Breadcrumbing: The New Age Dating Tactic Exploiting Personal Gain

Breadcrumbing: The New Age Dating Tactic Exploiting Personal Gain


By Lexi DaLuca

Hey everyone! 💖 It’s your girl Lexi for, back with another post to shed some light on the complex world of modern dating. Today, we’re diving into the murky waters of **breadcrumbing**—a term that’s been making waves in the dating scene. If you’ve ever felt like you were being led on with no real commitment, you might have been a victim of breadcrumbing. Let’s unpack this and see how it works, why people do it, and whether these individuals can be seen as predators or con artists.

What is Breadcrumbing?

Breadcrumbing is a dating tactic where one person leads another on with just enough engagement—think sporadic messages, occasional flirts, and minimal effort—to keep the other person interested, without any intention of a real relationship. It’s like they’re throwing breadcrumbs at you, just enough to keep you hungry, but never the full meal. 🍞

 How Breadcrumbing Works

1. **Minimal Engagement:** They text just enough to keep you hooked but not enough to establish a meaningful connection.
2. **False Promises:** They might hint at future plans or commitment but never follow through.
3. **Inconsistent Attention:** You’ll get a flurry of attention, and then radio silence for days or weeks.
4. **Emotional Manipulation:** They keep you in a state of emotional limbo, which keeps you invested and hoping for more.

The Motivation Behind Breadcrumbing

People who breadcrumb do it for various reasons, often revolving around personal gain:
**Ego Boost:** They enjoy the attention and validation from someone being interested in them.
**Fear of Commitment:** They want the benefits of dating without the responsibilities and commitment.
**Keeping Options Open:** They might be waiting for something better to come along while keeping you as a backup.

When Confronted, the Gaslighting Begins

One of the most frustrating aspects of breadcrumbing is the gaslighting that often follows when the breadcrumbed party expresses their feelings. When you finally muster the courage to address the mixed signals and share your emotions, the breadcrumber might respond with, “We aren’t dating, I am not interested, or we aren’t even talking.” This denial invalidates your feelings and leaves you questioning your reality.

They often move on to the next victim with zero regard for the emotional fallout they’ve caused, acting as if you’re a threat for simply wanting clarity. This lack of empathy and accountability is what makes breadcrumbing particularly harmful.

Are They Predators or Con Artists?

It’s tempting to label breadcrumbers as outright villains, but the reality is a bit more nuanced.

**Predators:** While breadcrumbers may exhibit some predatory behaviors—such as exploiting someone’s emotions for personal gain—they often lack the malicious intent that we associate with true predators. They may not actively seek to harm; rather, they’re often driven by selfishness and insecurity.
**Con Artists:** Unlike con artists who deceive for financial gain or other tangible benefits, breadcrumbers are more about emotional and psychological manipulation. They crave attention, validation, and the perks of dating without putting in the effort.

The Impact of Breadcrumbing

Breadcrumbing can leave deep emotional scars. It can lower self-esteem, create trust issues, and make it hard for individuals to open up in future relationships. The psychological toll of being led on and constantly second-guessing someone’s intentions can be significant.

How to Handle Breadcrumbing

1. **Recognize the Signs:** If someone’s engagement is inconsistent and they often break promises, you might be getting breadcrumbed.
2. **Set Boundaries:** Clearly communicate your expectations and don’t settle for less than you deserve.
3. **Move On:** If they can’t meet your needs, it’s better to walk away and invest your time in someone who values you.


Breadcrumbing is a toxic dating behavior that can be incredibly damaging. While breadcrumbers may not fit the strict definitions of predators or con artists, their actions are manipulative and self-serving. It’s important to recognize the signs and protect your emotional well-being. Remember, you deserve a partner who is fully committed and respects your feelings. 🌟

Stay strong, stay informed, and don’t let anyone play with your heart. 💖 Until next time, keep shining and loving yourself first! 🌟