The guy you were talking to on Tinder suddenly stops responding? You just got ghosted. Your kind-of boyfriend is being flaky? Or maybe you’re being breadcrumbed or cushioned—it’s hard to tell. Why are the niche terms proliferating? Relationship expert Susan Winter attributes our growing lexicon to the effect technology has on romance. There’s an “ease and lack of rules around dating,” she says. If that sounds cavalier, it is. Dating is hard enough without needing to consult a dictionary.
Breadcrumbing, ghosting, zombie-ing Ghosting is when someone stops responding to you altogether without explanation; zombie-ing is when a ghost re-initiates contact, effectively rising from the dead. Of these passive forms of rejection, breadcrumbing is perhaps the most painful.
When someone breadcrumbs you, they’re gone but not completely gone. of one of the most unfortunate byproducts of modern dating culture?
The deceptively cuddly term describes the act of leading someone on by contacting them intermittently — be that by phone or social media — to keep them interested. The digital era may have been considered by some as a devastating blow for human interaction, but social media has paradoxically turned out to have a powerful influence on the very human emotions that at one time technology was thought to suppress.
Nowhere is this more true than in online dating, where at the touch of a button people can instantly toy with the feelings of others. Cloaked in the appealing mantle of the word breadcrumbing , this is one of the latest in an ever-growing catalogue of ways to take a virtual stab at someone’s heart. Breadcrumbing is the activity of sending brief and sporadic messages, digital morsels such as short text messages, Facebook posts or Instagram likes, which indicate that you still like someone, when in reality you’re unlikely to meet up with them ever again, let alone pursue a full-blown relationship with them.
The issue for the perpetrator, aka the breadcrumber , is that they can’t quite bring themselves to cut off contact with the other person completely, or resist hedging their bets with them by throwing out wee ‘crumbs’ of interest to remind the recipient of their existence and keep their hopes up. Classic examples of breadcrumbing include vaguely alluding to future events — ‘We’ll do that some time …’ — and never following through with a concrete plan, or ignoring someone’s messages for a long period of time and then suddenly popping up out-of-the-blue without any acknowledgement of absence.
Though primarily associated with romantic relationships, breadcrumbing is sometimes associated with friendship too — like those false promises to meet up made by people who can’t quite bear to drop out of another person’s radar. There’s no doubt that the internet has expanded the set of options for those of us in search of romance, and with it, especially in the past twelve months, the glossary of terms to describe rejection.
The use of breadcrumbing in the context of online dating hit the popular consciousness in the past year or so, but is in fact not the first metaphorical interpretation of the word in the digital era. In the late nineties, breadcrumbing began to be used as a way of referring to the now familiar representation sometimes displayed when navigating a website, which shows the path of web pages a person has visited e.
Image by iStock. Ghosting, at the very least, provides a sense of finality. But breadcrumbing provides a false sense of hope and leaves a person wondering and waiting for a relationship that likely won’t come. Breadcrumbing is a distinct way of leading someone on. The person communicates frequently enough to keep the other person interested aka leaving “breadcrumbs” but not enough to form an actual relationship, according to Chamin Ajjan, M.
We broke down the most confusing dating terms, from ghosting to cushioning. They’re throwing you breadcrumbs,” Winter says. “Just when.
Every generation has had its terms of endearment. Sugar, babe and honey have endured. Benching, stashing and catfishing. We know what we feel when we fall in love, we have the language. Many of the new terms seem to seek to address the many new ways in which you uncouple, or fail to. So which one are you, bencher or benchee; ghoster or ghosted? So, what do you do? Can we be friends?
But not all catfishing is obvious. Sometimes, it can be used fairly effectively to lure someone into a relationship using a fictional online persona. The origin of the term? A documentary on a romance scam. So watch out, people. You ping her regularly on WhatsApp, tag her in funny videos or give her cutesy nicknames — all with an ulterior motive.
If you thought ghosting was a crappy way to treat someone, breadcrumbing as innocent as it sounds is way worse. Ghosting is a clear if cruel and cowardly message that the guy you thought you were getting on with like a house on fire has done a runner, a bitter pill but you know where you stand. Whereas breadcrumbing grubs have a meaner method. Some people breadcrumb without realising they are doing it. This may be for a number of reasons but the most popular is simply down to them not being ready to commit to a relationship.
Being on the tail-end of a breadcrumb trail can be exhausting and confidence-depleting.
1 of those years I have been trying to date on dating apps. The last person I dated for a few weeks, checked every single box, but I just did not want to do.
Remy Dowd. Andrea Kosten. Barbara Bourgeois. Margalis Fjelstad. When being on the receiving end of breadcrumbing, a woman should first be honest with herself about how she feels about the individual sending the luring messages. If the woman sees the sender as a potential partner or someone they would at least like to date, they are more likely to respond to every breadcrumb sent. In responding to every correspondence, this also means being disappointed if every breadcrumb leads nowhere. If you see sporadic communication from a potential mate and breadcrumber, then try and notice a pattern.
If you notice a pattern, you will most likely be able to predict when they will reach out or comment, giving you more power and control. Responding to a breadcrumb is a choice, not an expectation. A man is never going to confess to breadcrumbing if you were to accuse him of it. If you can establish an underlying communication pattern, maybe test your theory?
Then, they pop up again, you have a few great conversations, and they sink back into the background. A few days later, the cycle repeats. But how do you know if someone is breadcrumbing, and not actually interested in a relationship? Some people have clinically diagnosed anxiety that makes it difficult for them to handle dating. Some have low self-esteem and may feel undeserving of your attention, Dr. Torrisi says.
Thanks to social media, dating apps, and texting, what began with ‘ghosting’ Think Hansel and Gretel following a trail of breadcrumbs, but it.
Imagine the classic dating situation: Your crush writes you sweet messages every now and then, likes your posts on Facebook, Instagram and co, but something serious or concrete is ever on the cards. They make as little effort as possible but enough to give out hope that there might be a possibility of taking the relationship further. It is just flirting and flirting but without any goal. But why do bread-crumbers do this? Otherwise commonly singles who are newly out of a relationship are guilty of this behaviour.
They plunge into dating but are not yet ready to get into a new and meaningful relationship so instead they will become a Bread-Crumber. For those victims of bread-crumbing who are really interested in the flirt it can turn out to be a complete waste of time and this is very frustrating. Feelings can grow and hopes of getting in a real relationship go hand in hand with canceled dates and disappointment.
Now what? What exactly is the definition of a breadcrumb relationship? And how does this happen? A breadcrumb relationship is a relationship that is not only unequal but one where you are continually settling for the bare minimum, or breadcrumbs of attention, affection, treatment, love and or energy from your partner.
A man who “breadcrumbs” may think he is protecting himself, but he is like to date, they are more likely to respond to every breadcrumb sent.
Breadcrumbing refers to the very old fairy tale which was probably true of Hansel and Gretel, two children abandoned in a forest. As their father led them deeper into the woods, they dropped a trail of breadcrumbs to follow home. Check in with your body, first of all. How does your heart respond to this message? Do you feel tightness in your chest, and not in a good way?
Breadcrumbers are intentionally poor communicators. At its centre, breadcrumbing is passive-aggressive behaviour. To an emotionally vulnerable person which is most of humanity , being played like this causes havoc on your mind. You wonder what you did wrong, what you could do differently, how to make this person like you better. In that situation, they just wanted to gauge your level of involvement. Language in the 21 st century has become so fast and so pared down that texting is the standard mode of communication, and not just among teenagers.
If you suspect you are being breadcrumbed, well done: you can cut the person off now and save yourself from many more hours of headaches and eyestrain. Really your best path for losing a breadcrumber is to be as clear with them as they refuse to be with you.