Jane meets Jack. There’s an immediate attraction.
Flirtation emojis are unlocked. Social media likes start flying.
Everything is looking cupid-ey, but there’s one problem.
Jane’s not ready to commit.
In fact, if you ask her bestie, Jane was just craving some attention.
She wants to remain in contact with Jack, sext him occasionally, and DM him some naughty pics, but she doesn’t want a romantic relationship.
Ding! Ding! Ding! You’re either guilty of breadcrumbing or have fallen victim to a breadcrumber.
Before you start pleading your innocence or cursing Simone for treating you like a pigeon (we throw breadcrumbs at them🤭), here’s how the Gen Z dictionary describes ‘breadcrumbing.’
What Is Breadcrumbing?
The Urban Dictionary defines breadcrumbing as when your ‘crush’ has no intentions of taking things further, but they like the attention. So, they flirt here or there, send dm/texts just to keep the person interested, knowing damn well they’re staying single.’
Basically, your love interest is giving you enough attention to keep you interested, effectively stringing you along (leaving a trail of breadcrumbs), but they have no intention of taking the relationship (situationship) to the next level.
It’s like ghosting but worse. Because with ghosting, there’s finality. Breadcrumbing gives you false hope and leaves you wondering and waiting for a ‘commitment’ that won’t happen (unless you got the Charmed hotline).
Examples Of Breadcrumbing
Breadcrumbing looks different based on what your relationship looks like and your expectations. However, some common forms of breadcrumbing include:
- Text, email, and DM every so often, but don’t respond to requests to meet up
- Organize hangouts and sleepovers, but won’t even get into the ‘commitment’ conversation because they’re not ‘ready for a relationship’
- Lavish you with compliments this week, then forget your plans for the weekend
- Ignore you for long periods and reach out after you’ve stopped showing interest –red flag behavior!
- Only interested in sexual escapades
- When you hit them with the ‘what are we doing’ question, they bolt or make you feel guilty or responsible for any issues
How To Beat A Breadcrumbing Partner At Their Own Game
Well, given that you’re not a pigeon or crow – you deserve far more than breadcrumbs. And the only way to stop yourself from getting breadcrumbed (or give the breadcrumber the middle finger) is to:
A breadcrumber will always tell you what they want. And that’s that they don’t want a relationship with you.
Don’t start assuming you’ll change them in time or that they’ll realize how irreplaceable you are. They just aren’t interested in you enough to make a long-term commitment.
So, skip away, hun. But if a relationship isn’t in the cards for you either, and you’re comfortable with the minor flirtations, that’s OK.
Also, Pay Attention To Their Non-Verbal Cues
There’s a saying in Swahili that says, ‘akufukuzae hakwambii toka.’ This basically means that someone chasing you away doesn’t have to tell you to leave.
They’ll give you subtle signs – ghost then unghost you, make plans and not show up, compliment you for days, then pull a James Bond when you ask them out on a date.
If your love interest has been acting like this (while also having very irregular moods and behavior changes), babe, it might be time to move on or, at the least, call them out!
Call Them Out
If you’ve noticed any of the abovementioned signs and behaviors from your love interest, consider calling them out.
This will open the door for a crucial conversation. Likewise, it’ll give the ‘breadcrumbing’ partner a chance to explain any miscommunication or issues they’ve been dealing with.
The best way to handle this is by being honest, open, and kind. Don’t shelve things until you finally reach breaking point. Be clear on what you’re looking for, and be honest about how their actions make you feel.
Boundaries Babe – Set Them ASAP!
Setting clear and concise boundaries is the only way to avoid getting breadcrumbed. Figure out what you’re willing to tolerate from your love interest and which behaviors you draw the lines at.
If everyday communication (even if it’s just a ‘Hey. Today, I’m feeling quite low. I won’t be available for most of the day’ is important to you make that clear – and don’t compromise on it to meet their needs or behaviors.
That way, you can prevent the back-and-forth entanglement with a breadcrumbing partner.
Take Yourself Out
Trying to make date plans with a breadcrumbing partner is like trying to lock hands with someone on the other end of a roller coaster.
It doesn’t matter if they suggest meeting up or you compromise and go for a place that perfectly suits them. They will always come up with a reason not to meet you.
So, go on solo dates. And yes, they’ll be intimidating initially, but with time and practice, you’ll become a pro solo dater. Plus, solo dates are the best way to avoid the anxiety of ‘going Dutch’ or ‘splitting up a $4600 bill.’
And did we mention you can slurp as many oysters as you want? 🤭. IYKYK.
Cut Ties For Good
Life is too short to waste your energy and time on someone who’s just not that into you when your Russell Wilson is a corner – or swipe away!
So, thank you next the s**t out of that breadcrumbing fool, and keep it moving.
Have you ever been breadcrumbed? How did you deal with it?
Please share with us in the comment section below!