Imagine a birthday celebration filled with the best foods and drinks. However, one person doesn’t get the fine cuisine. The family has a young child who is allowed to only eat the crumbs everyone else leaves. If you think the family members are jerks, you are correct!
Yet, you might have people in your life who are doing the same thing to you. Or, you might be doing it to others. Except, instead of food, this involves dating and relationships.
This awful dating trend is called “breadcrumbing” and, although the name is new, it’s not really a totally new phenomenon. Social media and instant messaging have just made it much easier to do.
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Breadcrumbing is when someone you like romantically gives you just enough attention to keep you interested…but no more. So, you’re not getting that person’s best time or attention, but just a few crumbs here and there (hence the name).
Why People Breadcrumb
Obviously, this is crappy behavior. But, people often act crappy in relationships. So, why would someone string another person along?
Attention Seeking– Bread crumbing is about attention. The people doing it might not really like the guy or girl, but enjoy the attention too much to stop. Likely, they are doing this to several people to feel liked and validated.
Needing a Back Up– A lot of this bad behavior stems from a desire to have a second option or backup. A person happy with only crumbs of attention will usually be available on short notice…when the first choice cancels.
Lack of Assertiveness- Many people breadcrumb because they lack the courage to completely break off a relationship. They might know the other person wants more, but don’t have the heart or the will to totally end it. So, they give the other person the bare minimum hoping he or she will go away.
What to Do If You’re Breadcrumbed
Usually, it’s pretty obvious if you’re being breadcrumbed. The texts are few and far between. You see the other person on social media having fun with friends, but you’re never invited. Your message is marked as “read” for hours before you get a response. Deep down you know. Here is how to handle it.
Do Nothing– If you enjoy being a second option and just receiving bits of attention, then that’s your call. Some people will take whatever they can get.
Try to Increase Contact– Maybe the breadcrumbing is inadvertent and you can get more attention by increasing your efforts to reach out to the other person. However, if your efforts fail, it’s a sure sign you’re being breadcrumbed.
Breadcrumb Them or End It– This is the best option. If you’ve tried to reach out to the other person and give full attention and he or she is not reciprocating, then the relationship isn’t a deep or meaningful one. You’re reduced to begging for crumbs. So, if you still like the person, just give him or her crumbs of attention too…not to be petty, but because you’re giving your best attention elsewhere. Or, just end it and move on.
So, if you’re being breadcrumbed, keep these tips in mind. It’s definitely an awful, hurtful trend, but you don’t have to fall victim to it. Know what it is and move on. There are plenty of fish in the sea and there’s no need to put up with bad behavior.