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Breadcrumbing: Definition, Signs, How to Respond, Reasons Why People Do It and Everything Else

Breadcrumbing: Definition, Signs, How to Respond, Reasons Why People Do It and Everything Else

Updated on Nov 24, 2022

Reviewed by Julianne Cantarella, MSW, LSW , Certified Relationship Coach

Breadcrumbing - Definition, Signs, How to Respond, Reasons and More

Wondering what is breadcrumbing in dating? Are you or someone around is being breadcrumbed? Feel low without your crush’s affectionate attention? Or, annoyed due to their inconsistent devotion?

I hate that you’re suffering from a thoughtless person’s actions? You never did anyone wrong and you definitely don’t deserve such behavior from others. 

But I’m beyond elated that you want to stand against such tricks and seek a healthy life. I feel so proud to support you in your fight with this think-piece. 

Allow me to teach you basic breadcrumbing signs, what may happen if you accept breadcrumbing silently, and how to deal with it in different situations.

So, let’s fight together and find the relationship you deserve…

Breadcrumbing Infographics

Breadcrumbing - Definition, Reasons Why People Do It and How To Breadcrumb Someone
Breadcrumbing – Definition, Reasons Why People Do It and How To Breadcrumb Someone
Breadcrumbing - Signs, & How to Respond to Breadcrumbing
Breadcrumbing – Signs, & How to Respond to Breadcrumbing

What is breadcrumbing?

When someone shows subtle signs of romantic interest in you through texts or in person or flirts with you but never commits to you, that’s called breadcrumbing. It’s a manipulative action in and outside relationships.

In modern dating scenes, breadcrumbing is the act of keeping a person interested in you romantically through social media or texting without expending much effort. 

People who breadcrumb, in order to lure in a person, practice the act of sending out flirtatious but non-committal signs.

So, they exhibit how it’ll feel to be in a romantic relationship with them, but they never intend to commit.

These people (breadcrumber) may not even actually like the other person, but want to keep their options open with such emotionally manipulative moves.

However, many aren’t aware that they’re breadcrumbing the other person.

But at the end of the day, the breadcrumbing victim gets hurt the most, whether people breadcrumb purposely or not.

It’s similar to how the witch lured Hansel and Gretel into their doom. Since the rise of dating apps, other than ghosting and gaslighting, this manipulative act became quite popular.

Wondering what breadcrumbing looks like? Well, let’s get a crystal clear picture from here…

Breadcrumbing examples

A breadcrumber can play his games in different manners. It might be as direct as sending texts or intensely passive like only likes on your posts. They can apply more than one way just to convince you they’re serious.

So, ingrain these scenarios in your brain to protect yourself from them…

1. “What are you doing?” texts

They’ll send texts which make you think you’re important and matter to them, even when they don’t really care.

They use such texts so that you do the talking, but they don’t put much effort into getting to know one another.

2. “This reminded me of you” texts

They’ll send a video, image, or meme you’re interested in. You’ll feel special because they remember your interests.

You’ll feel good about the attention and assume there’s a chance to deepen the relationship.

3. “We gotta meet soon” texts

When the person breadcrumbing you knows that you’re hooked, they’re aware you wish to meet them.

They mention this phrase to reassure you they’re on the same page and want to meet… but their situation doesn’t allow it now.

4. GIF texts

Well, when a person only wants to prevent you from losing interest, they won’t spend too much time texting you.

They’ll use gif texts to remind you of their existence and stay free of responsibilities.

5. Flirtatious and sensual emoji

Some send emojis like kisses, hearts, heart-eyes, eggplant, peach, and other flirty or sexy emoji. They’ll often add such emoji to their texts but won’t really take it further making you yearn for more.


On social media, they’ll always like or react to your posts just so their name pops in their notification and you don’t forget about them.


Again, comments need a little more effort than simple reactions, but it ensures that they really stand out in your life through brief communication but not input time and energy for proper texts or meetings.

8. Flirty one-time meeting

They might meet you only once in person and flirt, but they won’t try to meet you again.

9. They stay connected without texts

They’ll send you snaps and memes, but there’s never real communication in the arrangement.

10. Fluctuating attention

They might text you today and show they’re deeply interested. For the next five days they might go MIA and keep you longing for more

Wondering how it’s possible to react if you’re already in a relationship? Well, it’s pretty much possible, so let’s see how it works…

Breadcrumbing in relationships

When breadcrumbing happens in relationships and marriages, one partner only gives the least attention to the other so long they tolerate it. When the victim speaks against the lack of attention, they behave themselves and resume breadcrumbing dynamics later.

Many think breadcrumbing is only possible while dating. However, it happens in serious relationships and marriages.

In this situation, the breadcrumber gives only the minimum attention and affection to their partner so they don’t leave the relationship.

When they notice the partner is losing it or are ready to step out, they’ll give more romantic and emotional attention for some time to keep them interested.

However, the moment the partner settles down and believes everything is better, the breadcrumber returns to their old detached style.

With a breadcrumbing partner, you’ll always starve for more affection, attention, and priority. They’re always busy with their social and professional life, but you have no space in their life.

Many feel confused between breadcrumbing and gaslighting. Well, it’s time to clear it all out from…

Breadcrumbing vs Gaslighting

In breadcrumbing, you as a victim receive inconsistent affection and they lead you on. You doubt the relationship and their feelings. People, in gaslighting, make you doubt your memory, judgment, and mental stability. Both are manipulative ways to exert control.

Though breadcrumbing and gaslighting are manipulation tactics, they’re not the same.

The perpetrator uses significant emotional information to control the relationship and has greater power over the victim in both.

In breadcrumbing, a person leads you on with inconsistent attention. In gaslighting, a person will convince you of something that didn’t happen in reality and makes you doubt your memory, perceptions, and judgment.

Breadcrumbing, though hurtful and depressive, isn’t as toxic and manipulative as gaslighting.

Gaslighting makes you question your general mental health and stability. You withdraw yourself from society and lose confidence in life.

However, breadcrumbing makes you question your feelings and perceptions about the relationship only. You doubt whether the other person cares enough about you.

Further, one can breadcrumb you virtually and when they’re in front of you. Many don’t consider the second possibility, so let’s know more here…

Breadcrumbing online vs Breadcrumbing in-person

Online breadcrumbing is easy due to the presence of different apps and the availability of media without putting effort. Breadcrumbing in person is tough due to lack of physical space and topic-changing material, but it still happens.

Breadcrumbing online is by far the easiest route because you have many ways to drop the crumbs.

If the person you’re dating enters your social media from the dating apps, they can text you, send relatable posts and memes, tag, comment, and like.

However, breadcrumbing in-person needs much more effort. There’s always a chance, you’ll understand their mixed signals and confront them.

They can’t bail out due to the lack of physical space. They can’t ignore you as they do online, but it still happens.

For instance, they might take you out on a date or make you feel the best for a few days followed by their absences for weeks.

Wondering why some people even exhibit this lame behavior? We’re about to know it soon from…

Reasons why people Breadcrumb

As per breadcrumbing psychology, it’s mostly because the breadcrumber is insecure and wants attention or control over another.

Sometimes, they’re unaware of their actions, and sometimes it’s something purposeful and evil. So, get down to the roots of such manipulation…

1. They wanna feel superior

Some people drop romantic breadcrumbs to potential partners only to feel desired and more confident in their lives.

They have grave self-esteem issues and reach out to specific people to feel better about themselves.

2. They want to feel validated in the dating market

When some people feel less desired, they seek attention and validation of their desirability.

When they’re aware that someone spares them a glance and attention even without reciprocation, they feel better.

3. They keep their options open

Some breadcrumbers are too immature to date. They aren’t ready to commit or settle down with one person. However, they want the thrill and attention of being loved and dating.

They also want to keep available options in case they wanna date. However, they never communicate their intentions or availability honestly because they fear losing the options and variety.

4. They feel emotionally uncomfortable being in relationships

Many breadcrumbers can’t stand the emotional pressure and liabilities of being in a relationship.

They feel uncomfortable expressing their feelings for another due to fear of rejection, commitment, or being abandoned. They want to keep negative emotional interactions at bay and avoid conflicts.

5. They only want to stay connected

Often some exes, after a breakup, want to stay friends. They’ll connect to know if you’re doing well, at least that’s what they believe.

However, they’re actually taking advantage of their ex’s feelings, getting attention and the same perks of being together without the relationship. This also stops their ex from moving on.

6. They’re a narcissist

A serial breadcrumber might have a narcissistic personality disorder. They don’t regard their victims or anybody around them.

They don’t feel guilty at all after hurting others. Sometimes they’re even aware that they’re breadcrumbing for their gains.

7. They’re not ready to invest more

A breadcrumber might not be ready to invest enough resources and energy for you. They want to date you but aren’t ready to be responsible for a relationship.

They want you to please them and show more affection, but they’ll hit you up only in their free time.

They want you to chase them and plan dates. Basically, they want a relationship but won’t work for it.

8. They don’t want anything serious

Some career-oriented people don’t like sharing their focus on something as insignificant as dating. They’ll only spend time with you occasionally, but no more than that.

They aren’t ready for serious relationships, yet desire a partner to have fun with sometimes.

9. They’re all about the booty call

Many people use breadcrumbing to have a sexual partner. They’re only interested in sexual excitement and attention. They feel the need to relieve the itch on their crotch.

So, they’ll lead you on until you hop on their bed. However, they never have an honest conversation about their intentions in the arrangement.

10. They’re taken

Another dishonest reason behind breadcrumbing might be because they’re already dating another or in a relationship or marriage. They only want attention but won’t let you know much about themselves.

Think breadcrumbing isn’t a big deal? I bet you’ll change your thoughts after reading this…

Impact of Breadcrumbing

Breadcrumbing victims lower their dating and relationship standards and self-esteem to keep the relationship. You accept a relationship that you don’t deserve and get confused about your boundaries.

Breadcrumbers usually exert their manipulation tactics the most on people that have deep feelings for them.

If you’re a breadcrumbing victim, you might suppress your own desires and needs only to protect the one-sided attachment to your breadcrumber even if it hurts.

It may lower your self-esteem, lower your dating standards, and make do in a relationship with the least effort and respect. It confuses you about your boundaries, dealbreakers, and red flags.

Think breadcrumbing is always evil? Let’s know if there’s any good use of it here…

How to breadcrumb someone in a good manner?

Though breadcrumbing is a manipulative practice, you can use it to build a healthy relationship.

If your crush doesn’t pay you much attention and you want to build a strong connection with them, breadcrumbing is useful.

So, let’s apply it to something good with these…

1. Connect slowly with teasing

To build your connection, approach them first and slowly tease them. Ask if they’re interested in joining you on a mutually-like activity.

Don’t force them and let them decide for themselves to get the best results.

2. Wait for them to reach out

Don’t contact them after you have fun for a few days. Wait until they reach out on their own. In this situation, reply, unlike manipulative breadcrumbers.

If they ask you out to an event or meet up, never miss a beat and go ahead. However, don’t reply instantly or take hours.

3. Don’t hope for the best

Don’t ever expect them to seek you out fast. Don’t hope they’ll have feelings for you the next time you meet.

Emotions don’t work that way and expectations may lead to losing your calm. It will spoil your breadcrumbing game and they’ll know your desperate feelings.

4. Connect only with reasons

You can’t expect them to reach out to you repeatedly. Sometimes, not often, reach out and show you’re around them. However, always have a reason to reach out.

Whether it’s for the mathematics notes, a project you’re currently on, or to know about their sick pet. So, you won’t ever reach out with a monotonous “Hi” or seem like you miss them.

5. Don’t be clingy

Never show you need them, otherwise, they’ll have full control over you. Be mysterious or simply friendly. Let them think that you only have platonic feelings for them.

This will make them feel less attractive and they’ll put effort to hold a significant position in your life.

Wondering if someone is trying to breadcrumb you or a loved one? Let’s know it once and for all here…

Breadcrumbing signs

All kinds of breadcrumber – virtual or in-person, intentional or unintentional – have some basic traits. Breadcrumbers are quite intelligent and they know how to keep you addicted to them.

However, it’s time to not walk into their traps. If you’re confused about someone’s intentions towards you, check if you noticed similar patterns…

1. There’s inconsistency from their side

A breadcrumber will make you believe you’re the love of their life for a few weeks and then suddenly they’ll become distant for ages.

They might send lovey-dovey texts and then ghost you for long periods. They won’t even reply when you text them.

2. They frequently postpone dates

An alarming sign of breadcrumbing relationships is that you might alone make efforts. They always say they want to meet up soon and you plan out everything for them.

However, they’ll always or mostly cancel the dates when it’s time to meet because of work or other engagements. They’ll raise your expectations and make you feel emotionally high for a while.

3. They’ll make you feel guilty

When you almost catch onto your breadcrumber’s games and confront them, they’ll turn the tables on you.

They’ll blame you for not contacting them or accuse you of being mean. They act defensive or passive-aggressive.

However, if you texted them and they didn’t reply, they might blame you for not calling or meeting them in person. It’s a basic trait among breadcrumbers.

4. They communicate when you’re vulnerable

One of the greatest signs of breadcrumbers is their odd communication times. It might be when you’re coping with a bad breakup or losing someone special.

When you’re vulnerable, they’ll share sweet messages and make you hope for something serious.

It’s usually when nobody is around you at night. During the daytime, they’ll make excuses about being busy.

5. They’re proactive when you wanna leave

Every time you feel you tolerated enough and it’s time to move on, your breadcrumber will change.

They’ll apologize, be more attentive, shower affection regularly, and convince you they’re not breadcrumbing.

You melt with their efforts and soon they return to their routine of ignoring you. They won’t let go of you even if you want to. They’ll manipulate you to keep you beside them.

6. They’re full of mixed signals

Breadcrumbers send ambiguous messages because they aren’t sure what they want. They also want to feel loved, desired and cared for. But they’re not ready to reciprocate it.

So, most of the time you’ll have difficulty understanding them and stick around without concluding anything.

7. Your exchanges are only skin-deep

One of the red flags is when your texts are never substantial. They may try to know about how you’re doing, what your interests are, and what hurt or made you happy.

However, they won’t be as enthusiastic. They only drop by to show their presence and seem nice. But they hardly show signs of true affection.

8. They breadcrumb on many platforms

Another breadcrumbing red flag is that they use multiple social media platforms to avoid the important questions.

For instance, you ask something serious about your relationship on messenger. They’ll DM you on Instagram to stay connected yet ignore anything serious.

9. You always feel pained

After long periods of time, when your breadcrumber contacts you, you feel absolutely wonderful. However, you’ll know that they’re around only for their superficial gains.

You never feel good about yourself because deep inside you’re aware they don’t care about you. You’ll long for their compliments and sometimes even blame yourself for not piquing their interest.

10. Sex is all they want

If you only ever get booty calls from them, that’s also a sign. They’re only interested in sex and tell you sweet nothings when they’re horny.

Every time you meet, they’ll always lead you to their bed. Since they can’t satisfy your emotional needs, they’ll sexually satisfy both of your needs to confuse and keep you.

11. They show off they’re kind

When an ex frequently drops by in your life virtually or physically, that’s also breadcrumbing. They’ll show they’re generous and value you as a person.

Or, it might be anyone that is extremely invested and distant and then feign ignorance about it.

12. They don’t even give excuses

Initially, it’s hard to understand if someone is a breadcrumber. Since you don’t notice their little games, they’ll go MIA and return randomly. They won’t even feel the need to explain themselves.

They don’t care what you feel so long you don’t mention it and take you for granted. Even if you ask them about their absence, you might get lame reasons like “it was work“.

13. They’ll use shared interest to lure you in

When a person only targets the common interests and shared experiences to connect with you and doesn’t want to create other ways to connect with you, that’s a breadcrumbing sign.

You’ll hardly notice them trying to talk about anything else.

14. They’ll usually communicate without texts

A breadcrumber isn’t ready to invest much effort in you but still, stay connected.

When they want to remind you of their ignorance with the bare minimum, they’ll simply send you random memes, emojis, gifs, and random media on social media platforms.

There won’t be any meaningful texts at all. When you’ll try to talk more with them, they’ll seem more distant with one-word texts.

15. Your folks hate them for not confessing feelings

If you share your poor not-so-romantic experience with your loved ones, they’ll usually convince you to break free from the period manipulation. They’ll hate your romantic interest even without knowing them.

Even when you talk about the fleeting good moments, they’ll be skeptical about it and won’t be happy about your situation.

Did you find you’re being breadcrumbed? Whoa, there don’t panic! I’ve got a perfect plan to deal with them, so let’s get going…

How to respond to breadcrumbing?

If you get breadcrumbed, direct communication may only lead to conflicts. Your breadcrumber, if intentional, will never accept that they’re guilty. It’ll only turn for the worse if they try to manipulate you and restart the cycle.

So, follow this carefully if you want to get rid of being played…

1. Ask them out on a date

You can’t act on this out of the blue. Otherwise, they’ll accuse you of being manipulative and make you feel insecure. Ask this person out whenever they’ll say “We should meet up” with a ready plan like “I’m free on ** days, let’s meet up then!”

When they refuse you, say “You’re very busy it seems, then connect when you’re ready!” That’s how you push them out when they’re not serious.

2. Mention your relationship needs

If they still hang out around you and you hope to build a relationship with them, talk about your needs from a romantic connection.

Be blunt like “We probably have different relationship goals, so if you want to stay, I want stability… what do you think?”

3. Don’t invest your feelings too soon

When you get a slight feeling that they’re not that invested in you, control your emotions. Don’t fall for them or hope for a relationship with them.

If someone’s inconsistent, they’re usually not good news. Reciprocate similar energy towards people.

4. Be verbal about their actions

When they don’t stop their pathetic games, call them out. It can help show that you’re not to be played around as you’re aware.

Conversely, if they’re someone honest, they have the opportunity to clarify if it’s a misunderstanding.

Be like “You ghost me from time to time and that’s frustrating. You probably have some complications but I’m only in for regular contact.”

5. Stop pacifying yourself

Don’t deceive yourself with made-up facts. Don’t read too much in between the lines. If they didn’t say they’re in love with you, don’t assume it.

If they don’t contact you in a while, don’t assume the reasons all by yourself. Be honest about the situation instead of pacifying yourself with possibilities.

6. Don’t let them affect you

A breadcrumber feels great when you respond to their breadcrumbing. Now, to frustrate this person, snap the puppet strings from your side.

When they text you, they get instant gratification from your craving behavior. This time, don’t play into it.

For instance, reply later than 24 hours. Don’t answer enthusiastically and use a disinterested tone with them.

7. Give them a taste of their medicine

It doesn’t hurt to breadcrumb a breadcrumber even if it’s morally and ethically wrong. So, imitate their actions like, replying with seductive emojis when they flirt to make them think you’re interested.

Make plans with them at that moment and cancel them even before them. Confuse them with the imitating acts. Don’t feel bad about getting back at them.

8. Go out on dates

Don’t pay attention to breadcrumber and start leading your life. Date serious people while that person tries to play with you.

Going out on dates with others will help you deal with the situation with confidence.

Even going out with friends and family will help you during this situation.

9. Act gracefully towards yourself

If you don’t respect yourself, nobody will. Realize that you’re worth much more affection than that.

Never lower your standards for a relationship just to keep someone. You don’t deserve such fickle-minded people in your life.

10. Think from the other perspective

Don’t think “We might work it out if I accept their habits.” Rather think “If I cut off this person from my life, what will I gain?”

Change your perspective to deal with breadcrumbing optimistically. Imagine how your mood won’t swing according to their wishes and you’ll have control over your emotions.

11. Don’t play along with them

Suppose they ring you up at odd hours, don’t let them think that’s okay because you like them.

If they send you random superficial texts that don’t mean anything, it’s okay to be like “Listen, that doesn’t make sense so if you don’t have anything relevant to say, I can’t really have a single-sided conversation.”

12. Be direct about your boundaries

When someone treats you disrespectfully or texts you only when you’re alone and vulnerable, always push your boundaries in their face. Tell them if you won’t tolerate that kind of behavior.

13. Fight manipulative acts

If you notice or feel someone is breadcrumbing, tell them how they made you feel. Don’t label fighting toxicity as being a baby or whining.

If they make you feel guilty unreasonably, fight it. Don’t accept the bad feelings without a word. Communicate and you may identify their intentions sooner.

14. Never fear loneliness

Most people can’t push away breadcrumbers because they fear loneliness. The breadcrumber slowly makes you lose confidence and feel glad only with a small reply.

You feel you’re undeserving and fear pursuing someone new or feeling lonely by then. Remember, you’re worth more than miserly breadcrumbs so get rid of such fears.

15. Cut them off when it’s time

The best way to deal with a breadcrumber is to get away from them ASAP. You don’t need such negativity in your life. Prioritize your emotional and mental health over such people.

If you suspect someone’s intentions towards you, shut them out and cherish yourself. No need to tolerate such selfish people for vain superficial reasons.

Wondering how to execute the plan when you’re connected through texts? C’mon, let me welcome you to this cheat sheet…

Texts to send someone who is breadcrumbing you

If you didn’t meet in person with your breadcrumber, it’s hard to confront them. They always have one or the other idea to sign off because of technology and still slide back into your DMs like nothing’s wrong.

It feels so devastating to be on the receiving side of this, but not anymore. Many relationship coaches recommend fighting it with these texts…

1. “Good morning. You texted last night? What’s up?”

If your breadcrumber texts you at odd vulnerable times like late at night, don’t entertain them. Even if you’re awake till late, don’t reply as it’ll encourage such behaviors.

Instead, get back to them in the morning, when you don’t feel lonely and are in your right mind.

2. “Yeah, let’s meet on Saturday or Sunday then?”

When your breadcrumber makes vain plans like “hey check this out, we must definitely go there/this reminded me of you”, shoot up a plan.

If they’re genuine, they’ll agree with your plan. Otherwise, this will discourage them from sending such misleading texts.

3. “It seems you’re busy, make a plan when you’re ready, okay?”

When they repeatedly ignore or cancel your plans, don’t continue the efforts because they’re not worth your time. Don’t let them keep you wrapped around their fingers.

If they’re really interested, make them put in some work. Ask them to connect when they can make time and have a plan themselves.

4. “Let’s discuss our expectations here.”

Give them a slow reality check that you want a relationship and have certain ideas about it. Show that you’re confident about your needs and can openly hold a confident stance in this situation.

If they don’t reply to such conversations, you better let go of them.

5. “I don’t want a casual relationship/sex/dating.”

If your relationship already has a casual dating, multiple dating, or casual sex kind of arrangement, but you never wanted it, be honest.

They might try to blame you for this because you never objected and now you’re hurting their feelings. Stand your ground and don’t let them confuse you.

6. “If you just want friendship/date casually, I don’t mind”

If you’re okay being friends with that person, tell them. If you want something casual, say so. Communicate your desires if you feel you can make this work.

If you’re fine with the late-night texts and casual sex alone, no need to make things complicated. Oppose such dynamics only when you don’t like them.

7. “I don’t like how you disappear”

In case you can’t tolerate their occasional and periodic ghosting, never forget to mention that. Let them know that’s your bottom line and you won’t compromise with it.

8. “You kept my questions at read and texted me on another app. My question still stands though.”

If your breadcrumber ignores serious texts on one social media platform but actively chats or sends memes to you on the other, don’t tolerate such immaturity.

At the end of the day, you’re behind both accounts. Your feelings don’t change with the app, so mention that.

9. “Want to go bowling sometime?”

For the last time, suggest meeting up when they return after going MIA. If they don’t respond or cancel at the last minute, make that your limit.

Don’t expect anything magical out of this move. Further, if they try to distract you with a seemingly more important topic, don’t be.

10. “I was really interested in this but this isn’t my cup of tea.”

When they don’t try to reach out after your last attempt, send them this message. Bring this toxic relationship to an end.

Don’t say “Let’s end this” because the other person will have the victim card.

Be straightforward about your̥ reasons and end it once and for all.

Wondering what’s the golden number before quitting? Want to end the relationship but don’t know when? Let’s get down to the right moment here…

How do you know it’s time to move on?

Deep inside you hope that your breadcrumber will fall in love with you and become serious. With this hope, you give them uncountable chances to redeem themselves. Slowly, you lose your self-esteem and dignity or even get severe mental health issues.

So, let’s know when to put a stop to their charade here… 

1. When they disappoint your expectations and boundaries

When you make your boundaries clear, allow them to prove themselves worthy. If they fail to meet your expectations and push your boundaries, don’t stay because the pattern will continue.

2. When they’re a pathological breadcrumber

If they repeat such patterns too many times, even when you warn them, they might be habitual or pathological breadcrumber.

They won’t change for good and will repeatedly beg your pardon and meanwhile, nothing will change so leave them.

Hate the idea of being breadcrumbed? Want to avoid it at any cost? Let’s build a shield against breadcrumbers here…

How to avoid being breadcrumbed?

If you were breadcrumbed before or know about someone else’s experience, possibly you hate this toxic trait.

You may wish to never fall for such dirty tricks again. However, if you’ll ever have a relationship, the risk prevails.

However, you can follow certain steps to avoid it like these…

1. Fortify boundaries from the beginning

When people begin dating, they understand their red flags and deal breakers better. If you’re new to dating and relationships, learn to build your boundaries.

List down anything that is intolerable in a relationship and communication about it with your potential dates.

2. Enlighten yourself with the breadcrumbing signs

If you don’t want to be a victim, then know how the perpetrator acts in breadcrumbing and stay alert about those.

3. Know your worth

Don’t let anyone convince you’re worth anything less. Focus on what you’re really worth and don’t negotiate it. Don’t let anyone treat you any less than you deserve.

4. Socialize to not depend on breadcrumbers

If you can’t socialize or stay home alone too frequently, you might grow needy of attention for a self-esteem boost. Since you’re vulnerable, you might grow dependent on a breadcrumber.

To avoid that, spend time with friends and family and make worthwhile connections in life.

5. Be honest and positive if you’re getting breadcrumbed

If you tried everything but fell prey to breadcrumbing, don’t detest yourself. If you repeatedly feel attracted to breadcrumbers, confront yourself and assess your feelings about them.

Perhaps you feel attracted to certain patterns which are directly related to breadcrumbing.

Still confused about breadcrumbing? Let’s clear the last set of confusion here…

FAQs about breadcrumbing

If a person chooses breadcrumbing, you can’t be sure it’s evil. Some people may drop breadcrumbs to build a connection and some might do it for selfish reasons.

Some even do it subconsciously, so the different situations might make it hard to judge the breadcrumber. That’s why let’s understand a breadcrumber’s intentions for good here…

1. Is Breadcrumbing ever appropriate?

Breadcrumbing is fine only when you want to check if someone can handle you. For instance, you want to show them a small example of your regular dating life and see if they agree and still want you.

It’s appropriate when you want to catch your crush’s attention and when they’re ready, you reciprocate the feelings. Or, when both of you like the occasional fun dynamics, breadcrumbing is ethical.

2. When is breadcrumbing not appropriate?

Breadcrumbing isn’t appropriate when you’re already in the relationship or when the other person dearly wants you but you continue such dynamics and lead them on.  

It’s also unethical if you assume someone likes it because they didn’t say anything against it or when you want to just stay casual but promise them love and affection.

3. Is it breadcrumbing or poor communication?

This really depends from person to person since breadcrumbing can be either intentional or unintentional.

When it’s intentional, it’s not due to a lack of manners and they know exactly what they’re doing.

Occasionally, accidental breadcrumbing happens when someone isn’t sure how to communicate their feelings about a relationship.

For instance, if a person is confused about their feelings for you. or feels afraid of rejection and doubts how you’ll respond to them, that’s when poor communication enters the situation.

However, despite the intent, breadcrumbing hurts and delays people from resuming their quest to love. If someone does this with you, it’s not any less bad than when it’s purposeful.

4. Is breadcrumbing a type of abuse?

Breadcrumbing is emotional abuse as it’s full of manipulation and control exertion. A person serious about you will be straightforward rather than feeding you breadcrumbs only.

They’ll make you feel like the most loved person in the world, instead of feeling you’re demanding and clingy.

5. Why do people breadcrumb if they’re serious?

Sometimes, people, despite being sure of their emotions, know the other person doesn’t have romantic feelings. So, to ignite romantic feelings, people in love might try to seem mysterious and breadcrumb to intensify their crush’s yearning.

If you try this kind of breadcrumbing correctly without hurting anyone, you and your crush are compatible, and your crush doesn’t already have someone else, it might work out.

However, if you’re unsure, you might hurt your crush, so think carefully before trying it.

A word from ThePleasantRelationship

Whether it’s to build a loving relationship or to keep options open, no breadcrumber is innocent. Most victims feel hurt and break down from within. However, in this current era of quick dating, it’s hard to avoid getting breadcrumbed.

Since breadcrumbing is absolutely toxic, you must identify them ASAP and show the exit to your breadcrumbers. Because you deserve much better than feeling like an option someone occasionally visits.

Don’t let others control your confidence and even if you do, remind yourself “I’m enough without such toxicity. So, why must I tolerate it?”

However, if you can’t cope after being breadcrumbed, seek your loved ones and consult a mental health expert for better guidance.