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Breadcrumbing 101: What you Need to Know

There's a new term for leading people on in the dating game called "breadcrumbing." Please read to find out what you need to know about this and what it means to you.


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When you’re interested in someone fully, it’s expected to put forth more than just the minimal effort to keep someone’s attention. However, in today’s dating world, we’ve found that there are numerous games or tactics to string people along. One of these is called “breadcrumbing,” which you may or may not be familiar with.
What exactly is “breadcrumbing,” you might ask? Well according to, it is as follows:

“The act of sending out flirtatious, but non-committal text messages (ie “breadcrumbs”) to members of the opposite sex in order to lure a sexual partner without expending much effort.”


The messages are sporadic. It’s just enough to keep you interested but not enough to allow things to actually move forward. The messages can be ambiguous, vague or even just a simple “hello,” really.  The whole point is that the person can keep your attention without offering truly anything in return unless it’s convenient for them. Because honestly, people have a multitude of reasons for doing this.

Sometimes people choose to breadcrumb others because they’ve gotten out of a relationship and aren’t looking for anything serious, but they want to keep you on hold. Another reason might be if the person is interested but not enough to commit, just enough to stay relevant for now until they may or may not change their minds. Kinda selfish, right? Absolutely.   Cosmopolitan Magazine Source

People seem to be so unsure of themselves anymore or what they really want and that means not having or wanting to make a commitment to anyone or anything until they’re fully sure they’re ready or available. The problem is, with online dating, there are so many options.


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So let’s look at it from this angle.
You have an online dating profile. You’re regularly getting inbox messages or matches from people that are all attractive matches (in your mind). Part of the issue is keeping up with this. Maybe you want to play the field, maybe you’re actually trying to see what someone has to offer. Who knows. But the bottom line is, there’s always other options. People don’t like giving up those options because, at the end of the day,  nobody truly wants to end up alone or without options. So they’ll do the bare minimum to keep you around while they’re feeling things out and pursuing probably not only you but other people.
Dating isn’t what it used to be. As a matter of fact, it’s now easier to find someone as an instant match online than it is to meet someone in person. However, because of that, nobody truly ever feels fully committed because they might be wondering what else there is to offer if things don’t work out.
We’ve been programmed to jump to the next best thing because it’s easy. It’s available. So why work anything out anymore, right? If you can just move on to someone else and forget about the things you don’t like about so and so, isn’t that easier just to “ghost” or “breadcrumb,” as opposed to actually putting forth an honest effort?
It’s a shame. Because there are so many good people out there who want and deserve an honest, monogamous and committed relationship. But they’re not getting that because they and the other people/person they’re pursuing also has other options. So nobody is ever fully forced to commit or make any sort of valid effort other than a simple, “hi.” or “How is your day going?”
Sounds harmless and thoughtful, but at the end of the day, when will anything substantial come from this? Who honestly knows.
It’s hard to predict who will breadcrumb or ghost you. Honestly, if people aren’t willing to open up or are afraid of anything that doesn’t seem perfect from the beginning, they’re going to run. That’s how society is now. We’ve turned out to be a bunch of cowards who are always looking for the ‘next best thing’ and never truly HAVE to commit.
Sure it would be nice to think that this wasn’t a thing and this didn’t happen, but unfortunately, it does.
How you choose to adapt to it is up to you.
I’ve talked to my guy friends about these situations and they seem to have the same response. If you IGNORE them, they’re going to pursue you harder.
“Let them starve,” they said. “They’ll only want it more.”
But honestly, when you’re also starving in the process, that can be hard to do.
I guess games never truly end in dating, now do they?

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