WTF’s the deal with the awful dating trend known as “breadcrumbing”?

February 07, 2017
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We wish it didn’t come to this – but another year means another awful dating trend. Last year it was ghosting, which is when someone you’ve been dating cuts off all communication without warning or explanation. Pretty brutal, right? Well, it doesn’t get any better, unforch.

Breadcrumbing essentially goes like this: the breadcrumber will keep in contact with you through sporadic texts or the occasional like or comment on your social media. You’ll go months without hearing from them, but they always pop back in your life as a little reminder.

There’s a definite flirting nature to the messages so if you’re into this person, you’ll probably get your hopes up from this newfound attention they’re giving you. But the shitty thing is the breadcrumber’s not that into it – they’re just stringing you along as a second option, just in case nothing better comes along. Basically, spreading “breadcrumbs” to keep you hooked. We know – it’s pretty savage. Worried you might be on the receiving end? Here’s the signs to look out for.

You receive the totally random out-of-the-blue message

And it won’t be the last time you receive it either. Maybe it’s someone you had a flirty thing with in the past that never eventuated, or someone you hooked up with once and haven’t heard from them since. Sometimes it’s sparked with a change of profile picture, and a comment from them or a like. Then they might follow it up with a message. “Hey stranger.”

Their messages will be flirty but non-committal, saying “We should defs meet up soon,” without making actual concrete plans. It might seem obvious what they’re doing, but sometimes we get sucked in because of the flattering comments and what seems like a genuine interest. Don’t be fooled.

There’ll be a lull

The convo might die and despite all the complimentary and flirty messages, you don’t hear from them again. If you’re game, you might try to start up some convos or even plan a date, but they’ll conveniently not reply or avoid the subject. This lull in conversation might last a month or six months – but they’ll always pick it back up again as if they’re surprised you guys stopped talking. It might be because they’re lonely, or maybe they realise they need to keep you interested – just in case.

One night only

Once they’ve laid some solid grounds (so maybe, like, three convos over a few months), they’ll message you when they’re heading out, or already on a night out. They’ll get in early to see what you’re up to, without actually inviting you along to the plans. They want to see if you’ll be keen to meet up “later”.

Because the breadcrumber is the worst kind of commitaphobe, they’ll even do short-term breadcrumbing that evening. You can bet they won’t be in contact later if they find a better option. But if they don’t, you can be sure that they’ll be cashing in all the efforts of those three convos. When they’ve been so unavailable for so long, it’ll be tempting to jump at the opportunity to finally see them – even if it’s an after-midnight booty call.

Be warned – if this sounds familiar, you probs weren’t the first option – so we suggest giving them the flick. Now that you’re aware of the warning signs, if you have the misfortune of it happening to you, you can cut it off early.

Image: Giphy