11 Reasons Why A Guy Will Breadcrumb You, According To Those Very Same Guys

In this day and age, dating can be difficult. The days of meeting someone at a bar, book store, or coffee shop sometimes feel like those of a bygone era. Nowadays, apps and websites seem to rule the dating world. With the rise in digital dating, however, comes the seemingly ever-increasing frequency of cutesy terms invented to describe what are, let's be honest, exceptionally poor dating behaviors. Ghosting, haunting, and benching are all words that you probably wouldn't have heard years ago, though the practices themselves aren't new. If it's happened to you, you probably want to know the reasons why a guy will breadcrumb you, according to men.

"Breadcrumbing," in case you're lucky enough to be unfamiliar with the term, according to Urban Dictionary, is the " act of sending out flirtatious, but non-committal text messages (i.e. "breadcrumbs") to members of the opposite sex in order to lure a sexual partner without expending much effort." Now, as with other "modern" dating malpractices, the general tenets of this aren't new. Being flirtatious, yet non-committal or setting very general plans, but never following through are old news in the dating world. If you've ever wondered what would compel someone to do something like that, well, it's probably not as dastardly as you'd expect. Ultimately, while it's certainly not the brave, mature thing to do — and can have real effects on the person experiencing it — sometimes breadcrumbing isn't meant to hurt you.


Dating Isn't A Priority

While this might seem pretty obvious, some guys breadcrumb because dating just isn't a priority for them at the time, according to a thread on Reddit. Rather than taking the initiative and setting up dates (and following through), for some guys, it's just easier to... not do those things, especially if you're a stranger and there's no real way for them to be held accountable.


They Don't Want To Hurt Your Feelings

Dan, a comedian, tells Romper by email that he's breadcrumbed women before because he doesn't want to hurt their feelings. "When they text me, I occasionally text back and yes, I admit it is breadcrumbing," he says.


They Want A Quick Ego Boost

Sending breadcrumb-type messages, whether via text, email, or social media, can, undoubtedly boost the sender's ego a bit, which is why some give in to the temptation to do so. According to a Reddit thread, exes who send breadcrumb messages often do so for the ego boost.


They're Feeling A Little Guilty

If the relationship ended poorly for whatever reason, sometimes you'll end up with a guilt-driven breadcrumb apologizing for problems in the relationship, the way in which it ended, or something similar, according to another thread on Reddit. These breadcrumbs don't necessarily lead to long-term stringing along, they're just a quick, out of the blue message to try to mend things and then move on.


They Didn't Even Realize They Were

That's right, sometimes a guy will breadcrumb you without even knowing that that's what he's doing. As dating coach and author of Why He Disappeared, Evan Marc Katz told the website for The Today Show, a man could breadcrumb someone unintentionally due to a truly busy schedule or something else keeping his mind and priorities elsewhere. It doesn't necessarily excuse the behavior, but he might not even be considering how it's affecting you (or that it's affecting you at all).


They Miss You

As 33-year-old Jared told Women's Health, sometimes a guy will breadcrumb you because he misses you. An official breakup or time apart usually doesn't negate all of the time the two of you spent together, during which you surely shared highs and lows. Whether you choose to act the same way or not, you likely miss them from time to time as well.


To Keep In Touch

Especially if you were friends before you got together, you might get breadcrumb-style texts as a way for him to keep in touch or find out what's going on in your life, as 26-year-old Steve told Women's Health in the aforementioned article. He doesn't necessarily mean much else by it, but wants to know how things are going for you. If you were together for a long time, it can be difficult to turn those concerns and thoughts off.


They Were Just Lonely

Sometimes a guy will breadcrumb you because he's lonely, as Vincente Ben told Mashable. These kinds of connections make them feel less lonely in a new city, for example. It's a virtual connection which allows you to feel less alone, as well as a distraction from whatever loneliness or other feelings with which you might be grappling.


They Didn't Want To Lose You Completely

According to a message board on, sometimes you'll get breadcrumbed because your partner wasn't ready or otherwise emotionally strong enough to let you go completely when he ended things. While that can through you for an emotional loop, the breadcrumbing just might stop once he's ready to move on.


It's Just A Booty Call

Ultimately, it really might just be that he's looking for sex, as 27-year-old Aaron told Women's Health in the previously-mentioned article. If you think it's a booty call, it probably is.


They're Scared

With the rise of online dating, some people are even more shy to make a move in real life. As Ben said in the aforementioned Mashable article, some people use the apps and other forms of online dating specifically because they're intimidated by the prospect of trying to make connections in person. Breadcrumbing, though hurtful, can help form connections while circumventing in-person risk, accountability, and commitment.

Watch Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:

Check out the entire Romper's Doula Diaries series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.