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Breadcrumbing: Why Singles May Fall Victim To This Shady Technique

Linda Collins - August 11, 2019

Breadcrumbing why singles may fall victim to this shady technique

When you think of breadcrumbs you instantly get a visual of feeding ducks by a pond or you may even picture a trail of literal bread crumbs marking your way back to where you came from. After all that’s the idea of leaving a breadcrumb trail right?

Julia D’Orazio, an Aussie destinations writer found herself quite confused when one of her exes decided it was a good idea to continue text messaging her phone, without giving any thought at all to his potential current fiancé.

Julia wrote; “I felt like that sucker on the receiving end leaping for joy when I hear from my love interest via text only for that excitement to wane rapidly with each lazy reply, or worse, no reply coming at all.”

She knew she was getting the run around so she eventually kicked him to the curb… again.

This is not an uncommon situation for singles in the digital age. The term for it is called “Breadcrumbing”.

Breadcrumbing 101: The Basics

Think of a monkey swinging from tree limb to tree limb. If you look hard enough you’ll notice the monkey never really lets go of the previous branch before ensuring he has a tight grip on the next branch he’s moving to. And in a nutshell. That’s exactly what breadcrumbing is all about.

Breadcrumbing is when an ex love interest in your life keeps in distant contact with you via intermittent communication. A lot of the time the M.O. for this kind of behavior is taking it easy at first. Maybe a quick hello via text, and then they vanish for a few days. They one day soon, maybe they like one of your social media posts or images. Maybe he even leaves a comment on one of your status updates. Then after an extended silence he’ll call for a long intimate conversation.

This allows him to keep the fires stoked as a backup plan. Leaving breadcrumbs for him to follow back to you, if his current love interest doesn’t work out (EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE ENGAGED!).

It is often times the case that Breadcrumbing happens after a period of “ghosting”. Ghosting is when anyone you are in touch with suddenly stops answering or returning calls, texts or emails. They essentially vanish from your life all together. That long silence is sometimes planned and deliberate and is all part of the Breadcrumbing manipulation.

But Why Is Breadcrumbing Even A Thing?

Simple, people are awful sometimes. It seems that at times all someone even cares about is themselves. Ultimately though what it really boils down to is commitment issues.

These people enjoy communicating without commitment on a deeper, and possibly clinically “messed up” (that’s a term right?) level. Some people are unequipped to handle loneliness. They need the constant acknowledgement from others. It gives you the warm and fuzziest to get a text from someone you are interested in right? Same for them (sort of… it’s more like cold and rough). There are many reasons why these people take advantage of, and prey on the loneliness of others.

The result is a confusing tangle of mixed messages and hopes raised—then nothing left but a bunch of crushed cookie crumbs (it’s a vicious cycle).

Getting Breadcrumbed? What To Look For

Breadcrumbing can be pretty easy to spot if you know what you’re looking for, and are willing to step out of your insatiable need to find a mate… any mate… WOULD SOMEONE JUST GIVE ME A MATE!?!?!?! … pardon me, where was I? Ah yes… Here are just a few easy ways to spot the nots! Here we go:

  • Hot & Cold Communications:

    Let’s face it you never really know if, or when you might receive your next message. When you respond, will they respond in kind? Sometimes they just vanish all over again. But we all get that sneaking suspicion when we are getting blown off, rather than actually being valued.

  • Micro- “Microchats”:

    One or two word responses in private or text messages, almost as if your love interest has no real interest in having any kind of contact with any real substance. Maybe publically they are chatty as all get out, but on the down-low they are sparse and rarely reactive. You’re lucky to get the one or two word responses most of the time.

  • Keepin’ It Virtual:

    Sometimes the person will simply keep it to online banter. You try and touch base with them outside of the social sphere all you hear is the sweet-sweet echo of your voice in the faint distance of the great and mysterious ether.

  • Flirty but Vague:

    They seem interested and send messages that are even a little on the side of romance, but absolutely avoid meeting in person. They may say things like “I can’t stand not seeing you”, and you suggest you meet up only find the conversation suddenly drops off the face of the earth.

  • Booty Calls On The Fly:

    A lot of the times you’ll have absolutely no luck getting any kind of commitment to meet. Making plans is not their thing. They like to keep it last second and outside of the norms. Spontaneity is the key to success when keeping secrets. You are just a convenient hookup partner and that is all.

Ok I’m Being Breadcrumbed, But Now What?

Listen… every relationship is either built on a foundation of solid communication or the lack thereof. Leaving it made out of toothpicks probably isn’t a great idea. So what does that mean exactly? Well, it means be an adult and set expectations. Don’t be bashful. Be direct and be clear that you know what you want, and if they aren’t serious, they need to get lost.

If they repeatedly disregard your message to get lost, than this problem may be more serious than you thought. Boundaries are an important part of respect. If they are not respecting your wishes or refuse to “hear you”. It may be advantageous to do a people search on CheckPeople.com.

Doing a quick people search on people in your life who are displaying abnormal behavior will give you piece of mine, as well as arm you with data backup. Documentations that show who this person really is. If they make threats, print them out and this time give the authorities a call to report it.

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