What Is Narcissist Breadcrumbing?
Narcissist breadcrumbing is a term used to describe someone who sends mixed signals in order to keep someone interested, without ever fully committing (even when they are Married).
The term is derived from the dating app “Breadcrumbs,” which allows users to see a map of where they’ve been on dates.
Similarly, narcissist breadcrumbers will drop just enough “crumbs” to keep someone interested, without ever giving them the full loaf.
This can take the form of sporadic texting, like “thinking of you“ or “how are you,” even though the two of you are not actually talking.
It’s a way for the narcissist to keep you on the hook and make you feel desired, without actually having to do any real work.
Ultimately, it’s a form of emotional manipulation that can leave you feeling confused and worthless. If you think someone is breadcrumbing you, the best thing you can do is cut them off completely. They’re not worth your time or energy.
Breadcrumbing is the hot new dating trend that has been coined to describe a very common yet underhanded tactic used by narcissistic singles all over the world: sending flirty, non-committal text messages and social media messages with no intention of ever following through.
The idea is to keep the other person interested just enough to continue providing attention and narcissistic supply, but not so much that they actually get what they want (i.e., a relationship).
This way, the breadcrumber gets their ego-fueled without having to put in any real effort. It’s a win-win for them and a lose-lose for everyone else involved.
If you’re tired of being played, it’s time to wise up to this manipulative tactic and call it out for what it is: selfish and downright cruel.
Signs of Breadcrumbing?
No availability or commitment: Breadcrumbing, also known as “the slow fade,” is a type of cheating that’s becoming increasingly common, thanks to social media and dating apps.
With breadcrumbing, someone will string you along by giving you just enough attention to keep you interested, while never fully committing to anything.
They’ll respond to your texts and messages promptly, but they’ll never make or commit to plans. If you’ve ever been breadcrumbed, you know how frustrating it can be.
You think you’re getting close to someone, only to have them suddenly disappear.
This behavior is often intentional: the breadcrumber knows that if they keep you on the hook, you’re more likely to stick around in case they come back.
So why do people do it? Breadcrumbing usually happens when the person doing it is either afraid of commitment or trying to keep their options open. Either way, it’s not a good sign.
If someone can’t seem to make plans with you, or always backs out at the last minute, it might be time to move on.
Microcommunication is a hot topic in the dating world these days. The term “breadcrumbing” has been coined to describe the act of sending out flirtatious, but non-committal, digital communications in order to keep someone interested.
While it may seem harmless, breadcrumbing can actually be quite harmful to both parties involved. For the person doing the breadcrumbing, it can be a way to keep their options open and avoid commitment.
Meanwhile, the person on the receiving end is left feeling confused and manipulated. In some cases, breadcrumbing can even lead to emotional distress.
If you’re considering engaging in this type of behavior, you should think twice about the potential consequences.
For some singles, micro communication is a way to keep their foot in the door with someone they’re interested in. They may not be ready to commit to a full-on relationship, but they’re also not ready to cut ties completely.
So, they’ll send out flirtatious messages or comments on social media in the hopes of keeping the connection alive. The problem with this approach is that it can often lead to mixed signals and confusion.
One person may think they’re simply being friendly, while the other person may interpret the same behavior as a sign of interest.
As a result, breadcrumbing can often leave both parties feeling frustrated and disappointed. If you’re tired of playing games and getting your heart broken, it might be time to ditch the breadcrumbing habit for good.
They Come in Hot and Leave Cold: Imagine you’re interacting with someone you met on Instagram. The interaction starts off innocently enough, but there’s a definite flirtation going on.
You exchange numbers and start texting each other. At first, the texts are frequent and you’re both really responsive, but then suddenly they drop off.
You’ll go days without hearing from them, only to have them pop back up out of nowhere with a “Hey, what’s up?” It’s called breadcrumbing, and it’s a way of leading someone on without any intention of actually taking things further.
A person’s breadcrumbing will often give just enough crumbs of affection to keep the other person interested, but not enough to follow through on any sort of commitment.
It’s a way of keeping someone waiting on the sidelines while they pursue other options. If you’ve ever been ghosted, you know how frustrating it can be to suddenly lose all contact with someone you thought you were getting close to.
Late Night Text: It can be difficult to spot breadcrumbing, but there are some tell-tale signs.
For example, if someone consistently contacts you late at night, they may be breadcrumbing you. They know that you’re likely to be alone and feeling vulnerable, so they reach out in the hopes of getting a hook-up.
They know that if they reach out at that time, there’s a higher chance that the person will reply.
That’s why it’s important to pay attention when someone is contacting you.
If they’re only reaching out late at night, it’s a good indication that they’re not really interested in getting to know you better but instead seeking a booty call in which they will devalue you afterward.
Toxic Thoughtfulness: this is a manipulative game that some people play in order to keep others interested without any intention of pursuing anything further.
It usually starts with checking in on someone’s day or following up about something specific.
Once the recipient responds, the emotionally unavailable person may not message them back for days, or they may respond with an answer that is short and surface-level to string people along..
This behavior gives the impression that the breadcrumber is interested and engaged in conversation when really they are just trying to keep the other person hooked.
In some cases, this may stem from a fear of commitment or rejection. It might be a way for them to boost their own ego by knowing that someone is ready to respond to every word they say.
Either way, it’s important to be aware of this tactic so that you don’t waste your time on someone who isn’t genuine.
No Explanations: Dealing with breadcrumbing individuals can be frustrating and confusing. On one hand, you may appreciate the attention they reciprocate to you, even if it’s vague and not as consistent as you’d like.
On the other hand, their sporadic courtesies can leave you feeling neglected and uncertain about their feelings for you.
What’s more, when they ignore you they often make no effort to explain themselves or consider the recipient’s feelings after an absence.
This can be especially hurtful and confusing if you’ve been waiting for them to finally treat you like a human being. If you’re dealing with a breadcrumber, it’s important to set boundaries and communicate your needs clearly.
Otherwise, you risk being caught in a vicious cycle of doubt and insecurity.
Breadcrumbers thrive on ambiguity, so it’s up to you to create a situation where there is none. Only then will you be able to see their true colors.
Why Do People Breadcrumb?
According to some experts, there are a few possible reasons. One reason may be self-esteem. Breadcrumbers may use their interactions with someone who is interested in them as a way to fill the void that makes them feel insecure.
Another possibility is immaturity. The breadcrumb layer may be unwilling to settle down and commit to one person. If this is the case, they might enjoy the feelings brought on by having the real potential for a relationship without committing to one.
They keep the option available for themselves, but they never utilize it in a meaningful way. In doing so, they fail to communicate honestly and fairly about their availability and intentions out of fear that doing so would result in fewer alternatives.
In some cases, breadcrumbing can be a way for the breadcrumber to feel comfortable and in control.
By leading their former partner on, the breadcrumber knows that they can always come back if they want to. This gives them a sense of power and control over the situation.
Additionally, breadcrumbing can be a way for the breadcrumber to get what they want. By keeping in touch and sending small gifts or messages, the breadcrumber is able to feel wanted and important.
As a result, they are able to get their ego fulfilled without giving much effort or having to commit to anything.
While breadcrumbing may seem harmless, it can actually be a manipulative and hurtful way to keep someone in your life, also seen as a trauma bond.
Narcissism is a personality trait that has been associated with elevated levels of self-importance, a lack of empathy, and a strong need for admiration.
Narcissists often exhibit manipulative behavior, and gaslighting is a common tactic that they use to control and manipulate others. Breadcrumbing is a form of gaslighting where someone leads someone else by sending mixed signals, often through social media or text messages (this also happens in marriages).
They may act interested in someone one minute and then completely ignore the other person the next. This hot-and-cold behavior can be very confusing and frustrating for the person on the receiving end, and it often results in them feeling hurt and betrayed.
Serial breadcrumbers tend to have little regard for the feelings of others, and they often show no remorse or feel guilty for the pain that they cause.
If you find yourself being breadcrumbed, it’s important to remember that it’s not your fault and you are not alone.
There are many people who have been through the same thing. Don’t let a narcissist control your life. I encourage you to be strong and walk away quickly.
How Breadcrumbing Impacts You!
Breadcrumbing, or the practice of sending mixed signals in order to keep someone interested romantically, can have a major impact on mental health.
For starters, it can create a lot of anxiety and uncertainty. Will they eventually come through with what they promised? Or are they just stringing me along?
This mental roller coaster can take a toll, particularly if you’re already dealing with anxiety or depression. Breadcrumbing can also lead to feelings of self-doubt and low self-esteem.
If you’re constantly being lead on and then left feeling confused and rejected, it’s only natural that you might start to question your worthiness for love and companionship.
Breadcrumbing can be especially harmful if you’ve been through a recent breakup or other trauma. In these cases, you might even be more vulnerable to getting sucked into an unhealthy situation with a new prospect.
And finally, breadcrumbing can have an impact on your friendships. If you’re spending all your time chasing after someone who’s not interested, you might neglect your friends in the process.
Dealing With Breadcrumbing.
Dealing with breadcrumbing can be difficult, but it is important to remember that the solutions all come from within. The first step is to recognize when you are being breadcrumbed.
This can be tricky because often the breadcrumber will give just enough attention to keep you interested, but not enough to actually move the relationship forward.
If you find yourself in this situation, it is important to take a step back and assess what they are really offering. Are they just trying to string you along? Or are they truly interested in a relationship?
Once you have identified that you are being breadcrumbed, it is important to set some boundaries before things get too deep.
This means communicating your needs and expectations clearly. If the other person is not willing or able to meet your needs, then it is time to move on.
Don’t waste your time on someone who is not interested in giving you the attention and commitment you deserve.
You don’t need to beg for afterthoughts, scraps, or crumbs and/or apologize for who you are. You deserve focused and prioritized attention and care.
As you start saying ‘no’ to breadcrumbing and prioritizing yourself with greater care, you’ll likely find that your relationships improve as well with healthier people.
A word from Create Higher Vibrations
Being breadcrumbed can be an incredibly difficult and heartbreaking experience.
You might be married to a Narcissist or dating in the digital world, but now that you have a greater awareness of how to recognize it, hopefully, you can cut off or let go of a breadcrumber.
Make and protect space for yourself and your needs whether that’s on your own or exploring possibilities with someone else.
It can be tough to realize that someone you care for or thought you had a connection with doesn’t actually see you as an equal human being worthy of basic decency and respect.
But it’s important to remember that narcissists are chronically unhappy people who can only derive satisfaction from making others feel small.
They’re not really capable of sustaining any sort of meaningful romantic relationship. If you’re being breadcrumbed, chances are good that it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with the person who’s doing the Breadcrumbing’s own unresolved issues.
Narcissists are often very charming and charismatic at first, which can make them hard to resist. If you have been or are entangled with one please reach out and let’s begin to help you break free today!