You know that one person you have flirtatious banter with, but you're only keeping them on the back-burner until someone better comes along?
Well if you like their Instagram pictures, send them random texts and then disappear for weeks, it turns out that you’re committing a classic case of "breadcrumbing".
Yes, that’s the name for the new dating trend that’s taken over the digital world, named after people who throw their romantic interests a few crumbs but never take things any further.
Unlike ghosting, where a person comes across as overeager only to vanish without a trace, breadcrumbers dart in and out of your life, making you think they’re interested in you before snubbing you just as they have your attention.
The trend doesn’t just apply to love interests as even friends and employers can smack you with breadcrumbs when you least expect it.
Do you have a friend who constantly says they’ll meet up with you only to cancel at the last second without reason?
You’ve been breadcrumbed!
How about a boss who promises you a promotion but never delivers on it?
You’re being breadcrumbed!
What about that family member that sends you links over WhatsApp but never replies when you engage in conversation?
They're breadcrumbing you!
Breadcrumbers are shameless with their actions and it’s likely you’re not the only one they’re doing it to.
People who breadcrumb speak of plans and dates but never actually put them into place.
They’ll bring up a cool concert you should go to, a coffee date you were meant to have or a workplace meeting about your pay, but leave you hanging just as you begin to believe them
“The worst type of breadcrumber is the one who resurfaces every six months, and like the Loch Ness monster, you almost can’t believe this creature has come back into your life. But there he is, saying, ‘Hey, I was just thinking about you,’” Alicia Winokur, a recent graduate of Mount Holyoke College told the New York Times.
According to Urban Dictionary, the term can also be known as "Hansel and Gretelling".
"When a guy or girl gives someone just enough attention to keep their hope of a relationship alive," they explained giving an example of a possible breadcrumbing in real life.
"He keeps texting me but doesn't want to set up a time to see me," the example reads.
"Yo girl he's bread crumbing you."
While it's hard to stop a breadcrumber from dropping crumbs at every opportunity, we reckon they should be played at their own game for a while to see how they like it.