We all thought "ghosting" was terrible. If you're not aware of what that older term means, "ghosting" is basically when someone you were constantly in touch with, or worse, someone you were dating or getting to know suddenly falls off the face of the earth. They make themselves scarce on purpose or stop replying completely without explanation... that given its pain at least supplies an answer, that they're completely out. There's an ugly new dating monster that's been given a name in the last few weeks and we all hope the trend isn't here to stay. The new name this grey-area, fade-out fad, goes by is "breadcrumbing."
The term was coined with the idea from the children's tale Hansel and Gretel in which one of them dropped breadcrumbs to try and lead them back home. In this case, though, sadly that person's not leading you anywhere but in circles, leaving you "likes" on your last family gathering or profile photo or sudden messages out of the blue to make you believe they're still "kinda" on board. You ache a bit when you realize those crumbs aren't anywhere near the more meaningful conversations you once had because now a few weeks or months later after some switch flipped in their head they're all blatantly casual with you.
"It's the annoying situation where a potential special friend keeps the online conversation going sporadically without actually wanting to go on a date but never disappearing off the radar completely."
- HUFFINGTON POST
Breadcrumbing is what some not very emotionally available people do to people of value when they are losing interest in them, and usually they are people who can't deal with you in reality and instead form digital attachments online or mobile and not really in person. However, before some of you agree with this list, to be fair, before you slap the "breadcrumbing" label on what that person did to you, just remember that if no feelings were out on the table or if you weren't officially dating there's no need to waste time and bitterly call out a breadcrumber even if it feels like that's what they did. You probably just weren't on the same page from the beginning. Here are the five things we super can't stand about "breadcrumbing" in actual dating:
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1. Breadcrumbing is actually sometimes made possible by you before the other person does it to you. Yup, it stinks, but you actually let it happen and hold the key. It means that you formed an attachment online or via text and made yourself too available at arm's length before knowing the person better. If you draw the line from the beginning, the person won't have this power over your feelings. Text or instant messaging apps are primarily for coordinating actual meetups and for quick encouragement and viral humor, it shouldn't just contain the entire body of your personal exchange unless the person is abroad or something. Find someone who wants to talk to you and see your smile, not just your smileys.
It's key to be with someone who wants to talk with you rather than type along with you for ages, or if you love reading each other's stories that's fine, but personal encounters or actual calls compounded should obviously surpass the amount of texting IF you are dating. If you are not, it shouldn't matter to either of you whether you are calling, chatting, or texting with each other and how much of each is what's going on. Friends don't keep a scoreboard, they fall in and out of conversation naturally but notice that even friends make the conversations meaningful.
2. We all deserve meaningful conversations, and the last thing you want is just a random connection. What you read enters your mind and heart, don't let a "breadcrumber" sell you short if you were clearly dating. Sometimes they think they mean well but the truth is they don't know what they want or are already interested in someone else and don't know what to do with you.
3. It sucks because it's half-hearted. People who "breadcrumb" like to convince themselves on a daily basis that they're pretty nice, and are able to advise or encourage numerous people who need a "friend" and would never shut the door in someone's face or snob anyone, you included, so... OF COURSE they'll still text you even if they're not crushing on you as much, why shouldn't they... is what they think.
Validation is what they seek. Being obviously neither here nor there sadly says they are among the most indecisive people around. Oprah Winfrey had this powerful truth taught to her by Maya Angelou: "When someone shows you who they are, believe them." If you think you want to hang around and wait for a "breadcrumber" you are dating to change, consider this quote:
"Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you'll understand what little chance you have in trying to change others." -Jacob M. Braude
4. It's partly proof that you're not the only one they're having meaningful conversations with. Don't think yourself special or wonder if you are unless you've been shown constantly without fail and told directly. Even if you aren't the only one they're talking to, just put space and keep your cool if you're not committed. The coolest girls don't jump the gun and live life centerstage, everything else is something happening around them until someone takes their cue on stage with you.
Remember, no one wants to be in the limelight with someone edgy or clingy. We're not sure how many others your breadcrumber is talking to, venting to, or to be fair, there might even be just you and the person just has cold feet or is unsure, but even Steve Harvey once said to an audience member with a question about why a guy pulled away: "Usually... if a man is off somewhere he's ON elsewhere." You don't have the proof, but there's a good chance your breadcrumber changed channels without you noticing. If you are friends, you may be the only one with a bunch of premature feelings. It's always good to sit and presume the most charitable of possibilities to keep yourself sane and move on with life. After all, hindi naman kayo.
5. In a potential relationship you ought to be loved, respected, and cherished. In dating, what you get is also what you allow yourself to receive. Receive attention, kindness, and love... don't be on the receiving end of breadcrumbs. The difference between grown-ups and children is that adults accept responsibility. What happens to you is mostly what you allow to happen.to yourself. If you were your best friend or another imaginary sibling of yourself, who would you want for you? Only the best we believe, only the very best flawed human being constantly wanting to be with you.
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