Breadcrumbing is a manipulation tactic whereby a person gives you just the right amount of attention, time and compliments to keep you interested in them. Breadcrumbing occurs typically online or on social media platforms. The breadcrumbs are the messages someone frequently sends that are mostly flirty to maintain your attention even though they may not have feelings for you.
Signs of Breadcrumbing
In the past, people adhered to traditional dating forms, making it easier to know if someone was interested in you. Today, however, with the emergence of social media and online dating platforms, it has become difficult to tell if the person you like shares the same feelings as you. Since breadcrumbing occurs through text, you might find it hard to tell if someone is leading you on. A person can be identified as a breadcrumber if they exhibit the following signs.
They Avoid Meetups or Always Have Excuses
The exciting part about getting to know someone new is spending time with them doing various activities. If you notice that your crush or partner consistently talks to you but avoids making plans to meet up, or they make plans but give constant excuses last minute, you are dealing with a breadcrumber.
They Avoid Revealing Much About their Life
Breadcrumbers tend to share very little about their lives, especially during the early stages of getting to know each other, to make you feel closer to them. As time goes by, they end up sharing less and less, and you realize that you don’t know so much about them.
They are Either Hot or Cold with You
When dealing with a breadcrumber, you will likely notice that there are times when they respond consistently to your messages and other times they vanish. Immediately they feel like the bond is crumbling; they come back and start the cycle again to convince you that they are still interested.
Your Conversation Cycle has No Substance
When you are getting to know someone, there is always so much to talk about. However, when it comes to breadcrumbers, you will realize your conversations seem shallow. They never bother to ask or talk about your life, and you often end up feeling like you are carrying the entire conversation.
They Keep You Hooked through Different Platforms
If you notice that your partner takes time to respond to your texts but is always online and liking your photos or story posts on other platforms, they are likely to be a breadcrumber. They use this tactic to ensure that you are constantly thinking about them.
They are Primarily Interested in Sex
Breadcrumbers find it hard to plan meetups, but when they do, it mainly involves having sex. They will likely suggest you meet at a hotel or their place in the evening when they know you will likely want to spend the night. During your meetup, they might end up being vulnerable but only for a moment. By the time you leave, everything will be back to normal.
They Make you Feel Bad during Meetups
As much as breadcrumbers are flirty and tend to compliment you occasionally, they can also ruin your mood during a hangout. They do this by comparing you to their exes, pointing out your flaws, or even making a list of things you can do/ change to satisfy them.
Reasons why people Breadcrumb
There is no one explanation for why people give you breadcrumbs. Your partner or crush may choose to do it because:
They Want to Boost their Ego
Being given attention is one of the most exciting feelings. It makes you feel important and worthy, especially when you are feeling low. In relationships, the one who loves more always places their partner on a pedestal. Breadcrumbers take advantage of this to boost their confidence, especially with their crushes or partners.
Dating is Not their Priority At the Moment
Someone might like you but may choose to prioritize other aspects of their life like their career, dreams or health. However, because they enjoy your company or attention and may not be ready to commit, they string you along just to keep you around.
They have Commitment Issues
Choosing to date someone is a commitment, and some people may not be ready to dive into it, maybe because of a bad breakup or fear of being too attached. Therefore, they give you the attention you want without labels, either to keep you around for sex or to have someone to talk to.
They are Dating Multiple People at A Time
Breadcrumbing is a sure way to keep your options open. A person might feel conflicted about their feelings for you, and so they choose to lead you on until they decide whether you are the one, they want to commit to fully. It might also be because they enjoy the considerable attention.
How to Deal with Breadcrumbing
Clearly state what you are looking for in a connection and what you are willing to put up with. Talking to your partner or crush about how you wish to be treated will help you to filter out breadcrumbers and stay true to your wants and needs. It will also ensure that you only engage with serious prospects.
Decide If the Person is Worth your Time
Once you notice that your partner is exhibiting some or even all of the signs of breadcrumbing, take time to evaluate if the relationship is worth it. Choose a date and insist on a meeting; then, lay down all your concerns on the day of the meetup. If they are willing to listen and change, then take that time to set your boundaries. If they don’t, then you can be able to decide if the relationship should continue or not.
Always Remember what You Deserve
Having a crush on someone or being in love can make it difficult to stand firm on the things you deserve from a relationship. Minimizing your needs to maintain a relationship will make you constantly disappointed, which isn’t healthy. As much as it might be painful to let go, it is a necessary step to take, and it will leave space for someone who values you.
Remember That It is Not Your Fault
A breadcrumber choosing to treat you poorly is not your fault. It is important to remember this. People choose to breadcrumb because of their own fears and issues. Taking it personally could end up affecting your future relationships. Take time to heal and move on.
Take Note of Red Flags
Once you have experienced a breadcrumber, you will be able to see the signs in case another one comes into your life. Always remember the red flags to avoid interacting with anyone with even one sign of breadcrumbing.
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