5 Signs Your Partner Is “Breadcrumbing” You, and What You Can Do to Stop This Manipulation

“Breadcrumbing” is a type of dating behavior where your partner flirts with you by sending messages on social media or through texts (“breadcrumbs”), keeping you interested in them, usually with no further intention of having a serious relationship with you. People who choose this pattern of behavior are giving their partners false hope, romantically leading them on and making them dependent on their communication. Such relationships usually lead to nowhere and leave us frustrated.

There are red flags that can help you see breadcrumbing in the relationship with your partner. But there are certain techniques that can help you put an end to this type of manipulation. We at Bright Side took a closer look at the signs of breadcrumbing and want to share them with you.

1. They are less interested in your relationship than you are.

Breadcrumbers will ask you out on a date and then change their plans or just not show up. They don’t seem as invested in the relationship as you are. Sometimes they can just disappear and stop messaging for no real reason, leaving you feeling confused. This type of behavior can make people feel dependent on communicating with a breadcrumber, whose self-esteem is often dependent on how much attention from others they can get.

2. They don’t try to get to know you better.

Your communication with a breadcrumber can be filled with tons of messages and likes on social media, but they don’t seem to show any interest in spending time together in person. If you meet once, they may try to avoid another date, which means they give you the feeling of a real-life connection just once, keeping you wanting more.

3. Your communication is inconsistent.

You never know when a breadcrumber will send you another message or call you back. Today they may seem warm toward you, but then tomorrow, they may be cold as ice. Taking a long time to answer your messages and being chaotic and inconsistent when showing their interest in you may all be signs of breadcrumbing.

4. You feel unsafe in the relationship.

Such awkward and inconsistent behavior can make you feel lost at sea. With such a partner, you never know where you are in your relationship. According to experts, people are not always breadcrumbing us on purpose. Sometimes they do it unintentionally, being guided by loneliness, insecurity, and low self-esteem as they try to make things better by stringing people along.

5. They may already be in a relationship with someone else.

According to experts, some breadcrumbers just can’t get enough from one relationship, and they need more people seeking their attention. If your partner is demonstrating breadcrumbing behavior, chances are you’re not the only person falling prey to their manipulations. So when they don’t text you back, they may be busy texting someone else.

Things you can do to stop breadcrumbing

Being engaged in a manipulative relationship is hard, and quitting it requires effort. Experts suggest several things you can do to boost your self-esteem and end this unhealthy relationship.

  • Talk to your partner honestly. Don’t let them blame their behavior on you and openly speak about what makes you feel uncomfortable in your communication.
  • Map out what you really want in a relationship. If your partner doesn’t want to engage in the serious relationship you want, keep moving forward.
  • Know your worth and treat yourself with love and kindness. Do something you’re good at to boost your self-esteem. Spend more time on self-care and doing the things you enjoy.

Has anyone ever showed this type of behavior toward you? What did you do in response?

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