Breadcrumbing: The Latest Way to Dump Someone

April 4, 2018

Sometimes, as human beings we create ways of confronting things that are truly awful or at least not very well thought out, because it’s our nature to have feelings.

Not long ago a new way of breaking up became popular. It was called ghosting, where you dump someone after a few dates, the usual process being to give the cold shoulder and disappear completely from their life. Now it seems like it’s being replaced by breadcrumbing. Let’s find out what it is.

What is breadcrumbing?

Especially popular on social media, this term obviously has something to do with leaving breadcrumbs. But what does that mean in a relationship? Well, this new trend consists of sending tiny signals to the person in question just to reassure yourself they’re still there. It’s stringing them along.

woman looking at cell-phone, breadcrumbing her boyfriend.

As we’ve said, this kind of “technique,” if we can call it that, mostly started and grew on social media. But it seems like it’s going further now. Now there are relationships where two people go on physical dates and there is friendliness… But it never becomes official.

Basically, like the name suggests, they’re leaving “breadcrumbs,” giving the other person hopeBut deep down they know it won’t go anywhere because they are in no way ready to give their heart to the other person.

Obviously, this will really hurt the recipient. They’ll end up extremely frustrated after trying everything and still not being able to make the relationship work.

According to the experts like psychologist Encarna Muñoz, breadcrumbing can lead to anxiety and pain in the people targeted by it. They are sent false messages, so they always have this feeling like they’re doing it all wrong, without knowing why.

How to know if you’re a victim of breadcrumbing

The fact is that it’s a form of manipulation. That’s why it’s important to know if you’re a victim of it, so you can put a stop to it as soon as possible. You’ll need to watch out for things like these:

  • If your partner isn’t very clear. Normally, when you suggest doing something, they’ll give ambiguous responses like “we’ll see,” or “maybe.” Then nothing happens.
  • They give “signs of life” every so often. You might go weeks without hearing anything from them. But they always leave the door cracked, although they never start communicating more.
  • They generally like virtual interactions and avoid physical relationships, though that’s not always the case. They also create a kind of “ebb and flow.” It’s flirting that helps keep you interested, but they never take it any further.
  • They behave erratically and inconsistently. They may make you feel amazing, but if you look closely, there are holes in their behavior. They’re also experts in making you think those illogical things are your problem.
  • It’s never the right time to talk about feelings. They obviously don’t like to play their cards. So no matter how much you want to be intimate, it will never be the right time. They’ll make excuses, since they don’t want the relationship to go further.
couple looking at each other

What to do if you’re a victim of breadcrumbing

It’s not always easy to recognize that you’ve turned into a victim of this kind of thing. But if you notice something is not right, here are some tips.

  • Analyze the situation objectively. People who use breadcrumbing try to make the other person feel guilty because they’re usually insecure. But you have to analyze the situation as objectively as possible. Does it seem normal to you that you only hear from your boyfriend every few weeks?
  • Besides, do you really want a relationship where anytime something’s not right you feel guiltyDo you think it’s normal for there to be little to no intimacy in the relationship even if you’ve been together awhile?
  • Set boundaries. No matter how much they avoid being intimate, be clear and set boundaries. If they still don’t do anything, you know you don’t have a healthy relationship.

Now you know a little bit more about this new kind of relationship. If something like this is happening to you, you might have to put an end to it soon. Or they’ll do it for you. Try to get out of there as fast as you can, because you are at danger of getting hurt.