Ever heard of breadcrumbing?
It's a new term that's recently been all over social media, but it's actually not new at all. It probably goes back as long as people have been around, and it's one of the biggest frustrations for those braving the dating world.
Breadcrumbing is when someone is giving you the minimum amount of investment necessary to keep you from walking away entirely. That could vary person to person depending on what your personal minimum is, but what you will always realize is that they never do anything extra.
You know this is happening if you feel like you're always waiting around for them to call or text or want to see you, but it never seems like they're waiting on you. It's like they keep you so starved for Love and affection that you start to be grateful for any little bit of their attention--the scraps or crumbs.
So even when you're angry or frustrated because they haven't called or texted, when they do call, you get so happy that you forget about why you were angry--that is, until the next time they do it. You really want something with this person and you're clinging to the hope that they will realize how much they Love you and want the same thing with you, so even after you've sworn them off forever you always give them another chance.
When they call and say they miss you, they awaken that spark of hope that makes you believe they've finally decided what they want, but really it's just them making the minimum possible investment to keep you around. And just when you think you've had enough and you are about to get free, they pull you back in.
It's painful, we know.
When this is happening to you, there is really only one thing to do about it, but there are a few conclusions you need to come to before you can do anything. In this post, we're going to tell you exactly what to do in a situation like this and how to do it.
First, are you actually being breadcrumbed?
How do you know if this is happening to you? The dating game is incredibly complex and things are not always so black and white. Maybe someone is just busy, maybe they really are doing their best, maybe the problem is you and not them and you just need to stop being so attached, right?
In some cases, perhaps, but this is a situation where you really have to trust your intuition. Healthy relationships feel right. They heal you, they don't hurt. Now, of course, all relationships will hurt at times, but ask yourself this:
Overall, is this relationship healing or hurting me?
Does the relationship feel right in your heart or are you constantly trying to justify it in your mind? When you know something is right you don't feel the need to constantly question it and convince yourself (and oftentimes other people) that it's good. You don't have to talk yourself into what you know.
Someone who sincerely wants a relationship with you will want you to know that. They will not want you to question it. They don't want to risk losing you so the last thing they would ever want is for you to have to wonder if you should stick around or not.
If someone isn't giving you assurance about how much you matter to them, it's likely that you don't.
Ultimately you have to come to the conclusion if you're being breadcrumbed or not yourself. But if you have the courage to be honest about it, the signs are always there.
Second, do you deserve better?
People will resign to even the most unfulfilling situations if they think they don't deserve better or if they think "this is just as good as it gets anyway." If that's how you feel about it then it's unlikely that you will ever expect to receive more or ever find yourself in a more fulfilling situation.
True Love is not something that comes easy and without effort, and it's not something that comes without personal growth and expansion. People who expect the best from life become the best themselves and therefore have the best, but people who can be content with less will always settle for "just enough."
If someone has been getting away with giving you the minimum possible investment, the first thing you have to do is raise your minimum. Simply put, that amount of effort is no longer acceptable. Find out if they are willing to do more.
They may or may not be willing, but if they aren't, then you are only losing someone who wasn't worth keeping around in the first place.
In order to ever truly do this, you have to raise your own value. When you understand that you are worth the maximum possible investment, anything less becomes intolerable. You have to understand that you are made up of all the same stuff that all people are. You deserve just as much as anyone in the world, and all your fears, doubts, and insecurities are no different from those of anybody else.
The only difference between resigning to a depressing relationship and having the Love of your Life is allowing yourself to be stopped by those doubts or breaking through them to find Love.
This is what we call contextual work and it's a primary focus in our programs. Until you heal your underlying lack of confidence and worth, you will never be able to stand for the Love that you truly deserve.
And finally, what you do about it...
The simple answer is: Leave. You have nothing to lose by doing so.
Now, if you're being breadcrumbed by your husband, wife, or partner of many years, that's a little different. Likely there are other underlying issues in the relationship to work through. If you feel like this is happening to you and you'd like to speak with us about it, click here.
If this is just someone you're dating who has never really demonstrated any real level of commitment to creating a relationship, the likelihood that this could actually go somewhere is very low.
But don't just leave by blocking them and disappearing without ever saying anything. There's a much more powerful way to do it.
The next time they call (or if they text, tell them you want to speak) say to them very clearly:
"I'm not going to be seeing you anymore because I don't feel that you've ever made this relationship important, and honestly it's not worth my time. I wanted to give you the respect of saying something before I disappeared. I appreciate the time we had together and what you taught me. I'm over this now, goodbye."
And then, move on with your life.
I don't think we need to elaborate on how powerful that would be for you so we'll just say a couple of things:
1. Learn to understand your worth and never settle for anything less than what you deserve.
2. Become clear about the level of investment that someone needs to make in you and let them know what you expect. They can decide for themselves if they want to live up to that or not.
3. When someone is not doing so, move on. You'll know when someone likes you and wants to be with you--it won't be a mystery.
Note: When you clearly end it with them the way we illustrate above, you can expect them to call. If you choose to give them an opportunity (because this could make someone have a change of heart), don't give in so quickly. See if they're willing to put some work into it and ask them what they're willing to do this time that they haven't done in the past. Assess their actions, not their words. If nothing changes in how they treat you, it's a clear indication that they are not really willing to put in the effort. Don't fall back into the trap!
If you struggle with gaining that confidence or being that bold in your relationships, we'd love to work with you on it. Click here to apply for our coaching programs.
Thanks for reading <3
A Conscious approach to dating and relationships…
Like you, something about the idea of sharing our life with that someone special was particularly exciting to us, and after many years of working with individuals and couples alike, it's clear that we're not the only ones who have felt that way.
We've been through enough relationship challenges (our own and others') to know exactly how scary relationships can be, how difficult dating can be, and how let-down you can be when once again, you get excited about someone and it ends up going nowhere.
Yes, we've had these experiences and more--heartbreak, failure, disappointment, despair.
We know how painful it can be to watch everyone around you fall in Love and wonder if it's ever going to happen for you. Or, how scary it can be to see someone you Love drift away from you and feel like there is nothing you can do to stop it.
The truth for us was that we had a lot of work to do to be able to have the kind of Love we have today. We did that work, learned exactly what it was all about, and now we help people like YOU do the work to create the Love that you're looking for.
We create conscious, loving, and committed lifelong partnerships so you can experience the Love and Fulfillment that you've always dreamed of. We address the thoughts, beliefs, feelings, fears, strategies, and skills necessary to have the satisfaction and fulfillment you truly desire in a relationship.
The most fulfilling path is never the easiest, so if you're ready to really work and create the Love you truly desire, click here to begin.