Oh, breadcrumbing. The sweet trail of promised dreams. It sounds like a delightful term, but it’s not exactly that. Rather, it is another term in the dating world, particularly the digital dating world that might be happening to you, or (dramatic pause) is something you do. Gasp! If you don’t know what breadcrumbing means, here’s a breakdown for both those leaving the trail (because we should all be on some self-reflection energy) and for those who are following it hopefully.
Breadcrumbing is a “dating phenomenon in which someone ‘flirts’ or sends communications that lead you into thinking ‘maybe they do want me’, periodically to keep you interested, but doesn’t actually intend on committing or putting in much effort.
It’s leading you on in short, but a little more complicated in the context of the digital era, where constant access to each other is ever-present. In the good ol’ days cutting someone out of your life was a lot easier. Now, we have phones that at any moment, could relay a message from that one person.
Now, breadcrumbing is not love-bombing or ghosting per se, but somewhere in between. Love bombing is everything you want all at once and too quickly, ghosting is slowly stepping out of the situation with no explanation. Breadcrumbing is providing little sparks of love or interest, only to disappear after, and then reappear. Sounds like something your ex is doing? They probably are.
Here are some examples of breadcrumbing, for both my breadcrummers and those following the path (you shouldn’t accept the behaviour).
You give them more attention than they give you, but when you pull away they’re suddenly as present as ever.
Why: Well, they feel like you’re not interested anymore which somehow piques their interest. Tale as old as time.
- They drop lovely little hints that make you think they want to be with you. ‘Maybe one day?’ or ‘we have an undeniable connection.’ Okay fabulous Johnny, but when is one day? Yes, we have a connection and then? Keywords here: And then?
Why: They’re putting thoughts in your head to keep you on the trail.
- They make promises they don’t follow through with. “Can we see each other next week?” Next week cruises onto the scene with no word from the person. This happens multiple times, followed by an array of creative excuses.
The reasons for this one are different. Sometimes people really do get busy. However, if it’s a consistent pattern, then bestie, they could be breadcrumbing you.
- They will slide in with affectionate comments or compliments sometimes, and then cha-cha slide away only to do the same thing over and over. The cycle. Persists.
Why: They don’t want you to forget about them.
Alright, these are ringing some annoying bells. But why are people breadcrummers?
There are a few reasons people breadcrumb. For the person going through it, here’s a little more insight. Take what resonates based on the person and your situation.
- They just aren’t sure. There’s definitely something they like about you, but they’re still testing the waters. They’re not always trying to hurt you. (Particularly true for newer connections).
- They just need an ego-boost and you’re their go-to (This has never been cool, will never be cool).
- They don’t want to hurt your feelings because they know how you feel (Sometimes politeness goes too far my unaware breadcrummers).
- They were just lonely (again, never been cool).
- They want to keep a connection with you for future possibilities (this mostly applies to exes who don’t know what they want right now/have regrets but still aren’t sure about actually getting together).
- They’re scared of commitment. Listen, commitment issues are as real and sad as Drake’s song Marvin’s Room. However, you have to note that it’s not your responsibility to fix those issues. You can’t make someone love you by loving them harder. Read that again.
- They miss you but don’t know how to say it clearly (again, louder for the exes in the back.)
- It’s a booty-call chat. (They’re giving you what they think you want to hear, but their motives are all toward the frisk).
If you’re being breadcrumbed, you might feel an obscure sense of self-worth, stupid or even used. None of that kings and queens! This kind of behaviour is not on you but on the breadcrummer. It’s absolutely okay to call someone out on it. Be clear, tell them you’re not in the mood for games and see what happens.
Picture: Pinterest/ Antona Bonasia