If you’re new to the dating scene or back after being out of the game for a while, you’ll probably be a little shocked by how things are done today. Flirting and even meeting new people has taken a digital turn, thanks to the millennials. You can now order food, pay your rent, and meet a potential date from your phone or computer.

With how quickly new trends and social norms start, it is difficult to keep up. Texting, snapchats, and DM’s have drastically changed the way we interact with people, including potential romantic interests.

If you start exploring a little bit, you’ll find that there are many new terms related to how people interact now. Ghosting (a way of breaking off a relationship by ceasing all forms of communication without warning) was the last act to take the dating population by storm, but now breadcrumb dating or breadcrumbing is the new behavior that sprouted up recently, thanks to the wonderful advantages of digital flirting/dating.

Defining the “Breadcrumb” Dating

According to Urban Dictionary, breadcrumbing is “the act of sending out flirtatious, but non-committal text messages (i.e. “breadcrumbs”) to members of the opposite sex in order to lure a sexual partner without expending much effort.

In layman’s terms, it is, basically, leading someone who has expressed interest. This new behavior has left many people frustrated and confused because of those who keep the interest just high enough to torment, but never commit to anything.

Those on the receiving end of the trail of crumbs — or flirty messages — try to move on because nothing has come of the interaction, but just when they are about to forget, that snapchat, or DM pops up to lure them back. It’s cruel, twisted, and often unconscious, but if you find yourself a victim of this type of teasing, we have your back. We’re here to help you figure out how to respond to breadcrumbing.

How to Handle Breadcrumbing

Whether the breadcrumbing is after a breakup and the ex-doesn’t want to let go, keeping a dating prospect on hold or as a demented game, we can help you respond in a way that will deliver the right message. Here’s how to handle breadcrumbing if you find yourself in this unfortunate situation.

Be Direct

Breadcrumbing often stems from a person needing an ego boost or attention, so don’t give them the satisfaction that they are looking for.

If someone reemerges after weeks of silence with a playful text, don’t take the bait. Instead, ask them why it’s been so long since you’ve heard from them with a simple, “haven’t heard from you in a while.” Give them a chance to explain themselves, in case there is a reason, but if they continue their game, you can always ask directly.

Straight and clear communication is always a good route to take.

woman looking at text message she got

Don’t Give Them the Time of Day

If you’ve reached the point of realization that the person has no genuine interest in you, don’t even give them the satisfaction of a response. Hit delete and move on with your life. Eventually, they will understand that you will no longer play their games and that they will have to find another poor soul to prey upon.

Breadcrumbing often comes from boredom or lack of attention, so ignoring them might be the exact medicine the doctor prescribed.

Benefit of the Doubt

Like most bad habits, people may not be doing it intentionally. Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t make what they’re doing right, but they might not realize the impact that it has.

Breadcrumbing is an unhealthy emotional manipulation style that can upset people, but it might not be personal at all. Try calling it out for what it is and see how they respond. It’ll be easy to tell if they know what you are referring to or not. In that case, depending if you’re still interested or not, you can address the situation and make them aware of their actions.

Being played or strung along can be a crummy feeling and those who do it may or may not even be aware of their actions. But if you are ready to hit the dating scene with singles that are looking for something real, check out Baeby! After filling out an online profile, you will be eligible to meet many singles that are looking for someone like you!