13 Surprising Ways He’s Breadcrumbing You

You might be on the lookout for clear signs you’re being breadcrumbed, like when a guy goes AWOL for a while before circling back around and acting like he never left, but there are other ways you can spot a dude who’s trying to keep you on the back burner. Here are some subtle, surprising signs that you’re a victim of breadcrumbing.

  1. He calls or texts when he knows you’re unavailable. You can’t argue with him about how he never calls or texts you back because he does, but often at times when he knows you’re busy or in a work meeting. It’s a clever way for him to look like he’s making an effort without having to actually do anything.
  2. He sees you but he’s always in a rush. He might actually make plans to see you and turn up to the dates, making you think he’s not breadcrumbing you. But then he’ll be in a mad rush every single time, clearly showing you he can’t give you much of his time.
  3. He tags you on Instagram… but that’s it. You don’t hear from him for a while, then he tags you in a silly meme or a post he knows you’ll like on Instagram. He’s hoping you’ll take the bait and get back in touch.
  4. He likes your Facebook posts from six years ago. You notice that he went through your photo albums on Facebook and “liked” a few photos from your past. Clearly, he’s showing you he’s interested, right? Wrong. He’s just hoping you’ll think that so he can slot back into your life.
  5. You reply to the tags/”likes” but get nothing in return. When you get social media notifications from him, you might think he’s keen to chat, so you drop him a text. Even though he might engage in a conversation, his attention won’t last long. Soon he’ll be zipping out of your life again or putting you on the back burner for a while.
  6. He acts like nothing’s wrongWhen it’s been a week or two of not seeing him, he rocks up to a date and is charming and lovely. He acts like he just saw you the day before, which might play with your head. You might think that he’s into you and you’re getting on track, but it’s just his way of living in the moment without making promises. To you it feels like the start of something; to him, it’s just a fun night out. You’re definitely being breadcrumbed.
  7. He loves lazy text phrases. You tend to hear from him late at night. He’ll text you something like, “What’s up?” or, “Cool night?” Yup, he’s too damn lazy to even write full sentences, for goodness’ sake. It’s tempting to get into a conversation, but don’t be surprised if he leaves it halfway through… and then returns in three days. Breadcrumbers are lazy AF.
  8. He loves emojis. It can be tricky to know if the guy sending you emojis is a breadcrumber or not because so many people love emojis, sometimes even to replace words during conversation. But the breadcrumber does this a heck of a lot. Honestly, it feels like you’re not even having a conversation with him, just sharing silly pictures.
  9. You worry when next you’ll hear from him. You feel sad after interactions and this is a sign that something’s wrong. You might also feel pressure to keep conversations going or battle to believe him when he says he’ll call you later. It’s not your imagination or paranoia. Those feelings are a sign that something’s off with this guy. Deep down, you know you can’t rely on him.
  10. He sends thoughtful messages sometimes. When does the breadcrumber send you caring, thoughtful messages? When he knows you need them to keep him in your good books, like when he’s not going to be around for a while and wants to sweeten you up. He has to do enough to keep you hanging.
  11. He’s king of the catchup. He’ll call you after weeks of no contact just to “catch up”. It seems like he’s interested in how you’ve been, but he’s just filling a lonely or bored day. He just wants to pop in and see what’s going on, make sure you’re still interested in seeing him (not that he’ll commit to a date), and then pop out again.
  12. He’s big on textual conversation. You might think the guy you’re chatting to isn’t breadcrumbing you because he’s always eager to have loads of conversations via text, from sending you pics of his latest travels to news about what’s happening in his social circle. The only problem is that he’s exhausting communication. Why? Because he doesn’t see himself meeting you in person where you can have these chats. He wants to keep you interested but safely behind a screen.
  13. He cancels dates but charms you. He keeps canceling dates with reasons that seem legit, like having to travel yet again for work. You can’t really argue with that, right? And you can’t deny that when he tells you how sexy you look in your new Twitter pic, you smile and think, “He must be interested even though he’s canceled another date.” No, he’s not! Do yourself a favor and stop following his breadcrumbs because they only lead to a broken heart.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.