In the new age of dating, we seem to think that everything is new. Younger generations in the search for a life partner are under the impression that our grandparents didn’t deal with the f*ckery while dating. When I say our grandparents, I mostly mean our grandmothers because let’s face it, new socialization as a result of feminism has indeed created an evolution in the dating landscape for women more than anyone. We no longer have to put up or shut up. These days we have greater access to careers, and our own bank accounts, and are unapologetic about exploring our sexuality. In other words: WE GOT OPTIONS!
At times, all the drastic changes can make it seem like men and women aren’t experiencing the same dating patterns but as Nana might tell you, “There ain’t nothing I ain’t never heard or seen before.” Catfishing, ghosting, and breadcrumbing may all sound like funny new “millennial” concepts but the reality is, the only thing that has changed is the language.
Certified Dating and Relationship Coach Alison Wellington confirms to xoNecole that the latest dating “trend” of them all, breadcrumbing, is better known to past generations as “bullsh*tting.”
What is Breadcrumbing? And Why Does it Happen?
Of course, we needed to know a little more about breadcrumbing for our own protection while in these streets. So shall we back this up? Yes, because what exactly is classified as ‘bullsh*tting’ or ‘breadcrumbing’? Well, Coach Wellington put us up on game for when trying to build your starting lineup of potential partners and then hopefully a future with someone special. She first explained very matter of factly what the phenomenon is, “Breadcrumbing is when someone gives a romantic interest just enough attention to keep them interested but they aren't really looking to commit to this person.”
Additionally, our expert provides two reasons breadcrumbing often occurs: 1.) They enjoy the attention of multiple people at the same time, and 2.) They want to keep their options open so when they do decide to commit, they have more readily available options open.
How to Avoid Breadcrumbing
Like most anything else we can avoid breadcrumbing by setting healthy expectations and boundaries for all relationships, especially in the early stages of dating when breadcrumbing would be most likely to happen. Though this is not to say that it cannot occur in an established relationship.
Wellington advises, getting “clear” on “what you require from those you date” and then communicating those expectations to the person(s) you’re dating. She offers the example of quality time, stating, “If you'd like to speak to the person you're seeing every day or to go out on dates once a week, etc. [Make this known to your person.] After you've kindly made your expectations clear, if the person is unwilling or unable to deliver, then move on.”
You’ve Been Breadcrumbed…What Now?Getty Images
Once you’ve been breadcrumbed, or the person has initiated the process, it’s essentially best to clock that behavior, set the boundary, and move on if it goes unchanged. Depending on who you are and how you operate in regard to red flags, it might even behoove you to get gone at the first sight of a red flag, especially because our expert states that more often than not the perpetrator “knows exactly what they are doing.”
When it’s all said and done, all is not fair in love and war but that doesn’t mean that any one of us has to accept less. That said, when you find yourself in this position it’s important that you move with integrity and thus on to the next. But, I will also add this is why it’s imperative that we get back to the true concept of dating. Not to keep deferring to our grandparents, but in the age of social media, it’s more critical than ever that we don’t put all our eggs in one basket.
Dating around is intended to see what our options are. Perhaps if we all continue to date this way until it is clear on both sides what the next steps are and what commitment looks like, then there would be no need for all of these games. Perhaps.
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Featured image by Getty Images