7 signs it’s breadcrumbing (not love), according to psychology


1. They play hot and cold

Understanding the games played in relationships, characterized by alternating between interest and withdrawal, can often stem from insecurity or attachment style patterns, leading to confusion for the recipient, but discussing relationship expectations can help navigate or prevent such behavior.

2. You get an uneasy feeling around them

Psychology Today suggests that while some may unintentionally breadcrumb due to personal issues, others view it as a calculated manipulation tactic, and one way to discern manipulation is by tuning into your body's sensations and reactions during interactions.

3. There’s a mismatch between what they say and what they do

Establishing trust in a relationship hinges on consistency; when someone repeatedly fails to follow through on plans or commitments, such as repeatedly canceling dates, they're likely breadcrumbing, as experienced by the writer who was eventually ghosted after superficial interactions with a man from a dating app.

4. Your communication doesn’t seem very deep

Beware of subtle signs of breadcrumbing, such as sporadic communication, one-sided conversations, late-night messages, or compliments lacking depth, which collectively hint at insincerity or ulterior motives, like calling when intoxicated or during times their partner might not be around.

5. The connection feels more like ‘friends with benefits’ (FWB)

Experiencing a primarily sexual connection despite initial promises of dates and future plans may indicate breadcrumbing, as explained by psychologist Dr. Susan Albers, as exemplified by the writer's experience with a guy who failed to follow through, potentially leading to emotional pain if deeply invested.

6. You give more than you receive

If you find yourself consistently investing more time and effort in a relationship, it may indicate the other person's lack of investment, prompting the need for open communication using Marshal Rosenberg's Non-Violent Communication framework to express observations, feelings, desires, and requests, as exemplified in addressing habitual lateness in plans.

7. It’s an emotional rollercoaster

The article emphasizes the breadcrumbing behavior, cautioning against emotional rollercoasters and advising self-reflection to determine if the connection is worth pursuing, as addictive uncertainty isn't a substitute for genuine care, urging readers to prioritize their well-being and seek healthier relationships.

Swipe up to read the full article.