If you’re active in social media circles and out there in the online dating game, you’ve probably run into issues with breadcrumbing, and you probably don’t even know it.

Dating Trend: 5 Tips for Dealing with BreadcrumbingWhat is breadcrumbing? It’s the behaviour of the drive-by dater. You know the guy. He showed up well before ghosting was given a name. He leaves a random voicemail message, pop in occasionally to comment on your social media status or sporadically sends you a private message just to “check in”. Of course, all of this touch-basing lacks commitment and feelings, and yet, until it finally dawned on you what was happening, it successfully kept you hanging on with the relationship going nowhere.

Breadcrumbing: The act of sending flirtatious, but non-committal messages (breadcrumbs) that end with you never meeting the person in real life. Now that it has a name, this social media and online dating trend is both annoying and frustrating for the person being breadcrumbed. Think of it as the new ghosting.

Find out how you know you’re getting ghosted

5 Tips for Dealing with Breadcrumbing

Monitor the effort.

An occasional “hi” or brief message says a lot about commitment and interest. Someone wanting to get to know you will be willing to put in the time and will want to spend time with you. Brief “drop-ins” aren’t what good, healthy relationships are based on. If you notice a pattern of someone agreeing to meet up, then backing out with a different excuse, it’s best to get out ASAP.

Build momentum.

Is the relationship progressing? Are you speaking to each other on a more frequent basis? A new relationship should build in intensity not just be a sporadic mess. Take a step back and realize that the person breadcrumbing you isn’t getting emotionally involved, and therefore you shouldn’t either. Follow this rule and don’t make excuses. This is just one person in a sea of online daters, and if they’re only giving you breadcrumbs when you deserve the whole loaf of bread, it’s time to let go. Be good to yourself.

Don’t be afraid to confront.

Make sure that you both are seeking the same type of relationship. One of you might be unsure of the other’s intentions and are wanting something entirely different. Maybe your “breadcrumber” isn’t interested in anything deeper. Following a trail of breadcrumbs will only keep you from finding a better match. Know the signs, follow these tips and forge your own trail.

Ask: Is it over?

If “breadcrumbing” starts and you have been in a relationship you need to consider if this is the break-up. Again, don’t make excuses as that may just prolong the pain. With today’s technology being used more and more in our relationships “breadcrumbing” and “ghosting” are available options for insensitive people to cut you loose. Admit the signs to yourself and move on.<

Have some self-respect.

Don’t blame yourself and don’t follow the path. You have the right to not pick up the crumbs! Know yourself. These breadcrumbs are just to keep you in their game. Don’t play into by saying something they want to hear. What kind of relationship do you want? If the communication doesn’t fit your needs, it’s time to move on.

Justin Lavelle is Chief Communications Director at PeopleLooker.com, a popular tool for online daters who use the app to check the background of potential dates. Find out ages, marital status, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, criminal records, and more.

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