Breadcrumbing is the act of voluntarily leading someone on with texts, comments and likes on social medias, calls when you can’t pick up your phone, long conversations on Messenger, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Tinder,… with no concrete plans of meeting up.
It’s a grey area in relationships. It’s not a relationship, but it’s not no contact either. Breadcrumbers can be found in professional circles too. On Linkedin, I’ve noticed a lot of people are looking at my profile, without leaving me a message or invite me for a meeting. In the digital age, we all leave our fingerprints everywhere. Before that, we didn’t have that possibility or maybe just leave a written letter or a object to someone without allowing him/her to answer. Today, with social medias, we can leave a like or a comment just by one click.
It’s a torture if you hope for a relationship with a breadcrumber. It’s also a torture when the breadcrumber is your ex or an former friend who has disappeared from your life. When you don’t really care about this person, it’s not a big deal.
Breadcrumbing can happen after a breakup. Some people can’t really move on and cut all contacts with their ex. You end up with an ex who still sends you some messages, who likes all your posts on social medias, and even comments on it. But that ex never asks to see you again. Sometimes, it helps some people to move on. After some likes on Instagram, Facebook, … and some comments/messages, some people disappear from your digital life. Breadcrumbers are one step of ghosters, those who disappear without a trace. They are a cousin of the “friend zone”.
Breadcrumbers feed their ego. But you can’t count on them to have a real friendship or relationship. There’s nothing more frustrating than having someone who tells you “Speak you soon” or “Let’s touch base later on” without scheduling an actual meet up.
There’s two ways of breaking this circle. One is to confront the breadcrumber and asks him/her what he/she wants from you. The other option is to ignore the breadcrumber. He/she’ll eventually get tired of breadcrumbing you.
If you are a breadcrumber with your ex, it’s also wise to unfriend him/her on social medias.