Although breadcrumbing is not your usual word, a lot of people are currently victims, while others are trying to deal with breadcrumbing. That leads us to the bigger question: what is breadcrumbing? How does it affect our relationships? These questions will be simplified in this text.


Basically, breadcrumbing is an attitude in which someone gives subtle or little signs of wanting something with another person. But, he or she is not really interested. In my book, it is the cruelest flirting technique. Because breadcrumbing involves “leading someone on.” Personally, I’ve been breadcrumbed before, and it wasn’t fun… He made me believe in a relationship that never materialized. Generally, I just feel the answers are quite simple. If you don’t really love someone that way, why leave breadcrumbs?

Generally, examples of breadcrumbing include;

#1. Social ‘Crumbing:

This has to do with social platforms like texting on WhatsApp or basically texting. It also includes emailing or direct messaging on Instagram (DMing) or even FaceTime. But every time you try to do so, he or she is unresponsive. Basically, on their part, they’d ignore your messages but comment on your social media posts. But not necessarily engaging in direct communications.

#2. Physical ‘Crumbing:

Generally, this has to do with flirtatious behavior from the breadcrumb. They can be attentive when they want to be flirty in person. But would never make a move to hang out again.


Constant breadcrumbing is very mentally abusive. Follow me; I’m going to walk you through the different signs I faced when I was breadcrumbed. Eventually, I took the steps to move forward. So, how do you know you’re being breadcrumbed?


The breadcrumber is very unreliable. He or she does text or even messages you consistently. You might probably be in contact for a while. But later on, he or she becomes inconsistent. Basically, he always made it seem like I was too clingy when I texted regularly, and he didn’t reply. Breadcrumbers are also always noncommittal and don’t like to get specific. They suggest you see each other ‘soon,’ but avoid making any set plans. They always manage to phrase things in a way that gives you hope without committing themselves to anything.


When I say “generic communications,” I mean common or shallow communications. This person does not want commitments of any kind, so even when you guys start having deeper conservations, he or she won’t just go generic to avoid any further flirtation.


They might not respond to your WhatsApp messages. But they are constantly stalking your feed on IG. They might probably even like your Instagram posts and view your Whatsapp story. To this person, he does not want any commitment. But keeping them on your radar keeps you from forgetting or moving on.


When you get a message from them, it might make your heart pound, and there is constant excitement. Though you feel a flood of intense emotions, still you feel emotionally starved. Well, because you are not getting all you would expect in a relationship. Even if you feel good when they are actually texting you, that soon wears off and is replaced by worry about whether you’ll hear from them again. They only compliment you to get what they want from you but don’t actually do anything to boost your self-esteem. This is a clear sign that you are being breadcrumbed.


You are a “speed dial booty call.” Although, they don’t need to spell it out for you. However, you’d see it in how they act. They text late at night. Rather than setting a proper dinner date, they’d prefer to call you for hookups. They refer to you by your body parts, like “your butt” or something like that. Generally, they don’t care about emotional attachments; they just care about what they’d get from you. When you do manage to see them, things quickly get physical between you. This is a clear sign that you are being breadcrumbed.



Although the problem is entirely theirs, it feels like it’s always balls down to you. Whenever they pick you up and drop you off again, you can’t figure out what you did wrong. But it’s a big knock on your self-confidence and self-esteem.


They message you and vaguely suggest meeting up but avoid making plans. It is emotionally draining, trust me. If you ask them what’s going on between you, they dodge the question or say they don’t want to put a label on things. Whilst it’s perfectly valid not to put a label on things, if it’s combined with all the other behaviors on this list, they probably just don’t want to commit to you.


First off, if you’ve realized you’ve got a breadcrumber on your hands, well, you are definitely past the hard stage. Because you can be honest with yourself. Although you’ve been able to achieve this, it can be quite difficult to accept in some situations. You can deal with someone stringing you along in a few ways. These are;

#1. Suggest a date:

Generally, all breadcrumbers always want to keep things virtual. So, suggest a date, pick a time and place, like coffee on Sunday afternoon. If a breadcrumber is having trouble deciding why he or she really wants you, this puts things in the clear. If they don’t accept your invitation (like most of them would probably do), it can help you realize what you really are to them and move on.

#2. Be straight with them:

Ask them directly why they always cancel plans; when they try to dodge the question, ask again. This might mean you have to take a deep breath and be brave, but it won’t be what they expect. Because of your boldness and or curiosity, they can even open up and be honest with you.

#3. Change the way you reply:

If you normally just follow their lead, then it’s time to mix things up a bit. If they text you at night, turn off your phone and text them the next day, suggesting you meet up. Figure out exactly where they want the limits of the relationship to be, like just keeping it to late-night casual hookups. That means you can push those limits and get clear on whether they’re willing to make any changes or if it’s the end of the road.

#4. Accept it for what it is:

Basically, if things between you are just physical, and you’re really and truly okay with that, then that’s fine. But if not, let them know.

#5. Don’t be afraid to say goodbye:

Although it might seem a little difficult. But you have to do it. When you find that the way you’re being treated is taking its toll on you and making you anxious or question your self-worth, it’s time to say goodbye. Once you’ve made this decision, stick to it and turn your attention to loving yourself.



Generally, all breadcrumbers are narcissists, but some more than others. However, the issue is that someone who breadcrumbers might be ignorant of his narcissistic nature. What do I mean? Even the best of us grow up in situations that are emotionally demanding, and as such, when we grow up, our attachment style is unhealthy. A narcissist cares only about himself, but the thing is, behind every narcissist, there is a story. He or she has been breadcrumbed or grew up in a toxic environment where he or she learned that love is draining. Nevertheless, whatever reason someone might have for breadcrumbing is totally unfair.


It is never easy because a breadcrumber is like an “emotional vacuum”; once they satisfy their emotional needs, they don’t care much for yours. But if you are dating or infatuated with a breadcrumber, then what do you do?

a. Try to understand how he or she feels deep down when he or she is not breadcrumbing.

b. Breadcrumbers are, in most cases, always emotionally insecure when trying to understand him or her, so show them love. However, be direct so they know your importance and basically what they want.


Basically, you have to understand that your actions are hurting someone else’s emotions. Making yourself feel good isn’t a problem. But it becomes one when you are doing it at someone else’s expense.

Marriage is supposed to be full of love, commitment, and passion. But you don’t have to be a martyr for love. Basically, this happens in a long-distance marriage. When the sparks begin to wane, and trust is always disappearing, breadcrumbing becomes the next other of the day. But how do you stop being breadcrumbed in your marriage;

1. Have you tried a trial separation when you are dealing with hard situations? It helps you put things into perspective.

2. Know what you want to stick to it.

Is Breadcrumbing an abuse?

Breadcrumbing is termed emotional abuse. Because it is majorly manipulative and emotionally hazardous to the other party.

Paperclipping vs. breadcrumbing

Paperclipping is when an ex comes back into your life for no reason other than to feel better about themselves. Breadcrumbing is simply when someone leads you on to make themselves feel good. They sound quite similar, but they are different.


Breadcrumbing is not a popular term, but it’s something almost everyone does nowadays. Oftentimes, a lot of people can’t separate if they are narcissists or breadcrumbers. Although, all breadcrumbers are somewhat narcissistic. But not all narcissists are breadcrumbers. Try and find out what it truly is and seek professional help.

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