What Is Breadcrumbing? Spot the Signs of This Dating Red Flag

If a new friend appears interested, but it feels like you’re not getting anywhere, You could be experiencing breadcrumbing


Ghosting, catfishing, love-bombing, Cuffing … The list goes on, and plenty is happening in modern dating that keeps us on our alert. Do you know about breadcrumbs?

What Is Breadcrumbing?

Breadcrumbing is one of the most common forms of manipulation in online dating, particularly with the rise of apps and online dating.


Breadcrumbing refers to when you take someone on a romantic path by texting or using social media.

What is Breadcrumbing

Sometimes, it’s referred to by the name “Hansel and Gretelling,” the name comes from the notion of leaving breadcrumbs that allow people to discover what they’re looking for.

This is basically saying they’re stringing you along by using advanced technology.

Breadcrumbing is a dating phenomenon where someone is a bit flirty with you on occasion to keep you engaged but isn’t planning to commit or put in any effort.


Breadcrumbing vs. Gaslighting

Although it sounds similar to gaslighting, and they are both methods of manipulating relationships, they’re not the same. The same personalities can commit both. While breadcrumbing is basically “leading someone on,” gaslighting is the deliberate effort to alter a person’s perception of reality, causing the victim to doubt their perceptions and judgment.


Involves a small-but-inconsistent supply of interest that keeps someone feeling as though there is the potential for more; makes one question if they really care about them.


It involves a person who is actively trying to get someone to doubt their beliefs about reality.

It aims to convince someone that their beliefs are not true and erode the confidence of their mind and capability to make clear decisions.

Signs of Breadcrumbing

If you’re still unsure what breadcrumbing actually is or if you are experiencing it, here are a few indicators to tell you if you’re being led by.

Signs of Breadcrumbing

They blow cold and hot.

They don’t constantly contact you.

It is possible to be in constant contact over a few days, and the next week or longer may pass before they get back to you once more.

They can make a habit of contacting you at the exact moment you’ve gotten to the point of forgetting about them completely and moving on, which means that you’re back at the beginning.

The messages they send are not clear.

They’re not committed to anything, and they don’t want to be particular.

They recommend that you meet one another ‘soon,’ but do not make any predetermined schedules.

They can always express things in a manner that makes you feel hopeful without making any commitments.

Their message isn’t substantiated. 

There may be occasional deep conversations, but the messages they send are usually simple and generic.

They make no genuine effort to meet you.

They can throw breadcrumbs at you through various channels.

They don’t reply to your Whatsapp However, they’re awed by your Instagram post or discover that they’ve watched your post.

This keeps them in your mind and keeps you from moving away or forgetting about them.

They won’t make you feel better about yourself.

If you receive a text email from them, it may cause your heart to beat faster and give you that feeling of exhilaration, yet it’s still not enough to cause your heart to glow.

Although you may feel great when they actually text you, it quickly wears off and is replaced with worry about whether you’ll be able to hear from them once more.

They will only praise you to gain what they need out of you. They don’t really do anything to increase confidence in yourself.

They’ll booty-call you.

They may not be able to spell it out; however, when they’re messaging you at night, they’re just after only one thing instead of making plans with you.

They might even message you to see what you’re doing, with no goal of hooking up with them, but they’ll make sure you’re awake at night contemplating them.

They’re not able to promise a date.

They text you and suggest a meeting; however, they don’t make plans.

In the event that you want to know about what’s happening between you and them, they will either deny the question or claim they do not want to put the label on it.

While it’s acceptable not to put the label on something when it’s paired with the other listed behaviors, it’s likely that they don’t wish to commit to you.

They’re only interested in sex.

If once you get them to appear, it’s not long before things get physical between you; it can be an indication of breadcrumbing.

If they don’t want to meet you in the morning, but only when you don’t have a chance to return to your home afterward, and you’d like to be more, you must be honest with yourself.

Read More: How to Recognize Mental And Emotional Abuse, and Why It’s Not Your Fault

Read More: Signs of a Toxic Relationship and how fix or end it

Read More: How Emotionally Intelligent Are You, and How to Build it?

How do you deal with breadcrumbing?

How do you deal with Breadcrumbing

Do not be a victim

Remember that, even if the behavior concerns you, it’s not about you. It can be difficult to accomplish than it sounds, but it’s something to be aware of.

People who use breadcrumbs do it to increase their self-esteem. They don’t think about the feelings of other people. This doesn’t necessarily mean that something is wrong with your character or that you’re not adequate enough.

Remember the things you are entitled to

Do not limit your requirements in order to ensure that a relationship is successful. This isn’t sustainable and healthy over a long period as it can result in you feeling disappointed repeatedly.

Be clear about your boundaries. 

A healthy boundary is vital to a healthy relationship. Try to clarify the things you want and what you’re looking for.

Find out where you’ll mark the line and what you refuse to accept. If you’d like to talk via phone, have regular conversations, or schedule dates during daylight hours and do not include horizontal conversations and you want to express your opinion, then do it. Being clear about how you’d like to be treated will let you feel like you’re soliciting your needs and acting as your self-appointed advocate.

Consider if the relationship is worth keeping.

Have a hard look into your “relationship” nature and decide if it’s worth investing your time and energy into it. 

If they do not meet your needs or you decide not to waste another second on them, disengage from the relationship so that you can engage with someone who can provide you with what you need and deserve in a relationship.

Be aware of red flags that could appear in the near future.

There is no reason to accept breadcrumbs. “Keep an eye open for red flags moving forward and don’t engage with people that aren’t equally as invested,” Panganiban says. If you choose to maintain more strict boundaries, you will discover friendships that will be more satisfying in the future.


Read More: 20 Strategies to get rid of your Toxic Ego before it destroys your life


You are entitled to more than little bits of food. It will never be satisfying to take all of these crumbs together and put them into something tangible and real when it’s full of holes, broken connections, or lacks the necessary ingredients to make the substance.

Be aware that breadcrumbing is a sign, and then take steps to establish boundaries and make your goals explicit about obtaining what you want from the relationship.

He’s Breadcrumbing You – Turn It Around Now With These Powerful Tips
Leave a Reply
You May Also Like