Dealing with Relational Breadcrumbing

Breadcrumbing in Your Relationship

There are many modern terms when it comes to relationships such as ghosting, stashing and even breadcrumbing. These are all dating terms that are used to tell what is happening to you in your relationship.

Even through you might not understand these terms, people that are dating often experience these things and they are now becoming normal in modern day dating. You might have had some of these things happen to you or you might even be the culprit.

Understanding Breadcrumbing

Breadcrumbing is when you lead someone on through texting or social media or it could be happening to you.  The person will tempt you and string you along and make you think that they are interested in you. They will send you messages that make you feel romantically connected to them, but they don’t feel the same.

There are some people that do this on purpose so that you will keep hanging on but sometimes people don’t even realize this is happening to them. Those that breadcrumb others often think that they aren’t doing anything wrong even though they are hurting people along the way.

Are you Being Breadcrumbed?

Maybe you have experienced some problems in your relationship lately and you aren’t sure what is happening. Here are some signs you might be in a breadcrumbing relationship!

  • They Are Hot and Cold

One day they are hot, and they are constantly messaging you and making you feel that they are all about you. Then the next week they barely respond to you. Right when you’re ready to move on without them, they know just when to send you a message to reel you back in.

  • They Don’t Get Specific

When they message you, they don’t commit to anything or get specific. They might make plans to see you shortly, but you never know what this means because they never make real plans.

  • Communication is Lacking at Best

You have conversations with them, but they aren’t about anything, and they are generally shallow. They don’t really do anything to get to know you.

  • They Use Different Social Media

They will use different social media to respond to you. They will look at your Snap story but not respond to your text or they will like your Facebook post but not respond to your message.

  • You Feel Bad About Yourself

When they do message you, they don’t make you feel special even though you might feel excited to see them. Even if you get happy because they text you, you will soon worry that they won’t message you again.

They will compliment you the way that they want to, but they won’t make you feel like your best self.

  • Calling for a Booty Call

Maybe you get the late-night texts so that they can get some. Instead of making plans with you they are only after one thing. They might even text you and not make you think that they want to hook up, but this keeps you up all night thinking about them.

  • They Make You Feel Like the Problem

Even though they are the ones that cause the problem, they make it feel like its your fault. It’s your fault they don’t contact you or it’s your fault they stay away. This can take away your self-esteem.

  • They Never Commit

They will message you to meet up, but the plans are never there. When you ask them what they are feeling about your relationship, they ignore you. They don’t want to label things, but this is because they don’t want to commit.

  • They Just Want Sex

Some men just want to have sex. They want to spend time with you. They don’t want to meet you unless they can take you back to their place to have sex with you. Be honest with the relationship.

What Does Breadcrumbing Look Like?

If you get a message asking what you’re doing, you might feel that this person cares about you. But this isn’t putting effort into the relationship and its only giving a little bit. Or, if they tell you that they saw something that reminded them of you, but they don’t try to take you out, this is also breadcrumbing.

Another example of this is that they send you a picture that was funny, but it never gets the relationship moving forward or they will send a flirty kiss or heart emoji to keep you responding to them.

If you connected to them on social media, they would like your stuff to make you think about them or they will make a comment on your social media to make you remember them. They will also say things like, “Let’s get together soon,” but will never make the effort to meet up.

All these things work together from the conversations to the sex. They do these things in order to keep you on your toes, but they never follow through with anything that they say they want.

These are the people that will contact you for a short period of time and then only come back so that you don’t forget about them.

Why Do People Want to Breadcrumb?

There are many reasons that people breadcrumb others and some of the reasons are done consciously and some are unconsciously done. Here are some of the biggest reasons this happens in relationships!

  • They Don’t Want a Commitment

The person might be interested in you, or they might not want to be alone, but they also don’t want to commit to you. Instead of allowing you to move on with your life, they will string you along until they find someone else that they like more.

They might really like you at the same time, but they might be afraid to commit to you because they are afraid of giving up their freedom and their life. They hope that someday they will want to commit and so they keep you along with them.

  • They Don’t Want to Give Their Time

Another reason this happens is because there are some people that don’t want to give their time or energy to other people. They might breadcrumb you so that they don’t have to put much effort into the relationship.

They might like the fact that they can sleep with you when they want and if they want to commit to you someday then the ball will be in their court. Or they might just want you to chase them and give your life up for them.

  • They Don’t Care About Dating

Some people don’t really care about dating so they don’t make it an importance in their lives. They might like to flirt or go on a date here or there but to fully commit, they aren’t about that. They see that you have a connection, and they don’t have to do any of the hard work.

  • They Date Different People

Some people that are breadcrumbing will do this because they are dating a lot of people at once. They might want to pursue someone in a relationship, but they don’t want to commit to them either and so they just date both of you.

The person might want to keep open their options in case you do end up leaving out of their life.

  • Increasing Their Self-Esteem

People often need to have attention and those that breadcrumb often do this because they need to boost their self-esteem. They know that you are nice and that you like them and so they will communicate enough with you that you will give them what they need to feel good about themselves.

When you follow them and you boost their self-esteem, they will feel better about who they are, and you will make them feel that they are worthy, and they are good.

  • Don’t Want to Be Alone

Sometimes a person will breadcrumb because even though they don’t want to commit, they also don’t want to be alone. They can connect with you and if they feel alone, you will make them feel that they aren’t.

They can think about the people that they talk to, and they won’t feel alone even if they have created this aloneness in their own lives.

  • They Collect People

There are some people that like to breadcrumb people because they want to have as many friends as possible and possible dates that they can. They don’t even care of the relationship is deep, but they just want the person to be there when they want them.

They worry that they won’t have anyone that they can rely on or talk to and so they get as many people interested in them that they can’.

How to Deal with Breadcrumbing in Your Relationship

Once you realize that someone is doing this to you, you have to be honest with what is going on. It can be hard to accept this, but you have to decide if you’re going to waste more time on them or if you’re going to let them go. Here are some things you can do in this situation!

  • Ask for a Date

Ask for this person to meet you at a certain time and at a certain place. Or you can even meet with them on video chat. Do whatever it takes to make them face you. Invite them and let them decide if they want to go out with you or if they are just using you.

  • Reply Differently

Don’t follow their lead but learn to reply on your own. If they text you at night and ask to come over, don’t answer them until the next day. Set limits to your relationship and don’t give in to just having sex with them.

  • Let Them Know It’s Not Okay to Cancel

When someone makes plans, we expect them to follow through with it. If they are constantly canceling on you, don’t accept it. Tell them that if they want to go out, it’s up to them from now on.

  • Accept It for Breadcrumbing

Instead of making excuses for them, accept that they are breadcrumbing you and then adjust what you expect from them.

  • Let Them Know How You Feel

Ask them why they cancel plans and why they always tend to disappear. Tell them what you think about how they treat you and then tell them what you expect from them. If they keep wasting your time, move on.

  • Leave Them

If you feel that they are constantly mistreating you, say goodbye and know your worth. Let them know why you no longer want to talk to them and once you make that decision, stick to it.


Breadcrumbing means that someone is stringing you along. This is a concept of someone that doesn’t want to put effort into a relationship. This is when someone gives you a small piece of themselves, a little bit of affection or a little bit of attention but they don’t make you feel worth anything.

This might happen in your relationship and if it does, they aren’t happy about what is going on in the relationship and they are playing games with you. Sometimes the person will do this as long as they can and when it doesn’t last, they find someone else to do it to.

This is something that is often used by narcissists and is a type of manipulation or abuse. The problem is that someone that is a victim allows this behavior, and they keep coming back no matter how poorly they are being treated.

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