5 Signs Someone Is Breadcrumbing You, Because This Dating Behavior Is The Worst

Share
Ad failed to load

By now, you've probably heard about the new dating trend breadcrumbing, aka the particularly awful new way to have your emotions toyed with by someone you're romantically interested in. At this point, a lot of us seem to be agree on the fact that ghosting totally sucks, but I'd venture to say that breadcrumbing is even worse. It's basically ghosting's sadistic cousin: instead of disappearing completely, the person leads you on by giving you just enough attention to think that they're still into you. Not only is it rude AF, but it also seriously wastes your time — time that you could be spending looking for a partner who won't treat you like sh*t.

In a perfect world, there'd be no such thing as rejection or unrequited crushes or heartbreak. Unfortunately, modern dating — though more convenient in a lot of ways — has brought with it an onslaught of painful new ways to have our romantic dreams crushed. Dating apps might be a fun way to meet new people and hopefully even make a real love connection, but this new breadcrumbing trend is proof that having thousands of single people to chat with can bring out some seriously bad dating behavior in less mature men and women. Although everyone has the right to pilot their dating life the way they see fit, that doesn't mean it's cool to be a d*ck and mess with people's emotions by leading them on when you know you're not interested.

Here are five signs that someone is breadcrumbing you — if these sound a little too familiar, do yourself a favor and don't take the bait.

Ad failed to load

1They're Vague About Future Plans

GIPHY

It might not be realistic to plan a trip to Harry Potter World with someone you're not in a serious relationship with, but if you're talking to someone who's averse to making any plans at all with you, that's a red flag.

"Vague allusions to future events — e.g. 'I'll take you there one day' — with zero follow through on making that happen or moving the relationship forward in any consistent way [is a sign of breadcrumbing]," Francesca Hogi, an NYC-based love and life coach, tells Bustle.

2They Text Super Sporadically

GIPHY

According to Hogi, if someone's go-to method of contact is sending "out-of-the-blue texts after long periods of silence without any acknowledgement of their absence," you should be on your guard. I know that stuff happens and people get busy, but if you notice a pattern where someone frequently ignores your texts, then conveniently pops back into your inbox when they want something (like a hookup or sext sesh), trust your gut and find someone worthy of your time and attention.

3They Flirt Mostly Via Social Media

GIPHY

Is there anything in the world more irritating than when someone takes the time to double-tap your Instagram, but can't seem to actually text you back? Social media flirtation is fine if you're both on the same page (and, ya know, actually communicate in other ways), but if they're mysteriously AWOL until you post a particularly fire selfie, beware — they might just be sliding into your DMs because they're bored and like the ego boost of digital flirting.

Ad failed to load

4They Pop In And Out Of Your IRL Life

GIPHY

One of the most irksome things about breadcrumbing is that, typically, the person doesn't even bother to see you IRL, instead opting to interact only occasionally via text. But breadcrumbing doesn't just exist in cyberspace: someone can hang out with you IRL and still give you the same shitty breadcrumbing feeling.

"When you do see each other, you have a great time and they mention wanting to hang out again, but then poof," Hogi says. "It's like you're being ghosted over and over again!"

5They're Not Big On 'Feelings' Talk

GIPHY

You don't have to have a serious heart-to-heart with someone every week, but if someone seems allergic to expressing how they feel (or don't feel) about you, it could be a sign that they're just texting you as a way to entertain themselves. Casual relationships and open communication aren't mutually exclusive; in fact, I'd argue that communicating with a casual hookup is even more important, so everyone is on the same page. Don't let someone convince you that you're in the wrong for wanting to move a conversation past idle chit chat and directionless flirting.

If any of these warning signs ring true to you, take this as an official challenge to do better for yourself, and get rid of anyone who doesn't treat you with the respect and full attention you deserve. And breadcrumbers: for the love of God, just stop.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

Everything Leaving & Coming To Netflix In March, So You Can Plan Your Next Marathon Now

Even though the groundhog saw his shadow — forecasting six more weeks of winter — a nice spring thaw is already on everyone's minds. Fortunately, Netflix has things squared away for March. Whether you're ready to cozy up in front of a fire or get you…
By Sophy Ziss

11 Thoughts That Mean You’re Not As Happy With Your Partner As You Might Think

Even if your current dating situation seems to be going well — you're hanging out, having fun, having sex, etc. — it's still possible that you might not be happy with your partner, and thus not truly happy in your relationship. This can be a gut feel…
By Carolyn Steber

25 Book Recommendations From Your Favorite TV Characters

Although the two may seem like natural enemies, the truth is, television and reading are a match made in bibliophile heaven. Not only are some of the best shows based on or inspired by literature, but whenever you turn on the tube you can be sure to …
By Sadie Trombetta

It Took Heather Graham YEARS To Make A Movie About Women Ditching Toxic Men. The Reason? Men.

They say you should write what you know. But in Hollywood, that age-old advice apparently needs an addendum: Write what you know — as long as men are into it. And for actor and newly minted director/screenwriter Heather Graham — a woman who swam thro…
By Kelsea Stahler

Bustle's Editors On Rachel McAdams + Parkland Survivors

Happy Thursday, everyone! I don't know about you, but I feel like February has gone by so so fast (wasn't January, like, yesterday?). This year is hurrying along, and with so much happening every day it's hard to keep up all the time. But, I've got a…
By Danielle Colin-Thome

7 Signs Your Energy Is Closed Off To Love, According To A Psychic

Finding love requires more than just the actions of going on dates or setting up an online dating profile. It also requires opening yourself up to love and giving off the vibe that you're open. You may not even realize it if you're energetically bloc…
By Suzannah Weiss

Target Just Launched A Gorgeous New Home Brand — And Most Pieces Are Under $30

Design lovers rejoice! Everyone's favorite store for pretty much everything is about to make all your daring decorating dreams come true. Today, Target's corporate blog issued a press release that provides a peek into Target's new homeware line, Opal…
By Callie Tansill-Suddath

17 Brilliant Ways To Support Parkland Survivors Wherever You Are

Following the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, survivors are demanding Congress take action. A large group of students who survived the shooting are opposing politicians' "thoughts and prayers," arguing that inst…
By Sarah Beauchamp

Here's Where Your Next Trip Should Be, Based On Your Zodiac Sign

If you've been craving a vacation, now is a good time to take the plunge. According to data collected by travel site Expedia, late winters and early spring are pretty much the best times of the year to go on vacation. Based on average airfare ticket …
By Callie Tansill-Suddath

How This Quadriplegic Beauty Lover Beat Cancer & Became A Professional Makeup Artist

In 2010, one day before she was supposed to start cosmetology school, Steph Aiello was involved in a car crash that left her paralyzed from the waist down with limited ability to move her hands and one of her closest friends dead. She would spend the…
By Sara Tan

7 Common Marriage Rules That Aren't Good For Relationships

When it comes to marriage, everyone loves to give their two cents, and with all the warnings and advice floating around out there, no wonder people find marriage intimidating. Luckily, you don't always have to play by the rules, and there's some bad …
By Carina Wolff

The Infuriating Way Hollywood Movie Sets Are Designed To Make Life Harder For Women

Whitney Cummings is fed up — with the way Hollywood treats women, and in particular, the way the it treats female directors who have children. While the entertainment industry may be working hard to get more women behind the camera, Cummings wants to…
By Casey Cipriani

Why Uggs Are Never Going Away, Whether You Like Them Or Not

Uggs. The word alone can conjure up memories of teenage years, regrettable outfits, and undeniable comfort. But if, like me, you thought that you've already said goodbye to those fleece-lined tan boots, you can think again. It seems fashion has adopt…
By Lauren Sharkey

Netflix's New Romantic Movie Will Have You Crying Like It's 'The Fault In Our Stars'

Cancer movies are a heartbreaking staple of Hollywood and have been for decades. It's almost a law of nature: new year, new cancer movie. This year, it's Netflix's Irreplaceable You, a heartbreaking original about a longtime couple who get thrown for…
By Olivia Truffaut-Wong

I Got A Breast Reduction & It Was About So Much More Than The Size Of My Boobs

As a young teenager, I pretty much reached peak physical maturity overnight. One day I was wearing my first training bra a la Lizzie McGuire, and the next I was sweatily fumbling around a Victoria’s Secret with 32DD boobs, trying to summon up the cou…
By Sierra Taylor Horton

Adam Rippon and Mirai Nagasu Have Matching Tattoos & The Story Is So Cute

Olympic season gives people the feels. From those shipping Canadian ice dancing pair Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir to Shaun White's gold medal win on Tuesday, the feels are real. Now, there's another reason to get all up in your emotions. Adam Rippon a…
By Shea Simmons

A New Study Says Being In A Relationship Could Change Your Taste In Wine — Here's How

I’d be willing to bet that for many of you, a nice bottle of wine is awaiting you in your near future — and if you’re planning on sharing that bottle with a partner, there might be more to your choice than meets the eye: According to recent research,…
By Lucia Peters

Carrie Brownstein On Why Even The Obama Era Should Have Enraged You

An icy January morning soon after Hollywood's show of solidarity for the #MeToo movement at the Golden Globes and almost exactly one year into the Trump Administration feels like a momentous time to be sitting across from Carrie Brownstein. The Sleat…
By Samantha Rollins

Here’s What The Upcoming Year Of The Dog Means For Your Chinese Zodiac Sign

On Feb. 16 the world will celebrate the Chinese New Year, welcoming the Year of the Dog in like the good doggo it is — we hope. A new year means new zodiac predictions for the 365 days ahead. So, what does the Year of the Dog mean for your Chinese zo…
By Brittany Bennett

7 Signs You're Ready To Get Into A Relationship, According To Experts

It can be difficult to tell when you're ready to start dating again. Maybe you're coming off of a bad breakup, maybe you've just been focused on other things. And, ironically, one of the signs that you're ready to be in a relationship is that you're …
By Lea Rose Emery

The 15 Best Fiction Books Of February Feature Tons Of Extraordinary Women

When the cold winds of February blow in, there's nothing I want more than to hide under my covers with a good book. Luckily, there's more than a few fantastic new fiction books coming out this month, so the only tough decision you'll have to make is …
By Melissa Ragsdale