It’s a relief when we’ve found a person in the online dating jungle who gives us hope. Namely that it’s finally over soon. But we should watch out for these manipulative tactics.

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Nowadays, the first meeting is often via text message. The talks take place digitally and both find out for themselves whether they are really interested in the other. But in the large pool of online daters there is a lot to choose from – and it is not uncommon for people to start off on two tracks and keep a whole harem of online acquaintances warm.

They keep the other person happy with attention-grabbing texts or the occasional hot flirt, while actually not being interested in anything serious themselves. An emotional game out of loneliness? Or is there maybe more behind it?

The Brotkrumen Method

Are you texting someone and they only text you back sporadically? But when a message comes, does it make your heart race? Relatively little comes back from your:your chosen one and are you actually always the:the one who:texts first?

Then you may have succumbed to the breadcrumb method. People who behave in this pattern give us little bits of their attention at a time. Just enough to keep us entertained and interested.

Another sign: when you make an appointment, a breadcrumb layer often says yes, only to decline without further ado, or they downplay or ignore your suggestion. They rarely suggest a date themselves, or offer only vague ideas, but always claim that they would love to see you.

The counterpart often gets stuck on these small breadcrumbs that are laid out for us. And whenever a nightly Whatsapp flirt arrives or an answer to the content we sent days ago, hope comes up again. In the end, however, breadcrumb layers never follow the path they lead you to believe they are taking.

Identify and leave breadcrumbs

Breadcrumb experts always leave you feeling like you don’t know where you stand. According to US psychology professor Kelly Campbell, these people’s interest is also very inconsistent. One day they’re friendly and enthusiastic, the next they’re cold and don’t answer for hours. “Their relationship game means that they keep many people interested at the same time,” says the psychologist, adding: “Their self-esteem depends on the number of people they can romantically entertain at the same time.”

The messages are often superficial or ambiguous, Campbell said. So that the other people never really know what is meant. In addition, breadcrumb layers would often not write back for weeks and then score again with long messages – of course without an explanation for the delay. A lot of breadcrumbs also arrive on cell phones at night. Because then we are alone and more vulnerable than during the day when we do things.

Further indications can be the following: For example, instead of text, more and more emojis, GIFs or memes are used to reply. Breadcrumb layers also like to regularly like your social media posts, but do not respond with a real message. Pet names for you can also be a sign. Because that makes you interchangeable with others in the possibly several chat rooms.

Why is this happening?

Stop those Brotkrumen

Anyone who asks breadcrumb layers about their behavior sometimes only achieves a temporary change. The US psychologist Dana McNeil suspects that addressing the problem only temporarily leads to more openness. The manipulators then partially open up to the other person and show weakness in order for them to forgive them. After that, they resume the old behavior.

And that’s not all: the small attention-grabbing pieces often become even fewer and the breadcrumb method even more extreme. Moreover, instead of accepting the mistake in their own behavior, they often blame the others for the problem. According to the motto: “We can see each other more often if you have cleared your insecurities out of the way.”

But it doesn’t always have to be that way. When we find that we are being lured in but never getting there, we should openly address our concerns. You can take these steps:

What we should learn for ourselves

Our own wishes and needs should never run on the back burner in the interaction with our potential partners. They are justified and deserve to be recognized. Just as we respect others, so should they, and the time we invest in other people should be appreciated. In dating communication, it should go without saying in a way that you are treated with respect and expected the same of you.

Source used: Psychology Today