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.