Breadcrumbing, along with gaslighting and negging, has become a notorious part of today’s online dating scene. If you’re curious about what breadcrumbing is and its impact, you’ve come to the right place. Sometimes it starts off innocently but can signal a pattern of emotional abuse and other dating red flags.
Breadcrumbing is a term used in dating that describes the act of leading someone on through dating apps or social media. It involves giving just enough attention to keep someone interested, often leaving them confused about your level of interest. This manipulative tactic can make dating feel like a puzzle with no clear answers, but there are signs to watch for if you suspect you’re a victim of breadcrumbing.
Signs of Breadcrumbing
- Superficial Communication: If you’re being breadcrumbed, you might notice your chats lack depth and commitment. The person might play with your feelings, offering only brief texts or avoiding meaningful conversation, usually only engaging when it suits their needs, particularly for physical intimacy.
- Inconsistent Interaction: Watch for a hot-and-cold pattern. They might be all over your social media posts but silent in private messages. They flirt but never make solid plans, or they seem more interested when you start to pull away. Even small gestures like memes or emojis can be a breadcrumbing tactic.
- Commitment Evasion: Breadcrumbers often dodge making plans or defining the relationship. They may seem enthusiastic about going out but bail out at the last minute. When it comes to defining the relationship, they’re vague or avoid the topic altogether, often flaking on plans or changing them unexpectedly.
Dealing with Breadcrumbing
Don’t get caught in their game. Face the reality head-on. Confront them about their behavior if you think they’ll be receptive, but be cautious of manipulation. Set your boundaries firmly. Show them how you expect to be treated and give them a chance to change. If nothing improves, it might be time to step back for your own wellbeing.