Breadcrumbing Signs (Top 13 Signs To Look Out For)

Last updated on June 9, 2022 by April Maccario

Have you ever heard the song, You Keep Me Hanging On by Kim Wilde

If you feel like you are being “toyed with” by someone else, the words may help you realize that you aren’t alone. There are many ways that you may be breadcrumbed by someone; this is just one - him stringing you along when he isn’t serious about being with you. 

Often, people engage in this behavior because they want to keep you in their life, even if they have to do so by feeding you “emotional crumbs” here and there. 

Do you get late-night texts or random social media messages that confuse the heck out of you? Yeah, there’s a good chance you’ve been breadcrumbed by someone who doesn’t really care about having a relationship. 

In this article, we will look at what exactly breadcrumbing is, the top breadcrumbing signs to watch for, and how to respond to such bizarre behavior. We’ll hook you up with a great approach, so you aren’t feeling down after having someone do this to you. 

What Is Breadcrumbing?

According to the New York Times, when a person is breadcrumbing you, they may be trying to keep you “on hold” to keep you “hanging on,” as the song goes. This happens when a guy dumps you but refuses to let you move on with a new guy. Other people who do this aren’t even interested in you but want to keep getting attention from you, keeping themselves relevant.

Top Signs of Breadcrumbing to Watch Out For

Let’s look at the top signs that a guy who is breadcrumbing you might exhibit. This will give you some signs to look out for, so you won’t walk away from your contact with him feeling frustrated and less sure of yourself. 

After all, he’s probably only behaving this way to get a quick ego boost or to make him feel good, not you. Watch for these signs when flirting with a new flame!

1. He doesn’t genuinely care about you

he doesn't genuinely care about you

So, you’ve had a bad day and want someone to lean on for support; the guy who has breadcrumbed you for the past few weeks is not that person! He never asks about your day, how you are feeling, or what he can do to make things better. 

2. He uses a variety of methods to get in contact with you

One minute he’s texting you; the next minute he’s sending you funny posts on Facebook. Who can keep track of this digital moodiness? You probably feel confused and frustrated because he won’t show you any consistent behavior. You could always show him how it feels and plays “Houdini” with him, coming and going as you feel like it.

3. He sends you very vague messages

He won’t commit to a feeling or action; rather, you just don’t know what to expect from one day to the next. Some people might call him a flake - someone who is wishy-washy to the point that you don’t even understand what they mean!

4. He won’t be serious about anything with you

You try to talk about real topics with him, and it always turns into a bad conversation or results in you being ghosted. Don’t you want to have communication with a person who values what you have to say and enjoys talking about the important things in life? 

5. He is inconsistent with communication

Sometimes, he’s texting you a hundred times a minute; other times, it seems like he’s fallen off the face of the planet. It’s very confusing! Realize that you deserve to have consistency in your life, and the last thing you need is for someone to be playing with your emotions by confusing you, especially if this is done on purpose.

6. He plays the blame game when topics get serious

So, you have finally put your foot down and demanded a conversation about your relationship. Yeah, that doesn’t go over very well at all with these types of guys. He’ll probably turn the tables, saying that it’s your fault that the two of you haven’t had a more consistent relationship, when really it’s his!!

7. He makes you doubt yourself

Do you doubt your feelings and actions because of his actions? He may be doing this on accident, not wanting you to feel bad, but more than likely, he’s just a jerk, stringing you along. No one wants to be treated this way.

8. He won’t commit to his feelings for you

You’ve tried to get him to talk about his feelings. It’s true that most guys aren’t excited about doing this, but a guy leaving you breadcrumbs may show some serious signs of avoidance when you try to find out just what in the heck the two of you are doing together. Have you tried to find out how he defines your relationship?

9. He comments on social media but refuses to talk directly with you

If he won’t even commit to a real conversation with you, he’s probably acting out in this way; he may not even be interested in you but hopes to keep you on the hook until someone better comes along.

10. He doesn’t want to spend quality time with you

he doesn't want to spend quality time with you

Like banging your head against a brick wall, you’ve tried over and again to work out a time that the two of you can spend together so that you can really get to know one another. For some reason, it just never pans out.

11. He only makes an effort when he’s getting something out of it

Maybe he’s drunk or lonely, but for whatever reason, when he needs to talk to you, you’re there for him. Why can’t he return the favor and treat you the same?

12. He doesn’t make an effort to get to know you as a person

Sure, he’ll talk for hours - if the subject is him! He likes to joke, tell stories, and make you laugh. That’s all fun and games, but when was the last time he asked something personal about you so that he can get to know you better?

13. He randomly ghosts you

Does he just disappear sometimes, for no apparent reason at all? Often, when you are being breadcrumbed, the guy just comes and goes as he sees fit. Instead of giving you a consistent idea of when he’ll be around or what he’s up to, it seems like he’s disappeared into thin air! This kind of selfish behavior doesn’t warrant an encore. 

What To Do When Someone Is Breadcrumbing You

Maintain the respect you have for yourself, and don’t let this person’s actions affect your self-esteem. No one should make you feel like you aren’t worthy of being with them. Instead, know what you want out of life and go for that! Just don’t let people like this change the way you feel about yourself. You don’t want to be one of those types of people who are pushovers

The best action you can take when someone is breadcrumbing you is to just say, “Next!” In other words, move on, ignore them, and/or delete them - whatever you need to do to get people like this out of your life. No one deserves to be treated that way, and you certainly could do better! Just realize this individual is acting selfishly and stop wasting your time!


How do you tell if someone is Breadcrumbing you?

He probably makes you feel confused and frustrated; he may be making you hang on to him even though the two of you aren’t together anymore. What are you feeling after your interactions with this person? That should give you the best answer. 

Frustrated that he doesn't pay you as much attention as he used to?
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It makes you wonder whether he actually likes you or not.

Take this free quiz to see if he actually likes you!

What is Breadcrumbing in a relationship?

I would call this “flakiness.” He may make dates with you but always comes up with an excuse last minute or plans just never work out for some reason. Has he hit you up for a late-night booty call? These are the actions of being breadcrumbed in a relationship.

How do you deal with someone who is Breadcrumbing you?

The smart move is to move on with someone who makes you feel good about yourself, a person who genuinely cares about you and your feelings. You want to hold yourself to high standards and ditch anyone who doesn’t treat you with respect.

What to say to a guy who is Breadcrumbing you?

If you have decided to continue talking to a guy who has breadcrumbed you, you should be direct in your communication. Tell him what you expect from him and explain that you don’t want to be led on if the relationship is going nowhere.

What is cookie jarring in dating?

This is a guy’s way of keeping women “in reserve” while dating other people. Some guys do this so they won’t have to worry about getting lonely in life; others just want lots of women to be hooked in case things don’t work out with the women they’re dating.

To Sum Things Up…

Are you a victim of breadcrumbing? Have you struggled to find the best ways to handle this kind of behavior? If you have some tips on the best way to handle breadcrumbing, please share them in the comments section below, and don’t forget to share this post!

Do you hate it how everything seems to always revolve round him while you just seem to be an afterthought sometimes?
We hear this all the time from women that contact us asking for help with their relationship.

It almost makes you wonder whether he actually likes you or whether he's just stringing you along.

Why don't you take this quick free quiz to see if he actually likes you!

April Maccario
I'm a huge nerd when it comes to understanding how relationships between men and women work, and what drives a certain behavior. I spend much of my time getting into the nitty-gritty and try to share my findings on this site with the hope of making life a little easier for women that are struggling in their relationships or love life.

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