Have you ever been satisfied with a nibble of bread? How about a few? Wait…let me clarify: those nibbles have to be taken days or maybe even months apart – doesn’t sound too great…does it?
Now imagine this type of eating schedule in the context of modern dating. Introducing: BREADCRUMBING! Step aside “ghosting,” breadcrumb dating has made its grand entrance on the scene. “Breadcrumb Dating” is defined by Urban Dictionary as “the act of sending out flirtatious, but non-committal text messages (i.e. “breadcrumbs”) in order to lure a sexual partner without expending much effort,” which basically equates to leading someone on without any intention of following through and building a meaningful relationship.
People generally use this technique when they want someone to be around, just to have them around. “Breadcrumbers will send you sporadic messages, slide into your DMs here and there, or throw you a like on Instagram just frequently enough so you don’t lose interest, but not too much so the relationship actually moves forward.” reports Cosmopolitan.
Does any of this sound familiar? Don’t worry, it’s happened to the best of us. Let’s look at some “case studies” that you may recognize…
-Like the time you saw that they opened your DM – but after minutes of not responding, they post a curiously hot selfie on their story?
-How about the time they respond to one of your stories only to ghost you right after, but wait- they like your next post!!?
-Or the time the conversation dries out and they hit you with the classic “Sorry, I got busy” text weeks after you literally saw them complain about boredom and NOT being busy on their feed.
-But let’s all agree that this is the worst: when they act like nothing ever happened after they ghosted you for 3 months and then suddenly act super interested but eventually disappear…again.
So much childish behavior and ambivalence, but hey – there’s nothing wrong with that as long as you realize this (savagely disrespectful) form of dating is literally ruining lives! SMH. SMDH.
Behavioral and relationship expert Tracy Crossley was recently interviewed by the beautiful ladies of Get it Girl. In her explanation, Tracy says breadcrumb dating tends to be triggered by a person feeling the weight of commitment creeping up on their shoulders. This can happen early on, as the “breadcrumber” will likely feel as though they are responsible for the other person’s happiness.
What does this fear of commitment boil down to? Self-esteem and various insecurities. This doesn’t just refer to the breadcumber themselves, but also to the person on the receiving end. Tracy states, “All of us yearn for a connection, but if throughout your life your self-esteem [was] stomped on by not having your voice heard, [you were] criticized with no positive reinforcement, [or] your feelings [were] not accepted, then it’s hard to value your worth as an adult, until you treat yourself as someone worthy.”
If you happen to catch yourself in a breadcrumb situation, remember: this is not the only form of dating and you are worthy and deserving of so much more. So put on that crown queen, and work!