How to Handle Breadcrumbing in Dating


Nowadays, during the rapid development of new technologies and dating sites, there are many trends of fake love. Some people use online dating services not to find love, but to manipulate and deceive other people. Today we are going to talk about breadcrumbing dating trend, give tips on how to recognize and deal with breadcrumbing. Firstly, let’s find out what does breadcrumbing mean?

What is breadcrumbing?

Breadcrumbing is such a behavior of a person who pays just enough attention to another person to sustain their hopes for a romantic relationship but never makes any effort to its implementation. This is an absolutely conscious line of behavior that is used to lure the victim with periodic attention, flattery, and some intrigue, and then disappear for a while or snub a person who loves such a breadcrumber. This is a play for control and domination. For example, a person sends a series of flirting and promising messages in order to interest the victim and leave them standby.

signs of breadcrumbing

The difference between ghosting and breadcrumbing

The term ghosting describes a situation when two people meet, communicate intimately, spend time together, have a liking for each other, maybe even make plans and hope for a shared future. But surprisingly, one of them suddenly disappears from the life of their recent companion. This person seems to cease to exist: doesn’t respond to messages, ignores calls, and blocks contacts on social networks. Moreover, it’s worth emphasizing that they disappear without any explanation. After several attempts to contact the disappeared partner, the victim finally realizes that he/she is abandoned and betrayed forever. But it isn’t the worst thing, there is even more inappropriate behavior.

Breadcrumbing is even worse than just disappearing, because this behavior even looks a bit sadistic. In fact, this is the slow and painful death of a relationship. Unlike ghosting, the person doesn’t leave but continues to keep the victim on the hook. They don’t definitively sever relationships with their partner but keep them off, occasionally giving them only the "crumbs" of attention: phone SMS, pictures, emoticons, or different messages on social networks with hints of a meeting that will never take place.

What is breadcrumbing in a relationship? Sometimes you may get the impression that breadcrumbers are just indecisive, afraid to make a date or start a relationship, but it isn’t true. Most often, they just please their self-esteem, playing on the heartstrings of other people. This is their way to raise self-esteem and brighten up leisure.

A common thing about ghosting and breadcrumbing is that a person can’t tell to the face of their partner that they no longer have any interest in them and don’t want to continue the relationship. Being afraid of honest confession, a breadcrumber prefers to cowardly escape.

Of course, telling a person that you no longer want to have anything in common with them is scary and difficult. We all try to avoid embarrassing situations, especially if they cause pain. But it isn’t fair to be a ghoster or a breadcrumber for at least three reasons:

1. Uncertainty is scary. Breaking up with a person believing that an intimate talk will hurt them is cowardly. So it will become easier only to the one who leaves but not to the one who is abandoned. Uncertainty is far worse than the truth.

2. Neither conclusions nor experience. To explain to a person the reason why you no longer want to communicate with him isn’t only honest but also useful. All in all, after the relationship ends, there is some experience left. To voice the reason for the breakup is the best thing that one can do for a partner whom you have decided to leave.

what is breadcrumbing in dating3. There is no trace of respect. Unfortunately, some people consider it possible to show disrespect for those with whom they have recently had close relationships, or they just enjoyed chatting, even if only for a short time. You need to respect the person if you chose them. To respect means to be honest and not to be afraid to take responsibility for your decisions.

Let’s discover some facts about breadcrumbing psychology. Why do some people behave in this way? The reasons are numerous. The most common one is an attempt to brighten up the monotonous life by the communication with a potential victim. Or a person is too tired of numerous contacts with people in everyday life and wants to flirt and correspond with someone without any responsibility. Perhaps such person isn’t ready for an intimate relationship, because it requires too much strength and energy, but they still want attention. Or maybe they are afraid to show their true, sincere feelings and emotions as they consider it a manifestation of weakness.

Why do such phenomena as ghosting and breadcrumbing arise in human relationships? First of all, because some people lose their ability to empathize and don’t know how to put themselves in the other person's shoes. Such a person doesn’t think that the one who was abandoned feels terrible and doesn’t understand why it happened, what was wrong. Turning away and leaving without explanation or manipulating others is much easier and more comfortable than building honest relationships.

The saddest consequence of ghosting and breadcrumbing is the ruined self-esteem of those who are abandoned or manipulated. Such situations are much more dangerous than the usual face to face breakup. How can one recognize this manipulative tactic?

Breadcrumbing signs

A partner sends you sudden messages

You get unexpected and inconsistent messages from a person that confuse you and even make you a little panic. They write to you every few days, but only on “their own conditions” in order to raise self-esteem and continue to hold you. You accept this behavior, which is why your self-esteem begins to suffer.

Their messages don’t make sense

Usually, their messages contain only some banal phrases like “what are you doing?” or “how are you?” There is no sense, and the partner simply reminds of their existence and presence in your life without any seriousness.

Their messages are vague and diffuse

You can never understand what their messages really mean. For example, they hint that you should meet in person, but never make concrete plans. And this is a very clear signal that you are kept on a short leash. It’s one of the most discernible signs of breadcrumbing.

They always want to be nearby

This person wants to keep you close, but without any obligations. Maybe your relationship began brightly and you had a great time together, but now you are just on a leash without any clear perspective. Don’t delude yourself: it isn’t a real relationship.

They are very evasive

Such a person always says "I don’t like strong affection and commitment." Although it may be true, it’s more likely that this is exactly breadcrumbing. Usually, this behavior is combined with occasional sudden messages and the desire to keep you on the hook. You must be constantly interested in this person, but they keep you from getting too close. This person regularly “probes” the prospect, but never makes a date.

You wonder what you have done wrong

Every time when between their messages passes a long period of time, you are at a loss and wonder what you have done wrong. Of course, you didn’t do anything at all, but the essence of breadcrumbing is to plant a seed of doubt in your mind.

signs of breadcrumbingThey always feel when you are almost ready to break up with them

When you finally give up hope, this person begins to feel your absence. And they suddenly loom on the horizon. Now the game begins again with even greater flattery and even more seductive lures. The manipulator again forges relationships so that you don’t leave forever.

Night messages

Throughout the day, your partner has the opportunity to send you a message, but for some reason, they prefer to write late in the evening or at night. Remember, they really don’t want you - they just want to make their play. This person continues to cause disorder in your life and twist the knife. It’s unlikely that they really think of you so gently in the middle of the night.

Passive-aggressive behavior

If you try to resist breadcrumbing, the partner becomes defensive and passive-aggressive. This is a sure sign that they try to manipulate you, but you blow up all their plans.

How to respond to breadcrumbing

There is no universal way to avoid manipulation because you can understand the true intentions of a person only in the process of communication. But there is something that will help you get rid of the influence of a breadcrumber – your self-esteem. Many girls continue to communicate with a man who uses them not because they are too stupid to realize what is happening. They hope that they have made a mistake somewhere and wait for the decisive step from the guy. Common sense tells them - why would a man show attention if he is not interested in me? Unfortunately, there are a lot of such guys and girls should know how to handle breadcrumbing. And if you suspect that you’ve become the victim of a breadcrumber - immediately break up such a relationship.

The best thing you can do to protect yourself from such deceptions is to work on yourself. It’s necessary to develop clear-eyed understanding, be able to protect yourself from other people's manipulations, not to live in a fool's paradise, not to be gullible and over-sensitive. Also, you need to improve your mental strength in order not to become a victim of those who like to pull at your heartstrings for pleasure and ambition.

Now, you know what breadcrumbing in dating is and how to deal with someone who is breadcrumbing you. We wish you good luck in the search for a true love within the boundlessness sea of the Internet!

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