Sex & Relationships

Expert-Approved Sample Texts To Send To Someone Who's Breadcrumbing You

Spare yourself the drama and nip it in the bud.

by Laken Howard
Originally Published: 
Portrait of a young and attractive Malay Muslim woman using her smartphone. She is tall, elegant and...

When you're genuinely interested in someone, it can be a terrible feeling to realize they're just stringing you along. And yet this is the fairly common phenomenon of breadcrumbing: where a potential partner communicates just often enough to keep you in their back pocket but has zero intention of ever meeting up.

If you've been talking to them for a while, and are starting to get the impression that's what's going on, you'll have to figure out how to respond to someone who's breadcrumbing you — because no one deserves to be treated that way. "The best way to handle a breadcrumber is to either not follow the 'crumbs' by not responding or by setting very clear expectations of what you want," Erika Kybartas, a matchmaker and dating expert at It's Just Lunch, tells Bustle.

Breadcrumbing can be massively confusing because you're getting tons of mixed signals: one minute they're blowing up your phone and the next minute they're blowing off your plans to hang out.

Figuring out how to deal with breadcrumbing is easier said than done, and can honestly be a little uncomfortable, especially if you're not used to being direct about your emotions. But there are ways to spare yourself the drama. Next time you notice someone feeding you breadcrumbs to string you along (whether that's via text, on social media, or even IRL), here are seven ways you can respond and nip that in the bud.


"Morning! I saw you texted last night. How's your day going?"

If you normally cave and respond to their 1 a.m. "u up?" texts, try switching things up by either responding at a normal hour the next day, or else ignoring their obvious booty-call attempt altogether. The goal, of course, is finding out where their head's at.

"Test if they are willing to move the relationship beyond the rules and restrictions that they have set," Rhonda Milrad, LCSW, a therapist and founder of online relationship community Relationup, tells Bustle. "If they are only texting you at night, don’t respond and instead, text them during the day. Find their roadblock and push against it."

If they aren't breadcrumbing you, they'll be happy to respond and have a normal, daytime conversation. But if they aren't, don't be surprised if you get another "u up" text days later. As Milrad says, "When you see what they are willing to do, you can then decide if you want to continue under those terms."


"I actually have some free time this Saturday and Sunday. Would you like to grab a coffee?"

A classic breadcrumber move is keeping things confined to text and casually avoiding IRL plans. And that's because, if they're only interested in getting an ego boost from texting you, why bother hanging out? If you're actually into them, though, and want to test the waters, try making a date and see how they respond.

"If the person 'breadcrumbing' you is someone you're interested in seeing, I would recommend texting back something like, 'Hey! My day's going great. I actually have some free time this Saturday and Sunday — would you like to grab a coffee?'" Kybartas says. "If the person says they don't, then you have to decide if you want to wait for more 'crumbs' or if you simply want to end it then and there."


"I've noticed that our plans keep getting canceled. I'll wait for you to reschedule."

Someone telling you they need a "raincheck" can easily be code for "I'm not interested, but I want to delay actually saying so." Instead of continually letting someone get away with this, next time they flake, don't be afraid to call them out.

"If someone always gives you rainchecks, then say: ‘I’ve noticed other things continue to get in the way of our plans to spend time together. I’ll wait for you to make the next plans and trust that will ensure they’ll happen,'" Christine Baumgartner, a dating and relationship coach at The Perfect Catch, tells Bustle. "Then be sure to continue to make plans with family and friends and not keep days open because you’re waiting for them to make plans. If they continue to not be available or break their plans with you... move on."


"Can we talk about what we're both hoping to get out of this relationship?"

A lot of people might shy away from this option because it feels too "harsh," but the truth is, being direct and upfront about what you want romantically is a sign of confidence and maturity. And if someone can't handle that, then they probably aren't someone you could get serious with, anyway.

"Try having an open and honest conversation about what you are noticing," Milrad says. "Something as open-ended [as], 'I notice that you only text me late at night or consistently cancel, and I am wondering why that is,' can start a conversation."

You can also be direct, and simply ask what it is they're looking for. People are often disarmed by someone being direct, Milrad says, "but it can lead to a very straightforward and honest conversation where you can get answers."


"I'm down to keep this casual if you are."

Just because someone is breadcrumbing you doesn't necessarily mean you have to cut them out of your life. Because, while it can be a frustrating experience if you're looking for something serious, Milrad says, it might also be exactly what you're looking for.

If you're cool with occasional flirting/booty-calling, and can separate that from your "serious" dating life, keep doing your thing. (Just make sure you're being honest with yourself about what you're looking for.)

"If you want to text with them late at night, then do it," Milrad says. "If you enjoy having sex with them and don’t mind that they disappear for a bit thereafter, then have fun with that. You just have to set the right expectations so that you remain realistic and not get upset that this relationship is not progressing."


"Would you like to hang out sometime soon?"

When someone is totally MIA in your life and just *happens* to pop back up after you post a super hot selfie on Instagram or Snapchat, then you know they're sliding into your inbox for one reason and one reason only. And if a quick hookup isn't what you're looking for, respond accordingly.

Instead of playing into their not-so-subtle attempt to woo their way into your pants, simply brush off any compliments with a joke. Or, if you're interested in meeting up instead of flirting (or sexting) back and forth, try asking them to hang out and see how they respond.

This is a simple way to test someone's commitment level. "If someone only interacts with you [via] social media and not in real life, then say ‘I’ve enjoyed getting to know you through (Facebook, Snapchat, etc.). Let’s set up a time to talk on the phone or in person.’ If they refuse, move on," Baumgartner says.


"I'd like to see where this could go, but it feels like too much work."

Ultimately, if a breadcrumber's constant hot-and-cold attitude starts to negatively impact your emotions, then it might be best to just call things off. "It is too much work to get a breadcrumber to take the relationship seriously and too much heartache," Milrad says. By letting it go, you'll not only experience a sense of relief; you'll also open yourself up to creating a relationship that better fits what you're looking for.

"Let the person know that you would have liked to have seen where this could have gone, but really want to be with someone who is at a place in their life where they want a more serious and consistent relationship," she says. "The message is clear: I don’t have time or energy for something that looks like there is no future."

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