Breadcrumb: what it is, what causes it and how to detect it in a relationship

Social media has changed everything, and relationships are no exception. With the advent of instant messaging chats and dating apps, there are several new virtual phenomena concerning the sentimental world.

Ghosting, orbiting, stalking… Many Anglicisms have been used to describe particular, mostly toxic, relationship dynamics that have changed the landscape of romantic relationships. Today we are going to talk about a phenomenon that translates well to giving emotional crumbs: breadcrumbs.

    What is breadcrumb?

    Brother of “ghosting”, “orbiting” and other alienities of the virtual world, “breadcrumping” is another word in English applied to the world of romantic relationships in a world where everything goes through social networks. It comes from the word “breadcrump”, which in the language of Shakespeare means “bread crumb”. It could be defined as the tactic used by those who they send the minimum of signals to their partner, showing that they are still there, giving hope to the other party that he is still in a love affair, but does not want to commit to it more commitment.

    As breadcrumbs were born and grew on social media, they moved into our real world. This can happen in relationships where you’ve had physical dates before, in which the other person is treated with kindness but without achieving anything else, anything concrete or more intimate. He limits himself to giving what is necessary to maintain the relationship, even if it is at a minimum. It’s leaving emotional bread crumbs, creating hope in the other but without going any further.

    The other side lives in a paradoxical situation. On the one hand, As her partner gives her these emotional crumbs, she has hope that one day she will grow up. On the other hand, she is aware that her partner is no longer involved because she does not want him to be, she is not willing to move on, but since she is not sure whether to break up or not, the person who is the breadcrumb victim keeps the relationship open in the thought of “maybe one day go further”. They receive ambiguous signals, signals that one day imply that the “breadcrumb” wants to go further and that the next day it does not want to have so much privacy.

    Being in this situation, in which on the one hand you hope to go further but you know rationally that it will not be the case because the other party does not want it, It is extremely painful for the person to only want to feel loved.. The pain and frustration of trying everything and not being able to do anything and not being able to convince the breadcrumb destroys the other person who wants to live in a complete, healthy and functioning relationship.

      Causes: why do they do it?

      According to Dr. Kelly Campbell, professor of psychology at California State University, people who practice breadcrumbs do so because their self-esteem is highly dependent on the attention they receive from others. Although the exact reasons for his behavior vary widely, there are certain psychological patterns that Dr. Campbell would explain why people who throw emotional breadcrumbs at us do so.

      1. To feel better

      Breadcrumbs throw crumbs to feel better. The more they care about others, the better they feel.

      2. Seek validation from others

      People who practice breadcrumbs need validation from others. They do not feel comfortable or confident unless others constantly tell them that they are worthy or valuable, and the attention they receive from others with their actions is a good way to receive such validation.

        3. They are narcissists

        People who breadcrumb often have narcissistic personality traits, or even narcissistic personality disorder. They don’t feel guilty for manipulating others or playing with their emotions.

          How do we know if our partner is a breacrumper?

          Ariadne’s thread is a form of psychological manipulation that is very harmful to the victim’s mental health. Living in a relationship where the other only gives us emotional crumbs is not love, but rather psychological abuse. This is why it is important to know if we are victims of such manipulative maneuvers in order to be able to stop them as soon as possible and, if necessary, break up a relationship that offers us nothing.

          To know if we are victims of breadcrumbs, it is necessary to determine if the following behaviors occur.

          1. Couple unclear and concise

          If our partner is not clear and concise when it comes to us, we have reason to suspect. This is especially noticeable in situations such as making plans. If in this scenario he only gives us ambiguous answers like “we’ll see” or “maybe”, but he never knows when, he is giving us breadcrumbs.

            2. Gives signs of life from time to time

            In a relationship, where both love each other very much, it is normal for communication to be maintained with some frequency. If you’re dating, it makes sense to know what you’re doing or where you are, at least once a day, without being obsessed or controlling.

            Well, the breadcrumbs show signs of life once in a while, perfectly once a week. Weeks may pass without knowing anything about this guy who is supposed to be our boyfriend. They haven’t broken up with us, but they’re not around or show they’re around often. They leave the door ajar, they end up coming back to play their boyfriend, but they don’t intensify the communication or make the relationship more serious.

            In this sense, we can say that the breadcrumb trail is related to “ghosting” and “orbiting”, but without reaching such extremes. Ghosting is all about abruptly vanishing, leaving no trace, and passively breaking away, whereas orbiting isn’t too different except that the other person shows signs of continuing to exist, in the form of “likes” on social networks, for example. .

            In breadcrumb, the disappearance is not total as in ghosting and does not interact as superficially as in orbit., in addition to which there is no pause. In theory, the rosary is always in a relationship, only the relationship is kept to a minimum, with the right interaction so that the other can say that he has a relationship.

              3. They prefer online interactions

              Breadcrumbs prefer online interactions and avoid face-to-face contact, although this is not always the case. In their tactic is virtual flirting, applied in the form of a “pull and loose” that serves to keep the other person alert, but never takes the step to go further.

              4. Erratic and incongruous behavior

              Hatters are people who can make us feel good, but if we take a closer look at their behavior, we begin to see that there are gaps, that there is something wrong. To make matters worse, they are experts at making us believe these weird things are ours, perceptions that maybe those of us who behave inconsistently are us.

              5. They never open up emotionally

              For hatters, this is never the time to talk about feelings. It’s too intense for them, because it’s about reaching a level of intimacy that doesn’t interest them. They prefer to live in a relationship where they get enough attention from their lover but without it getting serious enough to get more commitment. To avoid this, they find all sorts of excuses, whatever is necessary to avoid talking about how they feel.

              Bibliographic references

              • Beauchamp, M. (2021). Everything you need to know about “breadcrumbs,” according to a relationship expert. Brides.
              • Sánchez-Cueva, G. (2021) Ariadne’s thread, the latest fashion to leave someone. The spirit is wonderful.

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