What is Breadcrumbing in Dating?


In today’s article, we will answer many important questions that will help a lot of people that struggle because someone is breadcrumbing them. These being: what is breadcrumbing in a relationship, what are the signs of it and how to deal with someone who is breadcrumbing you.

breadcrumbing signs

What is Breadcrumbing

What is breadcrumbing in dating? This is a type of behavior of a person who pays just enough attention to the other person to maintain his/her hope for a relationship, but never to put any effort into its implementation. He/she doesn’t interrupt the relationship with their partner, but he/she doesn’t allow you to get close to him/her, occasionally giving you “crumbs” of attention: text messages, pictures, emoticons, small talk over social networks with hints of a date that will never take place. And then again – silence.

Sometimes you may get the impression that breadcrumbers are just indecisive, afraid to arrange a date or start a relationship, but this is not true. Most often, they just entertain their self-esteem, playing with the feelings of other people. They have such a way to increase self-esteem and brighten up their day this way.

Why is breadcrumbing dating trend so popular? There are many reasons. The most common - an attempt to brighten up the monotonous life in a way that is not binding, that tickles the feelings of communication with another person. Or a person is too tired from numerous contacts with people in everyday life, and he/she wants to flirt and text with someone, but without any responsibility. Perhaps he/she is not ready for proper relationships, because he/she has to expend too much energy and effort, but he/she still wants attention. Or maybe he/she is afraid to show his true, sincere feelings and emotions, because he/she considers this a manifestation of weakness.

As we’ve already answered the question of what does breadcrumbing mean, many often confuse it with ghosting, yet they are very much different things.

The Difference Between Ghosting and Breadcrumbing

So, “ghosting” describes a situation when two people meet, communicate closely, spend time quite regularly together, perhaps even hope for a shared future and make plans, and suddenly one of them disappears from the sight of his/her recent partner. This person (a man or a woman) seems to cease to exist: does not respond to messages, ignores calls, blocks contacts on social networks. Moreover, we emphasize that a person disappears without any explanation. After several attempts to contact the disappeared person, the abandoned poor fellow finally realizes that they have been left forever, abandoned, betrayed. It is not difficult to guess in what state the ghosted one is in.

They ghost, that is, they ignore and leave without explanation: all passions are flushed down the toilet, they do not care for what a person feels, what a person will feel when he/she gets ghosted. Breadcrumbing, meanwhile, is when your communication continues, yet it is not going anywhere.

what is breadcrumbing in datingBreadcrumbing Signs

The following are the most common signs of breadcrumbing:

1. Inconsistent communication

First and the most obvious of the breadcrumbing signs. You get unexpected and inconsistent messages from a person that confuse you and even make you panic a little. He/she writes to you once every few days, but only on “his/her own conditions” in order to amuse his ego and continue to hold you. You accept this behavior, which is why your self-esteem begins to suffer.

2. His messages do not make sense

Usually, this is just a text with the banal phrase “what are you doing?” Or “how are you?”. The messages do not make sense, and the partner simply reminds of their existence and presence in your life without any seriousness.

3. His/her messages are vague and foggy

You can never understand what the messages really mean. For example, he/she hints that you need to communicate, but never makes concrete plans. And this is a very eloquent signal that you are simply kept on a short leash.

4. He/she always wants to be somewhere nearby

You want to keep close, but without any obligations. Maybe your relationship began brightly: you had fun and had a great time together, but now you are just on a leash without any clear perspective. Do not be fooled: this is not a real relationship. You are kept as a backup, just in case.

5. He/she is very evasive

Such a person always pursues their own line "I do not like strong affection and commitment." Although this may be true, it is more likely that this is just Breadcrumbing. Usually this behavior is combined with occasional messages and the desire to keep you hooked. You must be constantly interested in this partner, but you are not allowed to go too close. This person regularly “probes” the prospect of you being “datable”, but never arranges an actual date.

6. You feel confusion and discomfort

When you get his/her message, you are confused and feel downright ill. Your heart is not in place, and every time you experience an unconscious anxiety from such contacts.

7. You ask yourself if you did anything wrong

Every time there is a long pause between messages, you are perplexed and reflect on what you did wrong. Of course, you didn’t do anything at all, but the essence of breadcrumbing is to sow doubt in you.

8. He/she always feels when you are almost ready to break the relationship

When you finally give up hope, this person gets your feelings with a sixth sense of some kind. And it suddenly floats on your horizon. Now the game begins again with even greater flattery and even more seductive lures. The manipulator will again establish contacts so that you will not slip away forever.

9. Messages at night

Throughout the day, your partner has the opportunity to send you a message, but for some reason, they prefer to write late at evening or at night. Remember, he/she really does not want you – he/she just wants to continue to play this game. The person continues to make confusion in your life and cause heartache. It is unlikely that they really think of you at 3 o'clock in the morning.

10. Passive-aggressive behavior

If you are trying to resist breadcrumbing, the partner becomes defensive and passive-aggressive. And this is a sure sign that he/she is trying to manipulate you, and you ruin all his/her plans.

How to Respond to Breadcrumbing

Are you obsessed with a person who already has a partner? Your actions? We will assume that the actions of “to drink, to cry, to hope” have already been considered and done, and it is time to move on to something more constructive. But we will tell you how to respond to breadcrumbing to cope with emotions and move on.

breadcrumbing dating trendSo, how to deal with breadcrumbing?

1. Avoid unnecessary interactions

You were struck by a deadly virus, and only the person with whom you are in love has the cure - this is the right interaction and a good reason to meet with the object of affection. In other cases, that person is not necessary for your life. If you managed to fall in love with a colleague, and you cannot avoid seeing each other - distance yourself. Be friendly, but not overly friendly. You do not forbid yourself to talk to them, but try to reduce emotional attachment.

2. Do not follow them on social networks

Deleting from friends is not necessary, but try to pay less attention to his/her updates. Save emotions for more important things than Internet stalking. Viewing his/her page can be useful only in one case: to make sure that he/she and the new partner are doing well and you are whining. Put away your smartphone and start a normal life. Know your own worth.

3. Take a break

How to handle breadcrumbing? Do not try to be friends or such. As breadcrumbing psychology practice shows, rejected people are asking to be friend-zoned in order to preserve the illusion of at least some kind of relationship. In fact, while there are romantic feelings, friendship will only aggravate your condition. There is no cure for unrequited love, but there is a universal way to survive bad times. Here you need to act the same way as with any other pain - switch attention.

Take on something new, go on a trip, take more work. If you are ready - go on a date with a new person. Do everything to distract yourself from the thought of hypothetical happiness with this person. If fate brings you together again, your full and happy life will not hurt you.

4. Do not blame their new partner

In many romantic comedies, the girlfriend of the best guy out there is a disgusting manipulator with a set of vices but has a spectacular appearance. She is the only thing that prevents the heroes to be together. In real life, the girlfriend of your ex-lover is just a woman, not the cause of your unhappiness. Switching negative emotions to an opponent makes it impossible to move forward, prevents you from assessing the situation adequately. If a person had feelings for you – he/she would be near you right now. Find the strength to admit that he/she is a little more complicated than the puppy who lost his mother and warmed up to the neighbor's cat. This is his/her deliberate choice, not the vicissitudes of fate.

5. See the positives

There is something positive about the fact that you will not be together. This is especially true when a partner flirts with you without embarrassing his/her unfree status. Having received the drunken text message that he/she will always remember how much fun you had, congratulate yourself on the fact that this is not your partner, he/she is just pathetic. You avoided a relationship with a potential cheater - is this not a miracle?

6. Set solid physical boundaries

It is a pity that feelings are not as logical as your thoughts, and to be glad that you are not a partner of a cheater is not enough. If you’re afraid that the temptation of physical contact with this partner will arise - do not create intimate situations. Do not hug him/her supposedly in a friendly way, be careful with alcohol, if you relax together, step back if you see his/her lips close to your face.

Observance on the distance is necessary first of all for you in order to avoid the feeling of guilt and not to become a victim of partner’s manipulations. If he/she is in a relationship but continues to give you signs of attention, then ignore or ban him/her.

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