Many moons ago I was hot for a guy who was absolutely gorgeous. We went out a few times, and then one evening he and his best friend came over to play board games.
His friend wasn’t as conventionally handsome as my date and didn’t spark any interest in me. But when he said he needed to go home to eat, I absolutely COULD NOT let him leave. I proceeded to make him (and NOT my date) dinner! (Yep, I ended up in a relationship with the friend and not the supermodel, LOL).
As love-seeking women many of us have a secret fear. It’s so terrifying we may even stop dating altogether to avoid it. Our secret fear is that we’ll have to date guys we don’t find attractive, if we ever want to find one who adores us.
I’m sorry but, NO thank you!
On the path to true love you will surely end up on a date or two (or many) with guys you don’t feel attracted to. Especially if you’re dating online, it’s hard to know what you’ll encounter in real life compared to someone's profile!
If you’re not feeling it, you don’t have to “give him a chance”, or waste your time trying to make him into the man of your dreams.
But sometimes, like what I encountered on board game night, you’re just not sure. You feel neutral. You’re not turned off, but more like, you’ve barely noticed someone, or maybe you think they’re not your type. Or even – not that you would judge! – not quite up to your standards.
These are the guys who might surprise you. These are the ones you might consider spending a little more time with.
Here’s another example. I am an OBSESSED fan of Bachelor in Paradise. If you’re as hooked as I am, you might remember the season with Evan, the “Erectile Dysfunction Doctor” and Carly, who after kissing him for the first time – in a kissing contest, no less – declared herself completely grossed out. Like, she was NOT having it.
Cut to Evan being rushed to the hospital and Carly right by his side, finding herself inexplicably attracted to him after all. Now they’re married with a cute little baby girl and madly in love.
If Carly had taken some time to check in with her intuition as Evan was pursuing her she might’ve found a small voice telling her to look again. Sometimes a strong “NO” is actually just a fear response to something that's going to shake up your life.
I don’t believe you have to clear every mental block before you can find love – there is a partner out there for you right now! But sometimes we have blocks that cause us to skip over someone with potential. That’s where checking your intuition can help.
The easiest way I’ve found to check my intuition is by reading my “Body Compass”. To do this, ask yourself a yes or no question about a decision you want to make, and then feel into your body.
How does it react? Do you feel expansive, warm, open? Or constricted and tight, like maybe you want to cry? The body will never lie to you. Let it lead you toward what feels good.
By checking your body’s physical reactions, you can trust you won’t miss an opportunity with the man of your dreams, OR stay too long with someone who just isn’t right. You got this!
OMG, what is more crazy-making than a guy who is constantly texting you, sweetly asking how your day’s going, flirting and being funny… and then he NEVER ASKS YOU OUT.
And it can go on for weeks!
According to the inter-webs, this phenomenon has a name, “breadcrumbing”. Author Jessica Bennett describes it this way, “Breadcrumbers… communicate via sporadic noncommittal, but repeated messages — or breadcrumbs — that are just enough to keep you wondering but not enough to seal the deal (whatever that deal may be). Breadcrumbers check in consistently with a romantic prospect, but never set up a date.”
If you’re a woman looking for a committed relationship, the problem with being on the receiving end of Breadcrumbing is that it can FEEL LIKE you have a boyfriend.
Here is someone giving you so much attention you can’t help but feel special every time a message comes through. The idea that this guy could be messaging another woman the same way seems highly unlikely, if not impossible. I mean, why would he take the time to ask how your day is going unless he genuinely cared? You know, like a boyfriend??
Especially if you really like the guy and aren’t dating anyone else, dealing with this kind of behavior can make you feel completely nuts. You trust the guy because of his repeated contact, so why the hell is he so difficult to pin down?
It's perhaps even worse when you go on an actual date and have a fantastic time, only to not hear from him, or have another date set up afterwards. And then a week later… the Breadcrumbing starts up again.
I don’t know about you, but I say enough of the power inequality. The SECOND you recognize Breadcrumbing is happening I want you to recite to yourself, “Breadcrumbing is for the birds!” and RESIST the urge to invest more energy.
And a simple way to put an end to this nonsense before it gets too far along is to determine for yourself two things, before your heart gets involved with a guy.
1. How do you want to feel?
If secure is one of the feelings you’d like from your future relationship, then you can choose not to rely on any one guy for attention and care until you’ve spent time together and had a conversation about being monogamous.
I know that sounds super simple, but it’s so easy to get swept up when tons of romantic attention is coming your way. Consider keeping your desire for trust and security at the top of your mind.
2. How available do you want your guy to be?
Do you want him to reply every time you text? Do you want him to jump at the chance to see you when you bring up hanging out? If this is what you're looking for and the guy you’re interested in isn’t doing those things, NEXT.
Of course we can’t control others or keep ourselves safe from breadcrumbers without dropping out of the dating scene altogether, and we don’t want that! The key is to keep checking in with ourselves about how we want to feel, and whether or not we're getting all that we deserve from the guys we're dating.
Breadcrumbing is for the birds, sister. You got this!
Jen Mallinger is a trained Martha Beck Life Coach. A former boy chaser, hopeless romantic, survivor of the dating desert, and highly sensitive intimacy avoider, she is now married to the greatest guy ever. She loves sharing insights and action-steps for those looking for love and reciprocity in relationships.