Wed | Sep 28, 2022

Avoid the ‘Breadcrumber’

Published:Monday | November 11, 2019 | 12:14 AMJessica Harrison - Lifestyle Writer

Dating has become one of the most stressful experiences of 2019, and by the look of things, the possibility of it getting better any time soon seems little to none.

As we seek to satisfy the need for companionship, we stumble upon people of different backgrounds carrying dissimilar expectations. Some care for deep, meaningful connections and others, well, the truth is, they revel in the idea of casual sex with different partners. This article is not geared to judge anyone. Instead, it simply seeks to reveal the traits of one type of person you should stay clear of, should your intention be to find long and lasting love.

The ‘Breadcrumber’: He slides in your DMs, dedicates himself to liking your photos, reacting to your stories and favouriting your tweets. He asks for your number, and you have great conversations but he always cancels your dates, disappears for days, and just as you are about over it, he drops you a comment on your new selfie and pops up with ‘I’ve been busy’. When he does have free time, it’s usually a late-night booty call and there is no real effort being placed into getting to know you. It’s called breadcrumbing, and at some point in the dating game, you’re bound to have met one or two of them. It is emotional manipulation and it should not be encouraged.

Here are a few tips on how to address this behaviour:

Suggest a meet-up:

Breadcrumbers like to keep things virtual. They only want your attention, and knowing that you’re waiting on them gives them an ego boost. If you want to know for sure where you stand, state the time and the place. Based on their response, you will know for sure if you’re being played or not.

Call them out:

Breadcrumbers don’t like to take responsibility for their actions. They tend to respond to being called out by ghosting and gaslighting. Let them know that this behaviour is unacceptable and you will not tolerate it. Watch how they respond.

Ignore them sometimes:

You have a mute button on all social-media platforms. Use it. Don’t get caught up in the routine of watching their stories and liking their photos. If they refuse to answer your WhatsApp message but insist on keeping up with your social media, let them. Don’t respond to late-night texts, reply in the morning.

Rip off the band-aid:

Ask them what their intentions are. The only way to truly know what is going on is by having honest conversations. It might hurt a little but at least you will know where you stand.

Bid them farewell:

We know, you’re really into them and you already romanticised the idea of a long-term relationship with them, but you are worth the effort, time and communication. Let them go, don’t fall into their traps and move on to the next prospect. If they can’t commit to a simple date, how can they commit to you?

Have you ever been breadcrumbed? We want to hear of your experience. Send us a direct message on Instagram @flairja or shoot us an email at