Like many singles, I have been breadcrumbed. ICYMI, the latest dating tactic breadcrumbing is when someone you're seeing or interested in strings you along (via text) but never actually makes plans to meet up. It's not quite ghosting, where they vanish out of nowhere, but it's not a pleasant way to be phased out either.
"Dating is hard enough without having to deal with the added humiliation of being led down a garden path to rejection," Dr. Paul Hokemeyer, a licensed marriage and family therapist tells Bustle. "Unfortunately, breadcrumbing has become the new norm. Nearly all of my patients who date online have experienced it. Not only is it humiliating, but it's also exhausting."
Honestly, there really is nothing more frustrating than being into someone who texts you every day, seems like they're super excited about getting together with you, but for some reason, they’re always busy or can't make a legit plan to see you. When you eventually realize it's never going to happen, it just makes you feel stupid because you know you don’t deserve that sh*t, yet you had hope for some reason. In short, breadcrumbing is the worst.
If you've ever been strung along by a crush or someone you went out with a few times, you would know exactly what I'm talking about. Here are the emotional stages of being breadcrumbed:
1. You Meet Someone You Click With And They Seem To Like You Too
2. You're Texting Regularly And Starting To Feel Like This Could Be Something *Real*
3. You Or They Bring Up Wanting To Get Together, And You're Nervous With Anticipation
4. But Then You Realize You Never Really Made Any Sort Of Solid Plans
5. You Finally Decide To Just Go For It And Make A Plan, But They Tell You They're Busy
6. When They Don't Suggest An Alternative, You Start To Get Antsy
7. You Bring Up Another Time To Meet Up, But They Respond With Something Vague
8. Then The Texting Slows Down And You Don't Hear From Them For Days
9. They Suddenly Pop Back In And You Are Not Amused
10. But You Still Get A Rush When Their Name Pops Up On Your Phone
11. Then You Realize They're Doing It Again
12. And Again
13. But Then You Make The Best Realization Of All: You Deserve Better
At the end of the day, you make the realization that you deserve better. You really do. No amount of hope this person gives you in the form of breadcrumbs is worth the emotional ups and downs you'll experience trying to make things work.
No one's saying relationships are easy. But if getting someone to make plans to see you and actually follow through is like pulling teeth, just forget about it. More often that not, it's not worth it. I know it's like the last thing anyone wants to hear after they've been breadcrumbed or ghosted or just plain ol' dumped, but you will find someone better who gives you everything you deserve and more.