Breadcrumbing is when someone you’re crushing on senses that you’re interested in a relationship, so they give you just enough attention to keep you around. They don’t want you to move on because they like the attention you give them (and like having a backup plan in case their other options fall through). But they don’t want to put in all of the time and energy that would be required to date you. So they lead you on in a new, modern way. They give you breadcrumbs of attention, mostly over text and social media, so that they stay stuck on your mind. So that you think you have a real shot with them and won’t move onto someone else who treats you better.
People who only give you breadcrumbs are giving you the bare minimum. They’re barely exerting energy and are expecting it to keep you happy. These people aren’t going to go out of their way to do sweet things for you or ask you to be in an official, labeled relationship with them. But they are going to watch your stories, comment on your pictures, and send a few texts here and there to remind you why you fell for them in the first place.
These people are going to give you pieces of what you want without making a full-fledged commitment. They are never going to give you enough attention. They are never going to give you enough praise. You’re always left wanting more. But since they gave you something, since they haven’t forgotten about you completely, you don’t want to say goodbye to them.
You might assume that they’re interested in you too, but they’re busy. Or they aren’t ready for a relationship right now. Or they’re shy. You can come up with a million reasons why they would be holding back, but sometimes the least appealing reason is the right one. They don’t actually want to be with you. They just want you to want to be with them. They want the ego boost you give them. They want the fun, flirtatious conversations to continue.
Breadcrumbing means that they like you – but not enough. They want to have all the power. They want to control when you’re going to talk and when you’re going to keep your distance. And that’s not healthy. That’s not fair to you.
Breadcrumbing gives you just enough to keep you satisfied, to convince you that you should give this person another few days, when you really should have left them behind a long time ago. You don’t deserve attention every once in a while. You deserve it consistently. You deserve someone who is going to be there for you whenever you call. Someone who is happy to put effort into the relationship because they want to make you happy.
Breadcrumbing means they don’t care about your feelings. They think you’ll be satisfied with a tiny little piece of their heart – but you deserve the whole thing. And if they aren’t willing to give it to you, go find someone else who will.