12 Shameless Signs of Breadcrumbing People Use for an Ego Boost

Some people will do anything to boost their ego. You might be wondering what is breadcrumbing, but truth is, learning the signs of breadcrumbing is vital.

Signs of Breadcrumbing

You might be reading this and thinking what is breadcrumbing? No, it’s nothing to do with actual bread, but when you first meet someone, experiencing it can be true agony. Recognizing the signs of breadcrumbing in a budding romance is key if you want to overcome the frustration and potential heartbreak if you fall too quickly.

Have you ever met someone, and there was this click? The conversation is going really well, and in your head, you think something good may come out of it. It’s a heady feeling, for sure.

You two are texting all the time, even talking on the phone, but nothing goes past that. They’re not asking to see you, not making any new plans – nothing. And maybe you’re still talking to them right now. Well, if this has or is happening to you, this is called breadcrumbing. [Read: 17 Modern dating terms to help you master the evolving dating game]

What is breadcrumbing?

So what is breadcrumbing exactly. Well, breadcrumbing is when someone is consciously leading another person on for the excitement and ego boost. A breadcrumber will flirt, engage in conversation, doing everything they can to get you hooked. [Read: 15 signs you’re being used by a guy and it’s time to ditch him]

And then once that happens, they toy around with you, playing hot and cold games. We know, it sucks. It’s always a good feeling when someone is interested in you, and there’s a good connection. But, you don’t want that person to do it because of ego. If you want to know if you’re being breadcrumbed, take a look at these signs of breadcrumbing. That way, you can quit while you’re ahead. [Read: 15 signs a girl is leading you on but taking you nowhere]

You know what breadcrumbing is, but why would someone want to do it?

Well, you’d have to ask them that!

When a person uses breadcrumbing, they’re doing it because they want to feel good about themselves. There are two sides to this. The first is the fact that flirting feels good and they get the sense that you’re into them. However, the second is a little darker. When you use breadcrumbing, you’re building someone up and knocking them down. Some people get a real kick out of that because it makes them feel powerful.

Now, obviously if that’s the case this isn’t a person you want to be around in the first place, but it happens. By understanding what is breadcrumbing and learning the signs, you can sidestep it and avoid falling into this person’s toxic trap. [Read: 12 Toxic dating habits that you think are normal]

Obvious signs of breadcrumbing you can’t miss

Learn the signs of breadcrumbing to avoid it happening to you.

1. They blow hot and cold

Ah yes, classic ‘hot and cold’ games. This is something they’re masters of and is a very clear sign you’re being breadcrumbed. One day, they’re very chatty, texting with you non-stop, making you feel like you’re the only one. And the next day, it’s like you don’t exist. This happens again and again, over and over. [Read: Blowing hot and cold – The 3 stages to explain why and how someone does this]

2. They use different ways to breadcrumb you

Here’s the thing, when someone is breadcrumbing you, they’re not just sticking to one form of breadcrumbing. Instead, they’ll keep you ‘seen’ on Whatsapp, but then they’ll like your photo on Instagram or comment on a Facebook post. That way, they maintain on your radar, so you can never really forget or move on from them. So, in terms of what is breadcrumbing as a definition, it covers several different strategies that are designed to confuse.

3. Conversations are normally pretty shallow

This doesn’t mean you’re shallow. Sure, you two may have had a deeper conversation now and again, but when you really take a look at what you talk about, there’s not much going on. In reality, your conversations with them are simple and shallow. They’re not investing too much energy in getting to know you, basically because they’re not planning on sticking around. [Read: Shallow people lack depth: 30 Signs you swim in the shallow end]

4. When they’re seeing other people

If they’re seeing other people while texting you, they’re clearly breadcrumbing you. Now, if they’re in an open relationship and you’re aware of that, this is something different. But if they’re not, it’s clear they’re keeping their options open, and you’re just one of them. They want to date a lot of people without looking like a jerk, so they tell you they’re casually dating. [Read: What is benching? 17 signs you’re being strung along right now]

5. What is breadcrumbing? When they don’t ask to see you

If someone likes you, they’re going to make time to see you. It’s really that simple. If someone isn’t investing time to hang out with you, they’re not interested in you.

We know the flirting is giving you a different impression, but look at their actions, not words. They could have all the free time in the world, but they still don’t take the time to see you.

6. They know exactly when you’re getting over them

Here’s the thing, when you’re almost getting over them, they contact you. It’s funny how that works. It’s like they have a clock inside of them that alerts them when people move on. Maybe it’s their psychic abilities, or they’ve recently crept you on social media. But we can put money on it that this is when they’ll contact you again. [Read: How to tell if someone is a narcissist and recognize them instantly]

7. The only time they talk to you is when they want something

When they text you, do they ever do it just to see how you are? Probably not. Instead, they only text you when they need something. What we mean by ‘something’ is usually sex. They’ll send you flirtatious jokes, and ask you a question or two, but give it a couple of minutes, and you’ll see their true intentions.

8. They’re all about the booty call

Now, a booty call doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being breadcrumbed. If you two both agreed on casual sex, then it’s fine. But if not, then that’s something else. You don’t hear from them in ages, and then all of a sudden, late at night, you get a suspicious text from them. Enter the “booty call” text. [Read: 10 Booty call moves that may look like true love]

9. They bail on your agreed plans

You have made plans to see each other, but at the last minute, they cancel on you. If this happens once, it’s fine. But if this becomes a routine act on their part, you’re being breadcrumbed. They have no intention of meeting you ever, unless it’s for sex, of course. [Read: Got people that flake on you? Here’s why you need to ditch them right now]

10. The situation doesn’t make you feel good about yourself

When you have a conversation with them, you don’t feel good about it. At the start, the flirting felt nice, but now when the conversation ends, you feel disappointed. The feeling of sadness and disappointment aren’t signs of a healthy relationship. This person shouldn’t be making you feel these negative emotions.

11. They’re passive-aggressive when you confront them

No one wants to be caught when playing a mean game. Maybe you’ve confronted them about their actions; as a response, they’re passive-aggressive and manipulative. Listen, you know what’s going on, so don’t let their response affect you. Listen and follow your gut instinct. [Read: The narcissistic rage a narcissist feels when you confront them]

12. You wonder what you did wrong

First of all, you did nothing wrong. But every time you talk to them, you feel like you may have said something that turned them off. That’s not the case, that’s part of the game. It’s easier for them to have you blame yourself than point the finger at them.

It’s easy to be confused when you’re experiencing the hot and cold behavior of someone who’s playing you and trying to breadcrumb you. But remember, whenever you go through these cycles of confusion and stress, it’s usually them and not you. [Read: How to stop feeling guilty and start living for you]

Is it only narcissists who use such tactics?

Definitely not. While narcissists will probably use breadcrumbing when they’re bored, that’s just one in a huge arsenal of manipulation tactics at their disposal. However, there are simply random people who like to breadcrumb for the ego boost. They’re not necessarily narcissistic per se, but they’re not really showing themselves in their best light either.

When a person lacks confidence in themselves, they either go into themselves or they try and drag others down to get a boost that way. All you can do is feel grateful that you recognized their game before you truly fell for them. You don’t deserve such treatment and you should cut contact and find someone who will show you more respect.

[Read: Cushioning – Why so many jerks use this dating tactic to keep you hooked]

No one likes to be breadcrumbed, and knowing the signs of breadcrumbing will help you avoid it happening to you.

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Natasha Ivanovic
Natasha Ivanovic is an intimacy, dating, and relationship writer best known for her writings on Kiiroo, LovePanky, Post Pravda, and more. She's the creator and ...
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