Before online dating, the way people behaved in the advent of a new relationship didn’t really have a name. That’s mainly because there wasn’t a place to document the various accounts of scumbaggery for both men and women. Now we have a whole dating vocabulary and categorisation.
Ghosting came first: the act of cowardly phasing yourself out of a potential partner’s life to spare their feelings. Then the Mooners developed who intentionally silenced their phone to distance themselves from people.
Now we have a name for the most heinous dating crime: Breadcrumbing.
Many a girl and guy have gone grey chasing the interest of people that don’t treat them right. This is the basis of breadcrumbing. In short, it’s the art of intermittently messaging someone via Tinder, Facebook or Instagram to keep their interest.
The motive could be as simple as boredom or as complex as not wanting to lose someone that you could be interested in later on. It’s a pretty small thing to do but damn is it effective.
As The New York Times reported while interviewing recent graduate Alicia Winokur: “The worst type of breadcrumber is the one who resurfaces every six months, and like the Loch Ness monster, you almost can’t believe this creature has come back into your life”
From the outside it’s easy to judge and think of people that fall for breadcrumbers as weak and easy-manipulated but, as online dating proves, we could all get better at cutting our losses.
As Psychology lecturer Dr Brewer told The Independent: “the whole mess could be avoided if people were clear about the type of relationship they are looking for: whether that is hooking-up or something casual while they consider their options”.
DTR, folks, define the relationship. Even if it’s really early on, it’ll help you avoid those weird six monthly messages that go: “Haha, was just thinking about you”.
You deserve better than that.