“Breadcrumbing”, a new form of romantic manipulation?

“Breadcrumbing”, a new form of romantic manipulation?

Have you recently been around a new partner who blows hot then quickly cold? Perhaps you are dealing with a case of “breadcrumbing”, a person who feigns interest without ever actually getting involved. Our psychologist explains to us how to react.

Dating has never seemed so complicated. After ghosting, love bombing, or even pocketing, inducing toxic relational behavior, another concept is being relayed by the media: breadcrumbing, a modern way of manipulating the person you meet.

Breadcrumbing, or how to throw away only “crumbs” of attention

“‘Breadcrumbing’ is a form of manipulation, whether intentional or not, in which a person feigns interest and acts as if they are genuinely interested and invested in a relationship with another person when they are not. is not”, defines Monica Vermani, clinical psychologist, on CNN.

Concretely, the person you meet only throws “crumbs” of attention in your direction to show that he/she is interested (or at least lets it be believed) but does not really commit, or even backs up regularly. Enough to disconcert, and make us doubt the reality of the encounter. A behavior that can legitimately undermine self-confidence in the long term.

According to the site PsyCentralthere is also a whole list of signs to spot breadcrumbers:

  • They flirt regularly, but never ask you out;
  • They ask for news, pay compliments, but ignore your proposals for a meeting;
  • They leave comments on your social networks, but do not respond to your messages;
  • They joke and flirt, but never engage in meaningful conversation;
  • They offer meetings, but will never go so far as to set a date or place;
  • They show more interest once you start to move away.

A form of manipulation, voluntary or not

What does our psychologist Johanna Rozenblum think of this way of creating a bond in a couple? Not all good, necessarily.

“This is again a form of manipulation, of control which serves to possess the other, to create dependence, certainly in the interest of the person who generates it. Perhaps they do this quite simply because that she cannot stand solitude, or that she seeks signs of affection at all costs, while she does not experience romantic feelings on her part. Whatever the case, this can say about the person that she is narcissistic enough to take advantage of her own needs without taking into account the consequences for the person who falsely believes she is loved.”

How to react to breadcrumbing?

Are you afraid of being at the heart of a breadcrumbing maneuver and running after signs of attention? But how to react concretely? Our expert sees two solutions.

“It is always possible to initiate dialogue to discuss the problem. After all, perhaps the other does not intend to harm and feels difficulty creating a romantic bond. If it comes from a trauma from the past or from childhood, the subject can be worked on within the couple. On the other hand, if it is intentional with the sole aim of filling a void, it is toxic behavior, and it is better to consider recreating a situation elsewhere. other relationship in reciprocity” she advises.

To leave or persist, in the end, it is the other’s ability to have a citric look at their own behavior which can give indications to the injured person.