What Is Breadcrumbing? 3 Reasons Why Breadcrumbing Is Worse Than Ghosting

 / 

,
3 Reasons Why Breadcrumbing Is Worse Than Ghosting

Getting breadcrumbed is one of the worst experiences to go through, which is why breadcrumbing is worse than ghosting. Yes, you heard that right.

Breadcrumbing someone is one of the most horrible things you can do to them. This post is going to discuss why breadcrumbing is worse than ghosting and how to avoid breadcrumbing.

How to avoid getting ‘breadcrumbed’.

If you’re single and looking for love, there’s a good chance you’ve been on the receiving end of some bad dating behavior, like ghosting.

Ghosting is defined as “breaking off a relationship (often an intimate relationship) by ceasing all communication and contact with the former partner without any apparent warning or justification, as well as ignoring the former partner’s attempts to reach out or communicate.”

If someone ghosts you, they stop all communication and contact with you without any warning or justification and ignore your attempts to reach out or communicate.

And sadly, this disappearing act has become so commonplace that the word is now applied in many contexts beyond dating (such as the workplace: “The applicant ghosted the interview and never showed up…”).

However, as bad as being ghosted is, the new dating trend of ‘breadcrumbing’ may actually be more painful.

Related: 6 Signs Of Emotional Unavailability

What is breadcrumbing?

Breadcrumbing is defined as “the act of sending out flirtatious, but non-committal text messages (i.e. ‘breadcrumbs’) […] in order to lure a sexual partner without expending much effort” giving “just enough attention to keep their hope of a relationship alive.”

We have all been in that place when dating someone, and you aren’t entirely sure of your feelings yet. That’s certainly okay. What’s not okay is when someone realizes they don’t see a future with you or their feelings aren’t growing deeper, yet they keep stringing you along anyway.

They essentially throw you “breadcrumbs” of romantic interest but never fully commit to a relationship.

So while the person involved isn’t ghosting someone, what they’re doing can cause long-term relationship problems that make you feel like you’re constantly being dragged along, always with just enough of a promise to keep you invested in their relationship, even if they have no intention of making anything more out of it.

So while it’s much easier to understand how to respond to ghosting, learning how to recognize and respond to breadcrumbing can be much more difficult — and painful.

Here are 3 reasons the dating trend of breadcrumbing is even worse than ghosting.

Why breadcrumbing is worse than ghosting

3 Reasons Why Breadcrumbing Is Worse Than Ghosting

1. When you are ghosted, you know it’s over.

You may not understand why things ended, and this ambiguity is a tough pill to swallow. But at least you have your answer. You can mourn the relationship’s demise or the dream of what the relationship could have been.

When you are breadcrumbed, the flames of hope are still fanned. You may also keep yourself “off the market” for no good reason as you aren’t open to meeting anyone else. You continue to invest more and more energy into a relationship that will eventually yield nothing.

2. Being breadcrumbed often involves deception.

Both ghosting and breadcrumbing behavior may be indicative of someone who is very poor at communicating. Both practices may also display a lack of empathy from the person perpetuating them.

But unlike ghosting, it takes a higher level of deception and manipulation to continually keep someone in the game with no intention of real commitment.

Such deceptions can take the form of lies, flattery, or seduction. This person is feigning interest for their own benefit at the expense of yours. You are being used to perhaps boost his ego, get laid, or have a backup option if something else doesn’t work out.

Related: Cookie Jarring, The Latest Dating Trend: 8 Signs You Are A Victim

3. Mixed signals are harder to cope with than no signals.

If you’re ghosted, you do not get any more signs of interest at all. When you’re breadcrumbed, you get mixed messages of interest. These mixed signals may cause you to up the ante on your efforts to keep the relationship going.

Mixed signals also cause more emotional distress. You will wonder what’s happening and why. You will also continually analyze his actions and what they mean. You’ll feel like you’re going crazy!

Once you know what breadcrumbing is, how can you avoid it?

Here are 3 ways to avoid breadcrumbing as a single looking for love.

3 Things You Can Do to Avoid Breadcrumbing

1. Set the standard from the get-go.

Be honest about what you are looking for and don’t be afraid to stick to it. You don’t have to talk in a demanding or harsh way. You don’t have to freak them out by saying your eggs are rotting or your fantasy wedding is being ruined. Just give a general idea of what you desire for your future.

For example, saying, “I am looking for a long-term relationship,” or “I am not interested in a fling.” If you say it, you should stick to it. Do not be wishy-washy or weak if you have expressed your expectations. Don’t respond to a 2:00 a.m. booty call if you want a real relationship!

2. Communicate directly.

You should effectively communicate by asserting yourself. You can comment on just what’s happening and why it’s not right for you.

For example, “It’s been two months now, and you never take me out on a Saturday night … what’s up with that?” or “You seem to only want to text, but not get together or call me, that’s not really enough for me.”

It’s even okay to ask them why they’re doing it. Be brave and open up the discussion.

Why breadcrumbing is worse than ghosting

3. Hold them accountable.

For every breadcrumbing-type action, there should be an equal and opposite reaction. There must be a consequence that states that such treatment isn’t okay! For instance, if you don’t hear from him for a week then you get your breadcrumb, don’t take it! Say “no” to the date.

It’s okay to say, “I haven’t heard from you all week, so I made other plans.” No long complicated or punitive response is required. Just an appropriate response that matches the action.

Decide how long you want to put up with the breadcrumbs. Give him a fair shot. Give the benefit of the doubt. Give some room for a relationship to slowly develop. But if all you get are breadcrumbs and it doesn’t seem to be evolving anytime soon, decide your limit and stick to it!

Related: 7 MAJOR Signs You Are A Victim Of Pocketing

The quirky slang terms to describe poor dating behavior, such as breadcrumbing and ghosting, are nothing to laugh at if you are on the receiving end of any of them. These interactions can chip away at your self-esteem.

Once you recognize it’s happening, don’t be a victim, stand up for yourself, and don’t accept this kind of behavior from anyone.

Dr. Marni Feuerman* is a licensed psychotherapist and author of Ghosted and Breadcrumbed: Stop Falling for Unavailable Men and Get Smart about Healthy Relationships available on Amazon and everywhere else books are sold. Sign up for her newsletter to keep in touch and get the latest content on love, dating, and relationships.


Written By Dr. Marni Feuerman
Originally Appeared On Dr. Marni Online
why breadcrumbing is worse than ghosting

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply



Up Next

Dive Into The Mind Of A Distancer: The Partner Who Pulls Away

Discover The Mind Of A Distancer: Things To Know Well

Pursuer distancer relationships cause a lot of heartache, especially for a pursuer. Learn about the mind of a distancer to understand your own or your partner’s behavior so you won’t take it personally.

As codependants, we usually gravitate toward insecure relationships where we’re a distancer or a pursuer. We may be a distancer in one relationship and a pursuer in the next. This is due to early attachment problems and dysfunctional parenting.

Reacting makes it worse! A distancer reacting by withdrawing or the pursuer reacting by pursuing exacerbates conflict and unhappiness.

Understand The Mind Of A Distancer



Up Next

What Is Unintentional Gaslighting? The Surprising Ways You Might Be Gaslighting Without Knowing It

What Is Unintentional Gaslighting? How Good Intentions Can Go Awry

Ever found yourself questioning your own reality after interaction with someone you know? Unintentional gaslighting can sneak into conversations, leaving you feeling disoriented and invalidated, even when no harm is intended.

Accidental, unintended or unconscious gaslighting in relationships can make you doubt your own thoughts, feelings, or even sanity. Someone’s words or actions can make you feel uncertain, dazed & confused without even realizing it.

Gaslighting, a term derived from a movie titled “Gaslight,” refers to the act of manipulating someone into doubting their own experiences and perceptions. But what is unintentional gaslighting?

Let’s explore this lesser-known concept and shed light on



Up Next

Lost Connection: How To Heal From Emotional Neglect In Marriage And Find Hope

How To Heal From Emotional Neglect In Marriage: Tips

Do you know why some marriages appear to be thriving while others seem to be crumbling? What is it that creates such distance among spouses? While there can be various reasons behind marital distress, one often overlooked but significant factor is emotional neglect in marriage.

Emotional neglect can quietly erode the foundation of a relationship, leaving both partners feeling lonely, disconnected, and unfulfilled. Let us delve into the depths of emotional neglect in marriage, exploring what actually is, signs, underlying causes, and most importantly, how to heal and nurture a healthier emotional connection with your spouse.

What is Emotional Neglect in Marriage?

Emotional neglect in marriage refers to a pat



Up Next

Vulturing: Beware Of This Latest Toxic Dating Trend!

What Is Vulturing Dating: Toxic Signs To Be Wary Of

In the world of dating, there are more online trends than you can swipe in a day. The new one on the block is called vulturing dating. Let’s find out what it means in a relationship.

So, What Is Vulturing Dating?

Among the colloquialisms of modern dating, this one is called “vulturing.” In a similar vein to the predatory bird it’s named after, vulturing entails someone hovering around people who are on the brink of ending their relationship.

They wait until they can swoop in with malicious intent on damaged hearts — sometimes as soon as possible after their former partner cuts them loose and they’re emotiona



Up Next

Conditional Relationship? 8 Red Flags Indicating You’re in a Relationship with Strings Attached

Conditional Relationship: Signs You Are In One

Relationships can be an incredible source of happiness, love, joy and contentment. However, not all relationships are the same; while some might feel as comforting as a warm blanket on a cold night, some are like an annoying sweater that doesn’t fit well. Being in a conditional relationship can make you feel like the latter.

Conditional relationships, in particular, can make you feel unsure and alone, because the relationship and the “love” comes with strings attached. So, how can you know if you’re in a conditional relationship or not?

We are going to talk about the signs of conditional love, what does cond



Up Next

How To Deal With An Obsessive Ex That Won’t Leave You Alone: 5 Steps You Can Take

How To Deal With Obsessive Ex: Urgent Steps You Can Take

Dealing with an obsessive ex is one of the most horrible experiences one can go through. What are the best ways to handle obsessive people? What are the effective steps you can take when it comes to dealing with an obsessive ex? Let’s find out!

There are certain people who just can’t handle being dumped. They go crazy. They hate losing their “control” and “power” over their partners.

Recently my good friend ended an abusive relationship. Thankfully he realised he was in a relationship with a narcissist and that his only way forward was without her. Soon after the relationship ended, he found a new partner — he was ecstatic, he was just about to ride off into the sunset with his sweetheart.

There was one issue — his e



Up Next

The “False Self” Of A Narcissist: Look Beyond The Facade!

Hidden Narcissist False Self: Make Believe Traits in Them

The narcissist false self is charming and confident, masking underlying insecurities and emptiness beneath. Let’s find out other secrets they hide!

Narcissists have a false self. They’re master illusionists. They behave like a little king or queen — whether bragging or sulking. Their whole personality is a charade crafted to deceive you into believing they are confident, superior, self-sufficient, likable, and caring.

In studies, groups of people met with and liked a narcissist, but after 6 more interviews, they discerned the narcissist’s true nature and changed thei