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Breadcrumbing: How You Could Be Doing It and How It Could Be Happening To You

Dating in college is hard. With so many people and so many social media channels to constantly remind us that we have nothing but options, both in our own town or across the country, temptation seems to follow us everywhere we go. Commitment in relationships are few and far between in the millennial generation, and the more our follower count increases the more difficult it is to only focus on one person. But we are not talking about the negative effects of social media on today’s relationship, that’s a whole other discussion. We are talking about breadcrumbing, how it could be happening to you or worse, how you could be doing it to someone else.

Breadcrumbing is when someone doesn’t want a relationship to progress but doesn’t want to stop talking to the person. Leaving ‘breadcrumb’ like forms of communication to keep you interested but still keep you at arm’s length. There comes a point in every relationship when you have to decide for yourself whether you want to continue and see where fate takes you or if it’s time to break it off and move on. When you like someone but aren’t quite ready to invest yourself in them whether it be that you’re too busy, you just got out of a relationship, you’re afraid of commitment, etc.

There’s a lot that goes into breaking off a relationship or to get one off of the ground. Maybe, they like you but you don’t like them as much as you thought you did. It isn’t easy to hurt someone’s feelings when the feelings aren’t mutual. So you keep hanging out, texting off and on throughout the day with no intention of making an effort to see it through, that is bread crumbing. Those late night snapchats that initiates a conversation that never goes anywhere, or my personal favorite, the “Hey” texts that occurs once a month like clock work. Acting as a friendly reminder that they are still around just not around for you.

A more severe example is the ‘long term breadcrumbing’. This is the flame that sparked but both parties were never able to pursue. For example, say you both met early on and the pieces never fell in place for you to try and see where things could go. So you both go off and meet new people and whenever there’s a fight or a relationship doesn’t work out, you hit them with a text. At the time it seems innocent, even right. Its comfortable to be able to constantly go back to the person that you know will always be there for you. But we must not forget that mutual breadcrumbing is just as bad.

Breadcrumbing is not a new development and a lot of the time can be innocent, sometimes people don’t even realize they they are doing it!The moral of the story is, it isn’t nice and it’s super unfair to the other party to lead them on, just as it is for someone to lead you on. If you are the one leaving ‘breadcrumbs” we all know how hard as it may seems to let someone go at the time but for both parties involved; if a relationship was supposed to work, you probably would have found a way in the first place.

President at Her Campus CWU Senior, Public Relations Major at Central Washington University!
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