Why You Should Confront Someone Who's Breadcrumbing You

Share
Ad failed to load

If the new dating trend breadcrumbing has you down, I totally get it. It sucks. If you're not familiar, breadcrumbing is basically when someone you're seeing or just messaging leads you along but (frustratingly) refuses to set any definite plans. It can be messaging, talking to you on social media, alluding to plans that never materialize— it's just enough to keep you going and interested. And it's a real pain to deal with.

Now, the easiest way is to not get too tied into it in the first place. "If you met someone online who talks about getting together, yet when you suggest that you find a mutually acceptable time and place to meet in person they are never available, RUN," Toni Coleman, LCSW, CMC, psychotherapist and relationship coach tells Bustle. "You can only be breadcrumbed if you go along with it." It's great advice, but it only works if you see the breadcrumbing coming. Sometimes you don't even realize what's happening until suddenly you're in the middle of it. And you feel like you've put so much time and energy into this person that you don't want to back out— so you're all the more likely to jump at the next breadcrumb.

So what can you do? I 100 percent think you should call them out on it. You don't have to be dramatic or accusatory, you can just say something like "Hey, you keep suggesting plans but don't seem to be interested in actually meeting up. I think it would be nice to hang out but if that isn't happening I'm going to bow out now, no hard feelings." Then if they really want to go out with you, they'll have to commit to a time and place.

Ad failed to load

Why is confrontation important? Well, here's why you should confront a breadcrumber, because you're worth it:

Ad failed to load

1You Can Move On Faster

GIPHY

The quicker you confront them, the quicker you can get it over with. "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. And the big problem with that is, it ends up being a huge time waster. You can end up keeping nights free or being tentative about pursuing other options because you feel like you owe this person something. The quicker you confront them and can establish that they're not really interested in following through, the quicker you can move on to real options.

2They Should Realize It's Crappy Behavior

GIPHY

Sure, sometimes there are legit reasons to flake— so many of us have experienced life getting in the way of plans we'd like to make. But there is a point where it goes too far. And either not being honest about how busy you are or just leading someone along for the fun of it just isn't OK. If you confront them on it and— in a totally measured, rational way— explain that it's pretty careless to waste someone's time, then maybe they'll be less likely to do it to someone else in the future. Maybe. I mean, we can dream.

3Honesty Will Make You Feel Good

GIPHY

I truly believe honesty is always the best policy. A few years ago I started being far more direct with people I was dating or sleeping with and it changed my life so, so much for the better. There's a way to be open about how you're feeling without histrionics or being demanding. You just need to be rational and honest. "Showing up as a grown-ass adult and asking for what you want is really the only way to maintain your sanity with this new trend," Dr. Jennifer Rhodes, licensed psychologist, relationship expert, and the founder of the bi-costal consultancy, Rapport Relationships, tells Bustle. "You do not need to be angry or confrontative but learning to set appropriate personal boundaries will make you feel empowered." Once you lay down the law about what you are and aren't OK with— and how certain behaviors make you feel— there's this confidence boost about knowing you're standing up for yourself.

Every technological advance seems to bring a new horrible dating trend— and breadcrumbing is no different. Just make sure you're being direct and standing up for yourself and the breadcrumbers won't be able to mess you around.

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 Editors On CPAC + 'Making A Murderer'

Adulthood is, essentially, just waiting until the weekend hits — which is why I know we're all glad it's finally Friday. Whether your plans are to catch up on all the Netflix content that'll be leaving the platform at the end of February, a weekend g…
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