Don’t Settle for Breadcrumbs: How to Handle Breadcrumbing in Modern Dating


What is Breadcrumbing?

Can you recall a time when someone you liked made you feel desired one minute, then disappear in the next? It can be confusing and disheartening, and you’re left wondering what went wrong.

This confusing behavior is called breadcrumbing, and it’s becoming all too common in modern dating. In this article, we will break down what breadcrumbing is, and offer you some tips on how to handle it.

Breadcrumbing is a manipulative dating behavior where someone gives you only vague bits of attention, just enough to keep you interested, but never enough to take things to the next level.

The term ‘breadcrumb’ describes the small crumbs of attention or validation given to someone and then taken back. Breadcrumbing can happen through text messages, social media, or in-person interactions.

It’s often a result of undetermined selfish desires, where someone is leading you on for their own benefit.

Is Breadcrumbing a Type of Abuse?

Emotional abuse means using behavior to control others through manipulation, and breadcrumbing fits this description. By leading you on and not committing, a person who engages in breadcrumbing is not only playing with your emotions, but they’re also quite likely to crush your self-esteem.

Additionally, it hinders your ability to move on and the constant inconsistency can take a toll on your mental health.

Signs of Breadcrumbing

There are several ways that breadcrumbing can manifest. Here are some signs to watch out for:

  1. Inconsistency

  2. Postponed dates

  3. Playing the victim

  4. Odd hour communication

  5. Temporary change

  6. Ambiguous messages

  7. No substance in relationship

  8. Breadcrumbing via various channels

  9. Making you feel bad

  10. Always wanting sex

Examples of Breadcrumbing

  1. Asking pointless questions

  2. Using flirty emojis

  3. Engaging social media posts

  4. Making plans, canceling them

It’s essential to keep an eye on the signs to avoid falling victim to breadcrumbing.

How to Handle Breadcrumbing

Now that we understand what breadcrumbing means and the signs to watch out for let’s talk about handling it:

  1. Discuss with Them

    The first thing to do is to bring it to their attention.

    Honest and open communication is always the crucial first step. They might not know that what they’re doing is breadcrumbing you, so it’s important to give them the chance to apologize and change.

  2. Cut Ties with Them

    If the person continues breadcrumbing or isn’t willing to change, it’s best to cut ties with them.

    Separating from a toxic person can do wonders for your emotional and mental wellbeing. Focus on other people who genuinely care about you and your feelings.

  3. Be Honest with Yourself

    Sometimes, in the initial stages of dating, we get so wrapped up in the idea of the perfect relationship that we miss all the signs of breadcrumbing.

    It’s important to keep our eyes open so that we can see people for who they genuinely are.

  4. Ignore Their Tactics

    Turning a blind eye to breadcrumbing is also an option. If they’re not giving you the attention you deserve, don’t play into their hands.

    Ignore their messages, posts, and any other communication that might trigger your emotions.

  5. Beat Them at their Game

    Playing along with breadcrumbing can be a way of taking control of the situation. Provide a balance between their attention and your involvement.

    That way, they’ll know that you’re not a pushover and that you deserve better.

  6. Have Dates with Other People

    Breaking free from breadcrumbing starts with meeting new people. You’ll feel more empowered, confident, and open to new possibilities than staying put in a dead-end situation.

  7. Respect Yourself

    Lastly, never forget that you deserve the best.

    You should be with someone who cares and cherishes you, not someone who plays mind games.

In conclusion, breadcrumbing is a manipulative behavior that we need to avoid if we want healthy, fulfilling relationships.

Understanding the signs of breadcrumbing and how to handle it can help us protect our wellbeing and stay in control of our dating lives. So the next time you’re unsure if someone’s leading you on, remember these tips to protect yourself from the effects of breadcrumbing.

In conclusion, Breadcrumbing is a concerning behavior that can leave us feeling hurt, frustrated, and betrayed. By understanding the signs of breadcrumbing and how to deal with it, we can take charge of our dating lives and avoid emotionally manipulative situations.

Whether we choose to cut ties with toxic people, discuss with them, or take control of the narrative, we must always respect ourselves and prioritize our well-being. Remember that everyone deserves a healthy, loving relationship built on honesty, respect, and trust.

So don’t settle for breadcrumbs when you deserve a whole feast.

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