What Is Breadcrumbing? How To Respond To It?

Last Update on October 20, 2022 : Published on October 26, 2022
What is Breadcrumbing

In today’s day and age, meeting new people and building new relationships has become very easy. Many people claim to be very good friends without having met even once. Everything is online, from finding new friends to finding partners.

As we advance into this new generation where forming or breaking bonds is so quick that sometimes it’s difficult to even understand what’s happening. Building relationships and strong bonds always take some time and a lot of heartbreaks.

Different people have different approaches when it comes to handling relationships. Some go for a sensitive approach, some prefer a more casual approach, and some go for a selfish approach. If you have been seeing people and have your dating game on, I’m sure you must have heard of terms like ghosting, gaslighting, benching, etc.

Today we are going to talk about a similar relationship issue. Breadcrumbing is a term that is being used in terms of relationships a lot lately. Let’s understand breadcrumbing behavior and how someone can respond to such behavior…

What Does Breadcrumbing Mean?


Breadcrumbing is an act or tendency to lead someone on even when you don’t have a genuine intent to take the relationship further. It’s like making someone believe that you’re as invested in the relationship as they are. But in reality, you’re just leading them on toward a dead end.

Breadcrumbing can be seen in all kinds of relationships whether it’s marriage, friendship, dating, etc. When you choose to breadcrumb someone, you’re fooling them into believing that you genuinely see them as a friend, partner, lover, etc.

This tendency to maintain a pseudo-relationship or false connection might not harm the person doing it but can severely damage the other person emotionally. The person on the receiving end can feel betrayed and played on, which can result in some serious consequences.

But the question here is, how will you know that you’re being breadcrumbed?

Here’s how to find out if you are being breadcrumbed in a relationship…

Also read: Effective Steps To Heal From Unhealthy Attachment Styles In Relationships

Signs Of Being Breadcrumbed By Someone

It usually takes time to recognising breadcrumbing in a relationship if it’s happening to you for the first time. This is so because breadcrumbers are so subtle that their selfish act can easily be masked by showing pseudo connection.

Anyway, if you know the signs of being breadcrumbed by someone, it will be easy for you to recognize this behavior. Here’s a list of behaviors you need to watch out for;

  • Don’t respond to your text for several days and suddenly send you a completely different text.
  • Frequently talk about interests and experiences that are common between you two to show that your relationship is strong
  • Keep you waiting for most of your plans. For example, “we’ll talk about it soon”, “I’ll message you about it”, etc
  • Assure you that they want to spend time with you but never actually agree on any plans that you make
  • All messages or conversations are superficial or generic
  • Respond to your social media activities but not your old texts
  • Show interest in you but do not spend quality time with you


Also Read: Are You Needy In Relationships? Signs To Watch, Causes, And How To Stop Being Needy

How To Respond To Breadcrumbing?

Now that you know what breadcrumbing is and the signs of being breadcrumbed, can you recall being breadcrumbed in life? If yes, how did you respond to breadcrumbing? Or did you even do something about it?

If not, worry no more! Here’s to respond to breadcrumbing;

  1. Call them out: if you feel like someone is breadcrumbing you, it’s best to let them know how their behavior is making you feel. It’s not a nice thing to lead someone on if you don’t have true intentions of moving forward in that relationship. When you recognize being breadcrumbed by someone, call them out and tell them about their behavior.
  2. Shift your focus: if you are being breadcrumbed by someone you like, you will have to make some tough decisions. Once you’ve told them how their behavior makes you feel, it’s your job to move on in your life. Shift your focus to something or someone who is genuinely looking out for you.
  3. Do not encourage their behavior: you need to understand that your gullibility is reinforcing their bad behavior. All you need to do is be upfront with your feelings about them and how you have been feeling led on and betrayed.
  4. Know your worth: you are not dependent on anyone. You should know your worth and how capable you are in handling yourself and your life. Never let anyone dull your sparkle. Make sure you work on building your self-worth and self-esteem.
  5. Have boundaries: in the case of breadcrumbing, it’s really important to have boundaries for yourself more than anyone else. If you know you’re being played on, do not spend any energy fulfilling the breadcrumber’s requests and demands.

That’s All Folks!

I hope you found this blog about breadcrumbing in relationships helpful, informative, and thought-provoking. Do share this blog with your friends and family so that no one falls prey to breadcrumbing and ends up facing emotional and mental disturbances.

Thanks for reading.

Take care and stay safe.

About The Author

Kirti Bhati
Kirti Bhati

I am an English literature (major) and psychology (minor) graduate from St. Bede’s College, Shimla. Postgraduate in Clinical psychology from IIS University, Jaipur. She has published a Research paper on Music therapy in the military population and Workplace stress in a national seminar conducted by Fortis hospital (gurugram) and international seminar conducted by St. Bede’s College, Shimla, Respectively. Authored a dissertation work on ‘effect of social media addiction on the mental and physical well-being in adolescents’ Currently working at calm sage as a writer.

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