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How To Deal With Breadcrumbing (11 Ways To Respond)

February 2, 2024

Breadcrumbing is something that people do when they are dating. It can be a very confusing and difficult action to deal with so here, in this article, we look at ways to cope with the times that someone is breadcrumbing you. 

Remember that relationships are all about balance and respect so if you don’t like the games that a person you like is playing, it can be a good idea to actually question whether you should be with them or not. 

Breadcrumb dating or being breadcrumbed is when a person keeps in contact with someone they have dated a couple of times, with a few messages or phone calls - anything to keep that person interested

More importantly, being breadcrumbed means that a person is trying to string you along so that when they do want to see you, you will jump at their request - thinking that they are keen. In reality, they probably don’t want to be in a relationship with you and are actually still playing the field a lot. 

How Do You Deal With Someone Who Is Breadcrumbing You?

Dealing with someone who is trying to breadcrumb you is tough. So how do you respond to breadcrumbing? 

There are a number of things that you can do to make you feel like you are back in control and, importantly, to remind them that you need to get the respect you deserve. There will often be one person on a date who is into the other person a lot more than the other. This is often when someone may feel it's time to begin this type of game, as they feel like they can get away with it. 

1. Cut them out of your life

Being breadcrumbed is never a nice feeling. If you feel that you are being taken advantage of by someone that you want a relationship with, it might be better, in the long run, to cut them out of your life as soon as possible. In doing so, and in ceasing all contact with them, you are regaining some control of the situation as well as showing them that you are to be respected. 

2. Tell them how you feel

Another good way you might want to try to get things back on an even keel with one another is to tell them directly how you feel. Make a time with them to meet up or simply call them to tell them how you actually feel. If you really like them, it can be a good idea to tell them so. It might stop them from playing games

3. Be upfront with yourself

The problem with this game is that it can be so misleading and deceiving. We might even convince ourselves that this man or woman does actually like us. That they might want a relationship with us. However, be upfront and honest with yourself. Ask yourself whether you really think they’re being honest with you. If the answer is no, then it is perhaps time to walk away

4. Ask them directly

Ask them directly

Of course, another option is that if you do not like the games they are playing, tell them so. It is then up to them to address their behavior. Whether they do or not remains to be seen, but you know then that you have done everything you can. This might open up an awkward conversation but at least you will know where you stand straight away. 

5. Ignore the game

It is very hard to do some of the time, especially when we really like people, but it can be a good idea to ignore the game that this person is playing with you. If they are really interested in you, they will come back and want to spend quality time with you. They will make an effort to see you as opposed to stringing you along for attention on their terms. 

6. Play the game

Another way to size up to this dating game is to play it too. Trying sending them flirtatious messages as they do with you, but then pull out of any dates that you have set up, or don’t make yourself immediately available to them when they ask to see you. This can take a lot of determination when you have a big crush on a person, but it can be one of the most successful ways of getting balance back between the two of you. 

7. Date other people

Being breadcrumbed happens when someone is hedging their bets and seeing other people. Remember that you are therefore quite within your rights to date other people too - even though you are very serious about making a go of things with this particular person. 

This can be an effective method as it reminds the person you are crushing on that you are attractive to others thus making them jealous, but also it can give you the confidence not to take being breadcrumbed lying down. 

8. Make sure you respect yourself

The reason it is so key to have confidence in yourself and your attractiveness to others is that it will make sure that you respect yourself too. 

This type of behavior is fairly manipulative and not fair either. If someone is doing it to you all the time, remember that it is not ok or acceptable. You deserve to be with a person who is happy to be with you and you only. If you a man or woman is behaving in such a way that you realize you are their backup plan, have some respect for yourself and call them out on it. 

9. Focus on other aspects of your life

Focus on other aspects of your life

So many of us want to be in a happy and content relationship. This is why we often accept a certain type of behavior, hoping that a relationship dynamic will come good in the end. However, relationships are not the be and end all of your life. 

While they can be very important, they’re not the only way to be happy. Bearing that in mind, it can be a good idea to focus on other aspects of your life if you feel you are being breadcrumbed. When you direct your focus elsewhere, you are less likely to allow yourself to get into a position of being breadcrumbed in the first place. 

10. Take the higher road

Make no mistake, this type of dating game is a very underhand tactic. Just because someone is treating you in this way, however, doesn’t mean you have to accept it or take it. 

To help keep your confidence high, it can be a good idea to try to take the moral high ground at all times. Be honest with yourself and the person you are dating, knowing that you are being kind and open. You will know that you have been the best you can be, therefore, and won’t ever regret any of your actions. 

11. Have confidence 

Above all, you must have the confidence not to accept this type of behavior. Being manipulated in this way is not acceptable and, even if you do start a relationship together in the end, that relationship is likely to be one without balance. Have confidence that you deserve better than this therefore and make it known to the person playing games with you. 


How do you deal with someone who is Breadcrumbing you?

Dealing with someone breadcrumbing you can be difficult as it can be so confusing. Just as you are ready to give up on them, they contact you giving you false hope. To offset this behavior, have confidence in yourself and remember to treat others with respect as well as yourself. 

What to say to someone who is Breadcrumbing you?

If you want to know a person’s true intentions who seems to be breadcrumbing you, it can be a good idea to ask them directly if they have any real want to be with you in a relationship. Without asking openly and honestly, you may not get to the true root of the issue. 

What is Breadcrumbing in relationships?

Breadcrumbing in relationships is where a person keeps their partner interested by giving them intermittent bits of attention, but not in any serious fashion. It is almost like they are hedging their bets until a better offer comes along. 

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How do you know if someone is Breadcrumbing you?

You will be able to tell if a person is breadcrumbing you by the amount of contact or attention you get from them - and whether that is all done on their terms. If you only hear from them on occasions they want something, the likelihood is they are breadcrumbing you. 

What is cookie jarring in dating?

Cookie jarring in dating is a person trying to have a backup plan. It means they try to keep a person they are dating interested while actively pursuing other people - all the time maintaining a relationship with another person with whom they have no long term plans. 

How To Respond To Breadcrumbing

Your response to this behavior is key to how the rest of your relationship will pan out. Highlighting it as not acceptable and ensuring that you get the respect you are entitled to is key to your own happiness - let alone the success of your relationship. 

Read through our tactics above and see which will work for you best. Try one or two out at a time to get through this tough phase, but above all - remember that you deserve the very best!

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