Breadcrumbing has become a new popular term in the recent years, it is known for being worse than ghosting. But, in light of COVID-19 where we can only connect through messaging without seeing each other for a longer period of time, breadcrumbing has become easier to pull off. It also has become more of a concern if the person you’re messaging will actually want to connect with you when all of this is done. So let’s talk about it and the one text you need to send to end the breadcrumbing.
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What is breadcrumbing?
Let’s be clear on the definition of breadcrumbing. It is when a person leads you on, gives you just enough of a response, to keep your hopes up, but has no intent of actually following through to meeting you or dating you. This is mostly done with texting and messaging. She keeps the communication going just enough to have you still lingering around with hope.
This is worse than ghosting because with ghosting, you know it’s over. It still hurts and it’s painful, but you got your answer and it’s time to let go. But for breadcrumbing, you could be lead on for weeks and months, growing feelings for this person without ever knowing the answer.
Signs she’s potentially breadcrumbing you
- Sporadic response times:
- She’ll answer you quickly, then she waits days to answer you again
- Sets dates, then cancels or delays
- This one is the main sign. She’ll say yes to your offer to meet or hop on a call, she’ll even set a date. But, then she’ll cancel without offering an alternative date. She’ll then delay giving you that alternative date. She’ll make up an excuse, set a new date, and once again…something comes up
- Seems engaged, then stops asking questions:
- At the start, she seems ALL in. She gives full answers, emojis, asks you questions back. But, then you notice it becomes one-sided and she answers with “oh yeah, that’s cool!” or “haha, I definitely feel you there!”
- Will initiate randomly (but still comes up with an excuse):
- When you decide to step back, when she feels you may be pulling away, she’ll text you! Or, better (seemingly) yet, she asks to meet or chat. Interestingly enough, it’s at a bad time for you, then she does the same cycle and doesn’t plan again. See below:
Note: There’s a difference between her pulling away from you and breadcrumbing.
If she’s breadcrumbing you, do this
If you noticed she’s doing all of the above, she might be breadcrumbing you. I say “might” because we all function differently. Something that seems common sense to you may not be for someone else, and just because she doesn’t share that with you doesn’t mean she’s a bad person. It just means she does not understand you.
In the example above, this man values connecting further than messaging, especially now it’s more difficult to meet in-person. However, that does not mean she values that as much, but it doesn’t mean she wouldn’t be if he simply told her so. She may think texting is just enough for her until they can meet in-person. And in the example below, you will see her explain herself as well which helps him understand her perspective.
Make your intent known
This is your dating experience as well, it shouldn’t be all about what times will work for her. You shouldn’t have to bend over backwards to get her to simply speak to you. If you want a date, if you want a video call, if you want a phone call, make it known. Not only by asking her when she’s free to plan one, it’s about stating how much it means to you to connect with her in that way. And if she doesn’t agree, then it’s time to let go.
Is it a confrontation? Yes. Is it scary? No. Because the intent is not to make her feel bad or create conflict. The intent is to understand.
Help her understand what you’re experiencing and what you value. And then, understand her point of view. By coming into the conversation with this intent, it becomes a healthy discussion instead of an accusation thrown and one needing to defend themselves, feeling offended if it’s not true.
What to write
There’s a way to create a text to express your concern, your value, while leaving room for this relationship to still work. You DON’T want to text:
“So, are you breadcrumbing me?”
“why are you so slow in response?”
“Seems like you’re too busy for me. This won’t work out. Bye!”
All of that wouldn’t be received well. It sounds upsetting, petty, and filled with accusations and conclusions before you give her a chance to explain. What if she truly is busy because of her work? then you seem impatient and selfish. You don’t want to jump to conclusions like below:
She apparently only wanted him to wait one more week because her work and additional courses were piled up . She saw him as someone who couldn’t wait one more week, she wouldn’t want an impatient person who doesn’t try to understand her situation.
Send this text if you think you’re being breadcrumbed
If you’ve had enough of the breadcrumbing, you can send one text to solve this once and forever. You want to have this formula:
- State you want to be honest and what you value
- Validate what you understand from her so far
- Help her understand why it’s important to you
- Finish with a validation and ask for her thoughts
- “How did you hope this connection will go?”
- “How did you want to continue this connection?”
- “What are your thoughts on this?”
Here’s a great example of the formula being used (this is a follow up from the first chat above where he asks if she’s free later to chat). As you can see from the timestamps, he waited for her response to chat but nothing….so that’s when he decided after quite some back n forth (this was not the first time. It’s a three strike rule, this is the third time it’s a “miss”)
It’s a great text that makes it clear what he wants, what he’s observed, and invites her to discuss. So what happens next? By her response, or lack of, you’ll get your answer. If she says sorry and she wants to do better, then give her another week to make something happen.
In this case, she ended up talking to him that very night. See the full correspondence below:
They ended talking about 1.5 hours and it went well! Both parties now have a better understanding of each other and they got to move their connection to a better place. There is so much you can tell in a person through hearing their tone and talking LIVE.
Confrontation doesn’t have to be scary
As you can see, instead of eliminating her, he opened the discussion in case there was a chance to make this work. Because remember, relationships take work. The great news is that overcoming this hurdle has helped them grow and learn more about each other. They completed a relationship milestone, the first confrontation.
So remember, confrontation doesn’t have to be scary. It can move along your relationship and no matter what happens, you will get your answer and grow from it.
This man from the screenshots had my one-on-one help to navigate this situation. If you want this same help, you apply for a free strategy call with me to see if we’re a good fit to work together
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