The Dating Vector: People Are The New Vanishing Point

Andreas Joachim Lins

“So, I’ve been dealing with a breadcrumber for a year. The usual: endless phone and video chats, stalking each other on social. Then there’s talk of a date-that never happens! Then he reappears with the random “like” on IG, “hey, WYD?” Whatsapp message, giving me false hope that maybe he’s not an asshole and IS going to make date plans. He reads my messages, but no reply. EVER.” Monica*, 22, European Blogger.

Thought breadcrumbing was just happening to millennials or just Americans? Not according to my latest research! It’s happening for Millennials and GenXers across the globe to both men and women. Many are experiencing it, but don’t know there is a term for it. Regardless of the term, the experience alone should trigger red flags.

Here’s the backstory: Kelly met Jake a year ago, right after he left the mother of his children. Red flag #1. They were on and off, for about 3 months and then he hooked up with his former baby momma and she got pregnant, again. Red flag #2. Fast forward to now, he has been living with the baby momma and two kids, but has reached out to Kelly to rekindle things. Red flag #3. All the while, Kelly is breadcrumbing LaMar who seems like the ideal guy for her. “Kelly openly told me she should try to build something with me instead of going with this guy, but for some reason she is still pressed on the guy.” LaMar, 29, American Programmer.

Supposedly LaMar is a “great role model, a fantastic supporter, a great friend, a great lover, and a great husband”. Yet, she has been balancing both men on and off for about a year now. Red flag #4.

Par for the course in your 20s, it is what social scientists call your “defining decade”. It is the time in life that you establish your career, love life, and your philosophy about the world. In your 40s, you’ve modified some of the ways you dealt with those definitions based on life’s challenges. You are better at calculating risk and measuring volatility when it comes to your sense of sanity. Long gone are the days of spending years in unfulfilling jobs or relationships. Or is it?

Deb Davis, 48, an American Healthcare Professional, explains “I connected with this man who I had known met for “coffee” and spent 5 1/2 hours in a coffee shop. I had a message everyday first thing in the morning. The chemistry was something I had not experienced since I had fallen in love for the first time with my daughter’s father. And then nothing!”

We are just looking to connect with one person that isn’t about games. Does breadcrumbing shaming have any impact on your future dating? Not according to Davis, “He told me my first breadcrumber did what he did “because he didn’t care”! Well, WTF a man who wooed me, showed me love, and said “I love you” and then never responded to me again! I think it’s safe to say he did that because “he didn’t care”.”

“For the last 7 years, these 2 guys that I briefly dated (at separate times) have always stayed in touch— they will like some posts on FB or send me messages for valentines’ day, my bday, or xmas. Whatever they say to you, I think they just like to have their ego stroked by having me respond, even if it’s just a polite response. I’’m not mad at either one, so I have not told them to lose my number, but it is very clear to me what they are doing: bread crumbing.” Melissa, 42, American Lawyer.

For many, people hold onto the hope of people not being the assholes they really are. How does breadcrumbing make you feel?

“I’m not so much hurt by it, but 1) I’m curious and wondering if he’s okay (I always viewed him as a friend) and 2) there’s a tiny part of me that assumes he found someone just a little skinnier, just a little prettier. That nagging low self-esteem creeps into the back of my subconscious as much as I try to push it away.” explains Hayley Nesbitt, 26, Canadian author of relationship blog 50 Shades of Tinder.

We’re connecting, not committing. We are only broadcasting the positive aspects of our lives on social media-the highlight reels. If we only broadcast the “look at me”, are we able to deal with the side of rejection, detachment, and non-commitment? In life, you don’t always only get highlight reels. Who is by your side when the non-highlight reel moments occur in life? The drama queen? Baby daddy? 4th dude on tindr? The truth is that breadcrumbers don’t really want to be in a relationship. The idea of one is different than having to really function in one.

In reality, all of these dating trends adds another dimension to an already fractured relationship. “It was a tumultuous relationship to begin with, I just ignored the red flags. There will always be a shadow.” says Phillip, 32, IT Executive.

What should we do to cope?

“I hold out no hope that anything will ever be re-kindled with either one of these guys. If their messages bothered me, I would honestly just delete them from FB or block their numbers. That is the advice I would give to anyone that is upset by this tactic.” Melissa, 42, American Lawyer.

Approaching dating as though it is testing out what I call, Your Happiness Hypothesis, your personal algorithm that can help minimize some of our own expectations. Create an equation or a list that includes the elements that you absolutely require and the elements that you think you want. Focus just on characteristics, qualities and life desires. You might find that dating based on a system testing out your happiness hypothesis, will help you figure out what is a better fit for yourself and not have to rely on someone else’s BS.

Breadcrumbs=carbs! It’s McDonald’s! Run, don’t, walk.

“No-one who loves you would do this to you. Therein lies the only solace you’re going to get: Why would you want to be in a relationship with someone who knowingly causes you this much pain or disrespect?” says David, 44, Finance Executive. 


17 thoughts on “The Dating Vector: People Are The New Vanishing Point

  1. European people & especially Russians are BAD to do this kind of thing! The “Flowerdy” language, the “proclamations of undying love”, & the “I found my other half” nonsense…sound familiar? & Then nothing! You’re like…WTH?! This is ESPECIALLY what happens when people try to use Facebook as a dating tool (which is NOT what it was meant for)! Overseas dating RARELY ever works out. In my younger years (20’s & early 30’s – I’m now 44), I would be “flattered & filled with hope” only to be massively let down when the obligatory “oh my God…something terrible’s happened” email would be sent. It almost always is. My point is, that both sexes do this! I’ve heard of both guys & girls doing this sort of thing. Men do it to women by using romantic language, & women do it to men by sending scantily-clad pictures of themselves OR (most likely) models. Now that I’m into my mid-40’s, & have pretty much given up on dating with Facebook, I’ve also pretty much shut down everything to do with dating, period. I’m not sure of how long I’m going to do this, but it’s not going to be forever. I’m a regular responder here & love your blog. I’ve recently broken up with my girlfriend of 19 months, because she basically cheated on me . It’s ok, I’ve forgiven her, I bear her no ill will, but she had nearly $4000.00 of debt & 2 kids that were VERY spoiled, & I’m getting too “long in the tooth” for that kind of garbage.

    1. Sorry to hear about the ex cheating. Glad you forgave her and yourself. All you did was show someone love and if they couldn’t reciprocate it, there is nothing you can do. I think online has changed dramatically just in the last 5 years. It’s mostly based on just pics no real data. Have you tried events in your area? Not meetup. I mean matchmaker led events or some other credible source?

      I do appreciate you always sharing your insights and support. I have confidence you’ll find someone that is truly deserving of you.

      1. Yes, I’ve tried them, but with no success. One charged me $1,200.00 & they said they would find me a date a month for a year – I got setup on one date & then, I never heard anything from the agency again, & NO refund! So, never doing THAT again! We have two “Supposedly Local” Facebook pages for singles who live in Panama City, Florida, but I really haven’t hit them hard yet, because I’m not quite ready yet to start dating again. Right now, I’m just taking my time trying to write a good, strong, POSITIVE, profile for when I do get back into dating! I may give you a shout when I get it done to give me some tweaks or suggestions on how to improve it, if you wouldn’t mind? I’m thinking sometime around late June?

        1. Sure, I wouldn’t mind taking a look. Not sure if you get to go to Space Coast, but if you do I have a friend, Lisa Sue Anderson, who hosts live events that maybe you should check out: She holds some great events with singles that she screens. Not random anyone can add themselves. I’ll mention you on her page, so that if you are able to make it she’ll be familiar with you.

          1. No, I never get down that far…I live in Panama City, Florida, which is 98 miles east of Pensacola, Florida. I doubt she does much, if anything, here. But I’ll look her up & contact her anyway…she may can at least offer suggestions for me. Thanks.

              1. Can I get your direct email so that when I have this new profile ready I can send it to you for corrections & additions?

                    1. thanks for bringing that to my attention. getting it resolved right away. it would be best, if you reach out to her on her fb page.

                      in the meantime, thank you for making me aware of this problem!

  2. Hah, breadcrumbing! I loooooove that term 😀 And it’s so true too. People give you enough to keep you on their tail just for them to keep you interested. It’s dishonest and disrespectful, but unfortunately perhaps one of the bad elements of online dating and the throwaway attitude?

    1. hahahha it’s horrible in practice 🙂 you are so right! more and more this is common practice-it has become normative. what i am trying to develop is ways to prevent it from eroding self-esteem. have you covered any of these aspects on your blog? if so, would you like to create a guest post for me?

      1. Sorry about the delay in responding, have been very busy and away from my desk on a much needed holiday. I did write a few posts where I referred to somrthing I called “The Sweet Shop Mentality” of online dating. i feel I have had more “friends” like this than dates. I’ll email you later this week and we can discuss, thank you very much 🙂

    2. Cuch, I would argue that it IS the PREMIERE bad element of dating online! Foreign women are REALLY bad to do this type of $h!+. That’s why I never try with women outside the US, in different states, OR in different sections of my own state (I live in northwest Florida). Because I’m a man, I’m going to start with how women screw men over with this: Now, because we men tend to “think” with our penis’s before our real heads, a woman sends an opening letter WITH an unusually attractive, or half naked photo, & BAM!….she’s almost always got the man eating her…err, I mean, eating out of her hand. The man is CLEARLY hooked, & what’s more, …she KNOWS IT! The man is willing to spend his last dime to get her to him, & not care if it’s from the next state, OR the next freaking planet! Now, on to what the men do to the women: Women tend to think with their hearts more than anything else, first. Hence, the man acts all “sensitive” & crap like that, & all of a sudden, starts writing horribly bad poetry (even though he’s probably NEVER written anything poetic before, other than “roses are red, violets are blue, I love you” – YECH!!!), & yep, you guessed it…The woman is willing to spend her last dime to get herself to him, & not care if it’s from the next state, OR the next freaking planet! Hence, I think 98% of all internet dating is garbage.

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