explain how the motives work and then at the end of that explanation I’ll list out the most likely candidate to actually exhibit the motive.

Let’s first start with the affectionate family.

Motive #1: Growing Up With An Affectionate Family

It shouldn’t be of any shock that this motive rounds out the top of our list.

After all, one of the psychological components that’s essential to our program is our belief in attachment styles which stems from childhood bonds. Imagine for a moment you grew up in a family full of love and affection.

Things like,

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  • Giving gifts
  • Expressing feelings
  • Saying “I love you.”

Are normal to you. In fact, since you grew up in this environment those things extend to all your relationships. It’s what you consider to be normal.

Weirdly, the first thing that came to mind when I was thinking about this was Plato’s Allegory Of The Cave,

In his allegory of the cave, Plato argued that life is like being chained up in a cave, forced to watch shadows flit against a stone wall. Imagine that your entire life was lived in this cave. You have no knowledge of the outside world, no knowledge of anything except the shadows you see flitting across the wall of your cave, your shadows, which are created by a fire behind you.

One day, you are freed. You escape the cave and are find yourself in the outside world.

New colors

New perceptions

They all overcome your senses and you realize that the world is so much more complex than you had perceived it in the shadows. You go back to the cave to tell your other fellow prisoners of what beauty exists in the outside world but you aren’t believed.

The other prisoners attack you. They call you a liar.

This is life, Plato argues.

Kind of a gloomy ending but look at it from the perspective of the overly affectionate person. To them, they’ve lived their whole life in a cave full of affection. Surrounded by a family that only taught them with affection. It would make sense that love bombing is the norm for them.

Who Is Most Likely To Exhibit This Motive?

  • Someone who has an overly affectionate family
  • They will also treat others this way (outside of their relationship with you)
  • This is also perhaps the rarest type of motive you’ll see around love bombing
  • It does prove that not all love bombing has ill intentions behind it thought

Motive #2: Loneliness And A Desire For A New Relationship To Form Quickly

Usually you see this motive when someone has been alone for a long time and usually it’s not by their own choice.

They want nothing more than to “be in love” and so when they start dating someone new they overdo it because they are terrified of losing that connection. They love bomb out of desperation.

Generally what we find is that this type of motive coincides with anxious attachment styles.

If you haven’t watched any of my stuff on attachment styles I highly recommend you do so,

The one attachment style I really want to highlight here is the anxious attachment style. One of the things I’m always quick to point out is that it’s best to view attachment style in terms of core wounds.

For an anxious attachment style the core wound is going to revolve around a fear of abandonment.

This is what often triggers desperate type of behavior and certain can cause an individual to love bomb.

Who Is Most Likely To Exhibit This Motive

  • Someone who has a hard time getting a boyfriend or girlfriend in the first place
  • Introverted individuals
  • Someone with an anxious attachment style
  • They love bomb out of desperation and usually have no ill intent other than not wanting to lose you to someone else

Motive #3: The On Hold Approach

Here’s where we get to the more deceitful love bombing approaches.

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And I’m going to go ahead and point out avoidant individuals for this one (but more on that in a second.) The way this one works is simple. The love bomber isn’t exactly sure if they want to commit to you just yet so they put you “on hold.” Which in this particular instance is just a fancy way of saying they use love bombing to hook you while they “figure things out.”

The real life equivalent of this can best be explained by telling you the story of one of my clients.

So, when I first started my coaching practice back in 2016 I ended up getting hired by this woman who was desperate to get her current boyfriend to commit to her on a deeper level. My client and her boyfriend had been dating for a few years but he had yet to take any major steps forward to prove to her he was committed beyond being just friends with benefits.

  • She wanted to get married.
  • She wanted to meet his daughter (he wouldn’t let her after dating for years)
  • I think you get the idea

The more my client would tell me about her situation the more my mind kept settling on avoidant attachment styles.

Someone with an avoidant attachment style wants a secure relationship but they don’t want to let anyone close enough because they are terrified of being emotionally vulnerable.

Anyways, my clients boyfriend had all these clever tricks to keep her invested (to keep her on hold.)

One of his favorites was to take her out ring shopping.

You know, where you go to a jewelry store and look at engagement rings. Of course, he’d never buy her the engagement rings but every time he did it he would give her false hope. He’d find a way to keep her invested while he could continue to get all the benefits of a relationship without the actual commitment needed.

Who Is Most Likely To Exhibit This Motive

  • Someone who has an avoidant attachment style
  • Someone who perpetually has you as a friends with benefits or stuck in relationship limbo
  • On again/off again couples

Motive #4: A Desire To Manipulate And Take Advantage

Love bombing within this motive is often going to be done by individuals who have devious motivations and it’ll usually be done in three phases.

  1. Adoration: The love bombing takes place
  2. Punishment: You are punished for not reacting to the love bombing the way they want you to
  3. Discarding: Breaking up/ ghosting

In my experience people do this when they’ve fallen into a pattern of seeing it work. It’s similar to how con artists work.

  • Find a mark
  • Love bomb
  • Take what they want
  • Discard
  • Rinse and repeat

And yes, for the most part love bombers who do this are looking for only physical benefits of a partnership but sometimes they’ll look for financial benefits as well. Perhaps the most disturbing part of this is that they’ve gotten really good at the initial love bombing part.

They move from relationship to relationship, taking what they want.

It’s the same way pickup artists work. Except instead they use things like “negs” and “backhanded compliments” to achieve success. These people have learned the right strings to pull for love bombing to work. They know your insecurities and prey on them.

My only piece of advice if you think you are dating or have an ex who is love bombing you in this way is to point you to my words vs. actions approach to understanding authenticity.

If you suspect an ex or a partner is love bombing you take their words and see how often they line up with their actions.

If there is a disconnect that means they probably aren’t being authentic.

If there isn’t a disconnect then great, they probably are being authentic.

Who Is Most Likely To Exhibit This Motive

  • Individuals interested in physical benefits
  • Individuals interested in financial benefits
  • Exes who want to see if they can get you back for the fun of it
  • They make calculated statements about your insecurities

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