Divorcee Accuses Herself of ‘Love Bombing’

By Amy Dickinson | August 5th, 2022

Could she have been sabotaging her own happiness for all these years?

After three divorces, a 65-year-old woman suspects she’s been ‘love bombing’ and sabotaging her own happiness. See what Ask Amy advises. Image

After three divorces and other unsuccessful love relationships, a 65-year-old woman suspects she’s been ‘love bombing’ and sabotaging her own happiness. See what Amy Dickinson advises in this issue of Ask Amy.

Dear Amy:

I’m a 65-year-old woman. I’ve been divorced three times now, and have also had a couple of other serious love relationships – all unsuccessful.

I’m single now and trying to understand what I’ve been doing wrong.

Understand, I’m the one doing the leaving every single time, so my “excuse” has been that I have a “broken picker,” but that sounds like BS – even to me.

I was reading your column and the topic of “love bombing” came up.

That’s me! That’s what I do!

I even caught myself love-bombing last week! Some drunken idiot had started flirting with me at a bar, and even as I was thinking to myself “What a fool this guy is,” I was practically fawning over him, doing the whole hanging-on-every-word, oh-aren’t-you-fascinating response.

What the heck?

In that moment I recognized my pattern of meeting an interested man, “reeling him in” with all that flattery and attention, and then realizing he’s a totally inappropriate fit and discarding him, often only after years and years of misery.

What is wrong with me and how do I stop?!

I’ve wasted nearly my entire life in this self-sabotaging behavior, and I just want to scream, and hang my head in shame.

I’m hoping you have some wisdom for me.


Dear Yikes:

Barroom epiphanies can be extremely powerful, but the point of enlightenment is not to waste time beating up on yourself, but to take the insight and the wisdom forward in order to make some changes.

My take on your behavior is that you are probably already very charming and appealing, even when you’re not overwhelming your male prey. My theory is that when you apply your charm with a fire hose, you fall in love – with yourself.

Your behavior seems on the surface to be all about the other person, but it’s really all about you.

I suggest that when you realize that you are actually “enough,” you’ll stop lobbing your lovely love bombs at every man in sight.

Try this: Stop doing that, and see how it feels! This would require that you deliberately suppress your overwhelming charm, stop leaning in, handle the anxiety that goes along with being quiet, and see if you still love yourself if you put the pin back into the love grenade and do more active listening.

Listen to an idiot for five minutes, and you’ll know he’s an idiot. You won’t need to marry him and then reject him years later. In the process, you’ll build up a residual affection for yourself and confidence in your own discernment.

Ask a friend to remind you to reel yourself in. A wingwoman would really help to keep you honest.

Also, need it be said? Therapy.

Want to get even more life tips from Amy? Read more of her advice columns here!

In the tradition of the great personal advice columnists, Chicago Tribune’s Amy Dickinson is a plainspoken straight shooter who relates to readers of all ages. She answers personal questions by addressing issues from both her head and her heart – ranging from a woman love bombing her way through life to DNA surprises. A solid reporter, Dickinson researches her topics to provide readers with informed opinions and answers. Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068

© 2022 by Amy Dickinson

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