Digital Breadcrumbs

Whether you’re talking to guys you're interested in dating or guys you’ve dated in the past, there’s a red flag to watch for. It’s “breadcrumbing.”


Breadcrumbing is when someone sends out flirtatious but noncommittal messages, either through social media or text just often enough to keep you interested, but not frequent enough to put any deposit into the relationship.

In other words, if he senses that you may move on and forget about him, he’ll send you a digital bread crumb to remind you that he’s still there.

Some of the more obvious bread crumbs are likes on an Instagram photo that is several weeks old, not to mention you haven’t heard from him in months. Why? He knows you are about to forget about him, so he’ll slide into your DM or tag you in something, seizing the opportunity to make you turn your attention toward him. It’s interesting to note that leaving you digital bread crumbs takes serious strategy on his end. If only he had put this much effort and intentionality into dating you.

As tempting as it may be, don’t fall for it.

You’ve probably known a breadcrumber. I have. His messages are sporadic, with just enough content to pique your interest, but not enough to give you any sort of clarity about his intentions. Breadcrumbing falls somewhere in between ghosting and a slow fade. They don’t instantaneously vanish on you, but they also don’t slowly remove themselves from the picture over time. Instead, they are incredibly inconsistent and incredibly annoying.

The most common form of breadcrumbing that I’ve encountered is from the guy who has flirted with me, both in person and digitally, but never makes a committed move. Yet every month or so, he’ll “love” my new profile pic or some random picture from last year—which had to take some serious digging to find, I might add. As women, this toys with our emotions. Particularly if this is a guy we would have been interested in. It reignites the possibility of “what-ifs?” all over again. To me, however, this is selfish on the guy’s part. His contact is intermittent and vague for a reason. He wants to keep you as an option. Women, don’t fall for it.

A real man won’t play digital games with you.

As best you can, delete the messages and move on.

You Too

Dating is a two-way street, and it’s unfair to put all the weight and responsibility of dating on men. As women, we need to take ownership too. Breadcrumbing, is not exclusive to men. Women do this all the time. Have you ever found yourself wondering if the guy you like is dating anyone? You scroll through his social media; one thing leads to another and you find yourself looking at pictures and comments from eight months back. It doesn’t hurt to throw out a comment or leave a heart behind, right? Maybe let him know you’re still out there and paying attention to him? Listen, that’s breadcrumbing. Now you’re the one who is doing it.

If he is not paying attention to you currently, resist the urge to play games and try to lure him back in.

You don’t want to settle for the guy that you had to convince to like you, or the guy that you had to remind that you’re still available. If he is interested, he won’t need to be convinced.

Besides, you’re worth more than that. Believe it


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