As I mention in a lot of my blog posts, dating in our generation is hard.
Gone are those lovely stories like our parents/grandparents who just met each other in social gatherings or through mutual friends and ‘just knew’, they continued to court until marriage and happily ever after.
Nowadays, with the exception of those very few rare long-term-since-teens couples, we are all in a very hectic and chaotic dating world. It’s not simple. With social media and dating apps galore, it’s very easy to meet (and sometimes date) multiple people and get involved in so many games.
There’s many dating tricks of the trade that are quite common now, like rejection and ghosting. But this post I’m writing today is all about the now very popular new term: bread crumbing.
What is bread-crumbing?
Someone who breadcrumbs leads you on by dropping small morsels of interest — an occasional message, phone call, date plan, or social media interaction. These happen sporadically and usually don’t have any followthrough.
Now the above statement probably rings true to some of you or gives you a little deja vu. And here is an unfortunate realisation:
We have all probably been bread-crumbed.
I could tell you a specific story of this happening to me. But it has actually happened to me with so many guys. In fact, it wasn’t until I actually read up about this kind of dating slang, that I realised pretty much 90% of my dating history I was a victim to this exact thing!!
So here’s a brief example of a guy in my past (and when I say ‘a guy’ we can argue I’m basically telling the tale of most of my dating history)- there was a guy I had a huge crush on. Now just to give you a rough idea of what I’m like when I like someone, I have absolutely NO ‘cool’. I double text, I like a majority of their posts (but not all of them because you know, let’s not be obvious Zoë, every other post is fine), I won’t wait for them to approach me, I will make it fully obvious – to the point that they’ve probably been put off within 2.5 seconds of intro. But anyway, in some cases (because you know, I have actually had relationships here and there so some guys weren’t that scared) we go a bit further than them running for the hills. In this scenario we will call the guy in question Mr. B.
Now Mr. B and I had a good connection, may have made out briefly or had one unsuccessful date. For whatever reason, the flame didn’t keep burning and things fizzled out. Enter the ‘ghosting period’ as it were.
I spend approximately 2-4 weeks pining over yet another failed crush scenario. After acknowledging he’s not going to contact me and the day dream I was having about us having that really fun Christmas together is gone, I crack on with my day-to-day life.. maybe even trying to locate my next victim, who knows. Then suddenly out of the blue a month or so later, when he’s not even crossed my mind anymore: he messages me.
But that’s all it is, messages. Sometimes flirty, sometimes there might be a planned meet-up where nothing much happens but generally, it’ll be messages that seem to sporadically appear over time. The worst thing is, I used to think that this meant they were holding on to feelings for me, or realised what they lost, or couldn’t get over me.
But that was my GiGi from He’s just not that into you character moment. It wasn’t the truth.
Because here’s the thing: if a person genuinely likes you, regardless of what they have going on, they will contact you regularly and make an effort to keep you around.
(There are exceptions. But they are very few and far between. There is a far line with excuses. So for the sake of sanity, just assume if this happens to you that the person is just literally keeping you as an option and nothing more. And we all deserve better than that.)
But now, here’s another thing we need to consider:
Are you also doing it yourself?
What we never seem to address in this crazy dating world, while we’re bitching about those former flames to our friends over cocktails is that sometimes – we are actually doing the same thing to other people, without realising.
I’m going to be honest here, I realised recently while looking into this sort of thing, that I have been guilty of bread-crumbing with other people.
See, all jokes aside about my tragic love life, I do get admirers and male attention, just not from the people I want that attention from (I’m sure we can all relate to this, right?). There’s been some scenarios where I’ve been in a desperate mindset and felt really ugly and unloveable, that I’ve ended up branching out to those male friends who have always held a torch for me.
I’m not proud of it. It wasn’t the right thing to do for me or them. I was so wrapped up in my own little selfish world of wanting some attention that I took advantage of friends who would drop everything to shower me in compliments or take me on a nice date. Even though I knew Deep down inside, no matter how nice they are or how perfect they might be as a partner, the feelings are not there and I would always be looking for something more elsewhere.
In our own journeys to experience affection and be treated with respect, we might actually be putting an immediate stop on someone else’s own journey.
I have made a lot of mistakes throughout my life, I don’t regret them because they have all taught me things I need to progress as a person. But taking advantage of someone else’s feelings for the sake of your own selfish need for attention is one of the things I do regret and will always feel bad for.
The thing is, what it all comes down to is this:
If you’re unsure about someone who seems to be sure about you, be real and cut the cord.
(This also goes for the other way round too – if the person of your dreams is only appearing sporadically and not giving you the vibe that anything real is coming from it, put your pride first and cut that cord too!)