Breadcrumbing Is The Newest 2024 Dating Term That Will Make You Want To Be Single Forever

By maks in Relationships On 13th January 2024

Or benching, which is when you're not really into someone but keep them around as a backup while dating others.

There are so many terms that websites have started making glossaries to keep track of all the good, bad, and ugly dating practices. 


One such term is 'breadcrumbing', which might sound tasty but is actually pretty hurtful.

Breadcrumbing became a thing last year. 

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It's when someone keeps leading another person on by giving little bits of hope for a relationship, without any real intention of following through. 

The name comes from Hansel and Gretel's story, where they leave breadcrumbs to find their way home, but the crumbs don't lead anywhere.

Credit: Getty Images

Breadcrumbing can be really damaging to the person being led on. 

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It creates a lot of confusion and trust issues. Dr. Cortney Warren talked about it with Indy100: 

"Breadcrumbing is a manipulation tactic that only benefits one party - the breadcrumber enjoys the romantic attention they receive from you without having to truly invest in the relationship in any real way, as a committed partner would."

But breadcrumbing isn't always easy to spot. 

The person doing it might seem interested, but the reality is different. 


Dr. Warren points out some signs of breadcrumbing. 

"They give you little text messages or you maybe met them a few times if you want it on a couple of dates, and so they showed some interest,"

"but now when you're trying to get a hold of them or make a plan, they're really noncommittal," she said.

"Or they only give you like a little emoji as opposed to like an actual direct response and so often for the person who is being breadcrumbed, they feel very confused."

Credit: Getty Images

However, Dr. Warren notes that breadcrumbing isn't always intentional. 


Sometimes people are dealing with other issues like work stress or personal problems. 

That's why it's important to have a conversation. 


"And so that's why having the conversation is so important because they might come back to you and say, 'oh gosh, I am so sorry. I am so preoccupied with you know, this work project or a breakup that I'm going through that I just don't have much energy and bandwidth to give back right now and it has nothing to do with you.'"