Breadcrumbing: A dating pattern that could be affecting your emotional health

If someone you’re romantically interested in has been noncommittal, then you might be a victim of breadcrumbing which can impact your emotional health.
Not everything is fair in love, especially breadcrumbing! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Grace Bains Updated: 19 Jul 2021, 16:45 pm IST
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Social distancing and home isolation has aggravated the desires of many to venture out and seek romantic experiences. Dating these days is now both an online and offline phenomenon, and besides fake profiles, false relationship statuses, and lude messages, you may also encounter aloof and confusing language being used while being pursued.

This aloof and often confusing language also includes dropping titbits of interest, occasionally calling or messaging you, and planning dates. This style of communicating and pursuing someone is called breadcrumbing.

What is breadcrumbing?

Breadcrumbing is being noncommittal towards someone you wish to pursue romantically. It is about keeping someone interested, even when they don’t have the intentions to build a relationship.

Breadcrumbing is characterized by not committing to someone but leading them on. Image courtesy:

People who breadcrumb, usually don’t reply to texts or chats for long hours or sometimes days. They are usually shirking off accountability without offering explanations for their absence. People who breadcrumb reply using vague sentences, and confusing language, such as, “let’s talk about this tomorrow.” They also don’t follow through on most of the plans they make to go out with you and have a superficial sentiment about their interest in you. Another classic sign of a breadcrumber is that they will avoid talking about their feelings, and interests, instead they would take harbour under memes, photos and videos.

Breadcrumbers want something to be desired while communicating with someone, without realising it leaves the other person confused, and frustrated.
Breadcrumbing can certainly be intentional, but more indirect motives can drive this behaviour, too.

Why do people leave breadcrumbs?

Breadcrumbers are confused about their feelings and what they want with their lives, and end up sending mixed signals. They are not able to differentiate and communicate effectively regarding what they want out of a relationship. Be it a friendship, serious relationship, or casual dating, people who leave breadcrumbs are not able to decide what they want from the other person. These people may also be lonely and may find a hard time building and maintaining relationships. People also breadcrumb when they are not satisfied in their current relationship, as it helps to get the emotional and social satisfaction that they desire.

Breadcrumbers may confuse you with their behaviour. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Here’s how to deal with someone who is breadcrumbing you

These are a few tips that can help you manage your relationship when someone is breadcrumbing you:

Take care of yourself first: It is important to keep yourself as the priority, so check in with yourself. Indulge in activities that uplift you, and talk to friends and family regularly.

Communicate: Communicate your needs and emotions clearly to the person breadcrumbing you. Lay your boundaries, and ensure that the other person knows that your self-respect is paramount.

Prevention is better than cure: The best approach is perhaps to identify a breadcrumber, and not get seriously involved with in the first place.

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So, ladies, be careful of such behavioural patterns and make your mental health and self respect a priority.

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About the Author

Grace is someone who likes writing enough to make a living out of it. When she isn’t writing, you will find her having chai and reading a book. ...Read More

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