Chantel Brink
Chantel Brink
January 17, 2024 ·  2 min read

Breadcrumbing: 2024’s Newest Dating Term That Will Have You Wanting to Be Single Forever

Experiencing the cold shoulder from someone is never a pleasant experience, but an equally disheartening dating transgression, known as breadcrumbing, might just take the cake. Unlike ghosting, which at least provides closure, breadcrumbing leaves individuals with false hope, lingering in anticipation of a doubtful relationship.

Understanding Breadcrumbing

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Breadcrumbing is a unique form of leading someone on, characterized by sporadic communication that keeps the other person intrigued (leaving “breadcrumbs”) without fostering a genuine connection. It involves maintaining just enough contact to offer a glimpse of a potential relationship while intentionally keeping it from materializing.

Read: The Penny Method: A Bizarre New Dating Trend Thats Worse Than Ghosting

Examples of Breadcrumbing

  1. Infrequent Communication: Sending occasional texts, emails, or direct messages without responding to invitations for quality time.
  2. Social Media Engagement: Commenting on social media posts without engaging in direct communication.
  3. Flirty but Inaction: Being charming and flirtatious in person but avoiding making plans for future meetups.
  4. Meme Sharing: Sharing memes via text or social media without engaging in meaningful conversation.
  5. Inconsistent Interest: Texting frequently without trying to get to know each other truly.
  6. Ambiguous Plans: Making vague plans that never come to fruition.
  7. Hot and Cold Behavior: Alternating between intense interest and complete unavailability.
  8. Physical Contact Only: Showing interest only in physical intimacy.
  9. Shifting Blame: Making the person feel guilty or responsible for any relationship issues.
  10. Inconsistent Communication: Responding selectively, such as avoiding texts but reaching out on different platforms.

Responding to Breadcrumbing

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  1. Know Your Worth: Understand your value and that breadcrumbing is not worth your time.
  2. Self-Reflection: Assess your relationship goals and determine if the other person is serious. If not, consider moving on.
  3. Be Direct: Communicate clearly if something makes you uncomfortable. If they don’t respect your boundaries, it’s a sign of their intentions.
  4. Push Back: Challenge unhealthy patterns and address defensive or guilt-inducing behavior.
  5. Decision Making: Once aware of the situation, make informed decisions about your involvement. If it aligns with your desires, proceed; otherwise, consider blocking.

Understanding the Motivation Behind Breadcrumbing

  1. Unaware Breadcrumbing: Some engage in breadcrumbing without realizing it, especially when unsure about their feelings.
  2. Insecurity and Loneliness: Insecurity and loneliness may lead individuals to breadcrumb as they seek multiple relationships for self-esteem.
  3. Intentional Stringing Along: Some purposely breadcrumb to feel relevant, hinder moving on, or keep their options open, essentially using someone as a backup.

The Bottom Line

While breadcrumbing can seem harmless and flirtatious, it often indicates a lack of genuine interest in a committed relationship. Understand your relationship goals, recognize your self-worth, and establish healthy boundaries to avoid disappointment and heartbreak. In essence, being aware of the signs of breadcrumbing empowers you to make choices that align with your best interests.

Read: 5 Reasons Why a Friend Ghosted You and What to Do About It


  1. Breadcrumbing is the Newest 2024 Dating Term That Will Make You Want to be Single Forever .” Healthline. Crystal Raypole. February 12, 2021
  2. Breadcrumbin.” Psychology Today