Have you ever heard of bread-crumbing?
In this blog I’m going to define this phenomena, why it might be happening, and give you a strategy to help you get your power back.
What is bread-crumbing? I suspect many women have found themselves in this situation at one point or another: you meet someone who seems great, you hit if off, and maybe you go out a few times, but for some reason unbeknownst to you, it never progresses. He might call you every so often, or out of the blue text you something sweet or funny, but that’s all you get.
He’s throwing out metaphorical breadcrumbs to keep you engaged and following his trail, but he is elusive and nowhere to be found.
So what is really happening here? It’s easy to jump to a conclusion and write him off as a player, or to make up scenarios in your head about his motivations.
In reality, a few things could be happening.
He could just be a wounded guy that doesn’t know how to relate, but it’s occurring to you as game playing or him stringing you along.
It could be that he’s not ready for the level of connection and consistency of contact that you want. Maybe he’s got other stuff going on or he doesn’t want to hurt your feelings and he’s hoping you get the hint by just bread-crumbing you.
Or, it could be that maybe this guy is lonely and wants a connection or some validation. He might not mean to be leading you on intentionally. Maybe he just sees you as just another person in his life (ouch!) and he doesn’t realize how you’re interpreting his nonchalance.
Another possibility is that he’s confused about how to take things forward. He might have low esteem and is afraid of rejection. This is less common but might be the case for some dudes who lack honed communication skills.
Regardless of the reasons why you’re in this bread-crumbing situation, we can all agree it’s not a fun place to be.
While some men definitely do have malintent or just don’t care about your feelings, many, like the ones I described in the situations above, are not malicious but instead simply haven’t been effective communicators.
So, I encourage you to assess that situation and perhaps lead with bravery and communicate to him your actual feelings. His reaction should enlighten you to his intent and empower you to either drop the whole connection or move forward.
Now, if this is a dynamic you find yourself in repeatedly, there is another solution.
Do you continually find yourself entangled with breadcrumbers? And as a result are you starting to adopt a paradigm of “all men are X” or other negative generalizations?
I’d encourage you to pause because this could be a slippery slope into resentment and bitterness about the opposite sex.
Instead, take a step into taking your own power back.
Here’s what I’ve found in my many years of relationship coaching: In my experience, the clients who come to me because their partners are dismissive or avoidant, actually have those same avoidant tendencies themselves.
Sit with that for a minute.
What is happening is that they have subconsciously picked a partner who allows them to appear to be putting in effort, but because their partner is avoidant, it gives them permission to do the same — they don’t actually have to be intimate, take a risk, or put skin in the game.
Can you relate? Perhaps you’ve picked a situation in which you get to avoid responsibility, not putting skin in the game, and then projecting that and blaming your dude for it.
Here’s another way to look at it: If you choose to be with someone who’s bread-crumbing you, you are actually bread-crumbing yourself if what you want is a committed relationship.
If you experience bread-crumbing on repeat, it might be that being single is actually serving your higher good for the time being. Maybe you’re just not ready for a deeper connection… and there’s nothing wrong with that!
Maybe you were in a relationship with a controlling or dominating partner, and it took all your effort to get out.
Maybe you’re somehow unconsciously still working through the trauma of a relationship that was bad in some other way.
If this is the case, it might feel safer to you to choose guys who are avoidant and unavailable because you’re not actually ready to dive back into a relationship. First, you might need to heal your heart and regain your sovereignty.