What Is Breadcrumbing In Dating? Signs And How To Respond To It

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Breadcrumbing dating, as I see it as a psychologist, is giving just enough signals through direct or indirect communication to an individual or group of individuals, to keep them sexually or romantically attentive and interested in you, without any overt desire to commitment or structures of any kind.

As they say, feed them just enough to keep them hungry. The hope of happiness is excited by this kind of behavior; however, by the very nature of the behavior this term describes, the happiness of the real romantic kind, in this context, stays elusive.

Breadcrumbers may not all be intentionally evil people, we have to remember this, before we run with this newly coined term, with even a fresher dose of cynicism that is so readily fostered in our online/offline lives.

What Is Breadcrumbing In Dating?

Breadcrumbing is a new term, expressing an age-old practice and behavior of countless human beings across cultures. We all like to test the products before we actually saddle ourselves with one in the human market that we find ourselves in.

It is easier, yet more befuddling today than it has ever been, with the plethora of choices, all of which create and intensify the illusion that there is always someone better out there for us. This makes it harder to live in the real world, where commitments are required and commitment phobes are red flags.

breadcrumbing in dating
Is someone breadcrumbing dating you?

A lot of us, and I mean most of us who are dating today and use technology, have fallen prey to breadcrumbing someone and being breadcrumbed. We are not evil and bad individuals, we just lack the proper skills and the philosophical frameworks required, to navigate the streets of our virtual and real lives without losing ourselves or leading others on.

Related Reading: Ever heard of Phubbing? It can kill your romantic relationship

Signs Of Breadcrumbing

You know that you are a victim of breadcrumbing dating when, even after a considerable period of time and possibly a date or two, the person waltzes in and out of your real and virtual life entirely on their own terms and resists any credible explanation to explain their bizarre behavior.

They might not think it is even required, as they don’t like talking about ‘these things’ but will do everything they can to rope you back in. This will only result in a toxic relationship that is built on the whims of one person.

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Why do guys breadcrumb?

Breadcrumbers, just like anyone else, are motivated by the desire to find the ‘best’ mate possible. This desire is fueled by the illusion there are ‘enough and better people’ to choose from. They are not necessarily taking the time to get to know you on a regular basis in order to figure out if real-life commitment is to be made. This results in breadcrumbing dating where they leave a trail for you to follow while they keep bolting ahead.

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It is also possible that they could very well be addicted to the sexual, romantic attention they get from you or others without really investing in the relationship in any real way. Perhaps they enjoy the sexual compatibility that they share with you and do not want to skip on it even though they do not want a real relationship with you.

Related Reading: Casual Dating- 13 Rules To Swear By

How to respond to breadcrumbing?

Open and assertive communication about your feelings and expectations with people can help nip breadcrumbing dating in the bud. Being afraid, asking ‘How will I come across if I express myself?’ may provide a fertile ground for the practice which survives on a lack of communication.

Stating what you what may actually get you the very thing, or at least save your time and pain and get you out of what you certainly do not want. Breadcrumbing someone can be done consciously or unconsciously. However, if you feel like you are subject to the same, we are glad you identified it in the first place. Now that you are clear on the signs of breadcrumbing, you will easily know how to respond to the same.

Be honest, upfront and brave. Do not let someone leave you on standby while you question your own sanity or judgement.


1. How do you respond to breadcrumbing text?

Honestly, if they have breadcrumbing someone or you for a long time, then it is best to just cut them out and not respond at all. You already know that their feelings towards you are not genuine so there is no point in dragging it along and getting more invested in them over the time. If they seriously feel for you, they will show it to you. Until then, say goodbye.

2. How do you deal with someone who is breadcrumbing you?

If you are really agitated by breadcrumbing dating, then consider talking to the person who is breadcrumbing you about it. Give them instances and openly tell them what is hurting you. Reveal that you want to be in an exclusive relationship and their behavior is not acceptable to you.

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