It’s when someone keeps you on the hook but they have no intention of anything serious with you. They enjoy flirting with you, hooking up with you and they want to maintain that non committal status without anything more than bare minimum effort.
They give you little bits of crumbs - little indications here and there that they're interested in you - to keep you on the hook.
What does breadcrumbing look like?
Someone who breadcrumbs does everything they can to make you feel wanted... but not too wanted. That’s intentional.
They want to keep you interested but they don’t want you 100% in because then they'd to deal with that. They want to deal with you on their own schedule and their own terms. They want you eager for more because that’s the power dynamic that serves them.
And so they keep things unsure, uneven and inconsistent. They’ll go from no planning and no communication to all of a sudden really wanting to make plans and hang out.
Someone who breadcrumbs is intentionally manipulating you for their own gain because they want fun and nothing more.
They give you just enough to keep you on the hook. It works but not because you're some sucker or naive. Not at all. It works because no one is immune to wanting to see something progress forward and become more and those little breadcrumbs fuel that desire.
So what do we do with this insight?
For starters, no creating a negative or wallowing story from it. No telling yourself or someone else that everything is f***** and no one is honest. No saying our generation has ruined dating, millennials have brought about the death of dating and dating apps have ruined romance.
That story does NOTHING.
Repeating a story like that does nothing but put you in a negative headspace. It does nothing but freeze you in time and make you overthink dating and what’s possible. The appropriate response is never to focus on them... but rather on yourself.
Get serious about yourself.
There’s no time to complain about dating. There's no time to say no one is serious. There's no time to focus on them.
Say: I deserve more than someone who would play with my feelings.
There should be no ambiguity about that because you are serious and you are honest and you wouldn’t do those things. You wouldn’t breadcrumb.
And you deserve someone who is the same - and you better believe those people exist.
Do NOT give more of your energy to the BS you've already experienced. All you need to do is compare your intentions with theirs and just be done with what you see.
Because in the case of breadcrumbing… all it leads to in the best case is a situationship or an almost relationship.
And you don’t want that, right?
Take a step back and say breadcrumbs!? You’re gonna try to tempt me with breadcrumbs?! You’ve gotta be kidding. I deserve the whole thing or nothing.
That should be response. Not ugh everyone sucks, no one is serious, dating is impossible. None of that. You don’t have time for that.
You love yourself, you know your intention and you know that someone who intentionally manipulates is a sad person. And they are not you.
So let them be sad somewhere else.
Ask yourself... do you want crumbs?
No, you know you don’t. You don’t have time for that. You're too busy celebrating your intention AND telling yourself a story of what you deserve.
Remind yourself that there ARE people out there who are that way as well and it’s your job to spend your time finding those people - not wasting it or giving more of it to someone whose intentions are anything but honest.
You are literally the only person in your life who can break cycles and who can decide what's best for you and what you deserve.