What The Heck Is...

What the heck is… Breadcrumbing?

By Kitty Knowles 24 February 2017
Summary

Explaining the buzzwords of the moment: what is breadcrumbing and why is it ruining your relationships?

Our weekly series What The Heck Is… exists to shed light on the strange unexplained acronyms and unfamiliar buzzwords that creep into our everyday lives.

From social eating to eSports we’re on a mission to explain the difficult to explain.

Now, in honour of Future Love month, we’re exploring the slang that’s slipped into our relationships. (Hello, teledildonics and phubbing).

Today’s word might make you hungry, but when it happens, it’s hard to stomach.

We hate to say it, but 2017 will be the making of ‘breadcrumbing’.

What the heck is breadcrumbing?

Sorry pretty Polly, this isn’t a fetish for bird-feeding.

According to Urban Dictionary, breadcrumbing is “the act of sending out flirtatious, but non-committal text messages (i.e. “breadcrumbs”) in order to lure a sexual partner without expending much effort.”

Every little text, ‘like’, or DM, is a crumb of hope see? But those who fall foul of breadcrumbing are only ever given enough to keep their interest.

If you’re being ‘breadcrumbed’, you never feel satisfied, and there’s certainly no prospect of baking hearty loaves together forever.

Where did breadcrumbing come from?

Last year was all about ‘ghosting’ (where your partner completely disappears without contact).

Now breadcrumbing is an attempt to name the more subtle ways your date is screwing you around.

The term started to slip into conversation toward the end of 2016 – but sadly, it will also be shaping your year ahead.

Why should you care?

It would be easy to dismiss breadcrumbing as yet another faddy dating term, but really is something you should care about.

Most people, in the real-world, will have indulged in non-serious flirtation for fun.

If both parties are getting a kick out of it, great; if someone is getting hurt, their real-world presence will likely impel you to think twice.

The problem today, is that so many of our romantic interactions now happen online, through social media. And these distanced, desensitised spheres can make it easy to forget there’s a human at the other end of your discourse.

Breadcrumbing isn’t good for those kept on the hook: no one likes feeling manipulated, used, or strung along.

But it’s also bad for the perpetrators: when Hansel and Gretel left a trail of crumbs in the woods, they soon found themselves feeling lost and alone.

Next time you find yourself dropping crumbs, we recommend you ask yourself if there’s a better way to build your confidence.

To the lovelorn: remember, there are plenty more treats in the bakery – and they’re probably far more delicious.

Our weekly series What The Heck Is… exists to shed light on the strange unexplained acronyms and unfamiliar buzzwords that creep into our everyday lives.