Breakups are hard to deal with but when you experience breadcrumbing that feels like you’re going through separation anxiety for the second time.
Usually breadcrumbing starts when the dumper is beginning to deal with hurt and pain from the breakup. Your ex is trying to heal their separation anxiety by reaching out to you.
It’s such a complex period because you’ve just been dealing with the breakup and trying to nourish yourself. Now you find yourself in between reconnecting with your ex or not.
That’s why it is very important to make a distinction between e pure intention of reconciliation and breadcrumbing. Your ex might have different reasons for contacting you again and maybe they’re doing it intentionally or not.
You can draw a distinction just by testing your ex and knowing your position in this relationship.
What is breadcrumbing?
Breadcrumbing is any contact from your ex that doesn’t include the real meaning of reconciliation. It can be a simple emoji, texting, checking on you, commenting on your photos, or even “I miss you” type of message.
Here are a few versions of breadcrumbing that you might have been experiencing:
1. Your ex asks you for favors.
2. Your ex likes your pictures on social media.
3. They ask inaccurate questions or say something that doesn’t connect with the situation that you’re in
4. Sends any types of memes that are not related to your situation.
5. Improvising “heartfelt” text such as: “It had to be this way”, “Hey, how you doing”, “I’ve been missing you a lot”.
6. They act as nothing happened and reach out to you, but without any exact reason, that shows reconciliation.
7. Sends a simple text to check on you but then disappears for days. Finds it as a smooth way of ghosting you.
8. They act like they can pick up the relationship where they left off.
9. Does not request to talk about your relationship or how you can mend it.
10. Sending flirty texts but not required to meet you in person.
11. Being interested only in meeting you for a short fling.
12. Contacts you with a simple pretext such as: “I have been busy all this time, or how are you?”, “Been wanting to call you for some time”.
13. Your ex doesn’t outgrow their mistakes and never asks for your forgiveness.
Here are 7 tips on how to deal with the situation:
1. Define the source of breadcrumbing
Your ex might breadcrumb you with a specific intention or they might not be aware that they’re doing it.
That all comes from the source of pain and that’s the way that a dumper deals with the breakup, while they regret their decisions.
An ex might contact you because he is puzzled after the breakup and wants to check if there is a second chance for them.
On the other hand, they might contact you just to get their dose of boosting their ego and feeling better for themselves.
Note: Your ex might not go full speed to recover your relationship and to taste the waters you must take a glimpse at these details:
- Your ex might not apologize directly but will mention the things that they’ve done wrong and what they are trying to do to fix them.
- They might talk about their experience after the breakup but without making any negative comments towards yours.
- They take actions such as helping you, they’re vulnerable with you and intend to work on the relationship.
2. Know where do you stand in this relationship
Before answering to any type of breakup be sure to know your stance towards your ex.
If you’re not healed yet then it’s better to not answer to any of these breadcrumbs until you are all nourished.
On the contrary, if your feelings have changed then it is better to let your ex know politely how you feel about them.
Being confused about your relationship or about yourself and responding to breadcrumbs can leave you hurt and mixed up.
3. Let your ex know your boundaries
No matter if the breadcrumbing is made with an intention or not, it is better to have a transparent approach to your ex.
During the No Contact period, you have had the chance to take a step back and reflect on your relationship.
If you had a really bad breakup and your ex wanted to cut all ties with you but suddenly texts you “I really miss you” then if you don’t feel like reconnecting you might text back:
“Hey, that’s nice. Wish you the best.” This type of text will be simple, short, and polite to draw your boundaries.
This way you show your strength and that you’re not the same as you were at the beginning of the breakup.
4. Consider how this reconnection will impact you
During No Contact, you might wonder what if my ex doesn’t contact me but what if he does?
If reconnecting with your ex still makes you anxious or be in pain then it is better to not reconcile your relationship for some time.
Put yourself first and think about how you felt when you were being distant from your ex.
Your interaction might be short, sweet, and polite but the aftertaste will let you know about your future decision.
5. Be aware of the red flags that are still evident
Most of the time when a dumper wants to reconnect with their ex not due to pure intentions then they will sugar coat their mistakes.
If the dumper wanted to reconnect with you even if they were afraid of rejection then they would show that they have outgrown their mistakes, by their actions.
If your ex was afraid of commitment and texted you: “I want to be only with you.” out of nowhere then this is a sugar-coated text to point out that they’ve ‘changed’.
In this situation, if your ex doesn’t show with their actions that they have outgrown their mistakes then it is better to step out and continue with No Contact.
6. Don’t have a conversation without healing yourself
A dumper might reach out to you during different time frames of No Contact. It can be after two weeks, a month, or even more.
The moment you’re completely healed, you’ll know how to respond to their texts or their actions.
If you’re not quite nourished then you’ll make decisions based on the moment and not on what is the best for you.
Once you feel good with yourself then it is easier for you to respond to them and not be hurt or expect anything from them.
7. You can remove them from any mutual platform
If you feel that their actions are hindering your healing process then you can remove them from your social media or even block them.
That all depends on the type of relationship you had.
Breadcrumbing can be very bad for your emotional and mental health because it is a way of keeping you hinged.
If these actions make you confused then the best way to reflect is by muting or blocking your ex and focusing on yourself.
How do you know it is too early to respond to breadcrumbing?
Breadcrumbing is a way that an ex uses to trigger your consciousness and put them into your mind. Whether that is done with any intention or not.
You can know that is way too early to interact with your ex when:
1. You get way too excited to see that they’re writing back to you and you feel some type of numbness and confusion.
2. You have false hopes and have fantasized about your future.
One of the signs of not being healed after the breakup is not facing reality and always seeking to reconcile your relationship or be back with your ex.
3. You don’t feel safe and secure by yourself. You need your ex to make you feel better about yourself.
4. You haven’t been able to reflect on your relationship and never took a step back.
5. The breakup was bad but your ex asks you to be friends.
If your ex contacts you after a few weeks and asks you to be just friends then that is a clear sign of breadcrumbing.
The distance and breakup haven’t hit your ex yet and they can’t reflect yet properly on your relationship. Also, you are not healed yet and you’re still at the beginning of the healing process.
6. You rush immediately in reconnecting without thinking twice.
You take any comment, reply, or any post of your ex as a sign of reconciliation.
7. You just want to be loved again. After the breakup, you might lack self-confidence and that leads to not loving yourself properly.
Any act of your ex towards you will seem to you that they miss and need you in their life again.
8. You don’t pay attention to your ex ignoring you in mid-conversation.
When your ex is breadcrumbing you during No Contact they do it to get your attention and when they get it then it is their time to step back.
They do it either because they’re afraid of continuing with the relationship or they want to have some type of control over you.
If you find yourself in this situation then it is better to start all over with No Contact.
9. You get confused even more. Once your ex reaches out to you and you don’t know the reason or the answer to their questions then you’re not ready to respond.
10. You think of your ex’s text or interaction constantly.
If you don’t have the space to reflect properly towards your ex and make an accurate decision then you need more time to heal and reflect.
What happens when you don’t respond to your ex’s breadcrumbing?
Sometimes choosing to ignore the breadcrumbing is taken as a juvenile act but on the contrary that will make your ex reflect more.
~ The continual distance is important because you will test your ex’s interest.
If your ex is interested in mending the relationship then they’ll continue to maintain a correct way of communicating. They’ll try to
~ You won’t be part of their mind games and if they can’t have control over you, they will either start to reflect or cut ties with you for good.
~ You give yourself and your ex some time to accept your feelings and decide how to respond.
Not responding to breadcrumbing will show resistance and maturity too. You will give time to your ex to heal completely from the breakup too and decide what’s best for you.
~ You will be able to tell that you’ve gained self-confidence and all the power to be by yourself during No Contact.
Scarcity and maturity will attract your ex if they want to reconcile things with you.
~ Now you decide on your own if you want to start a relationship with your ex.
If you are completely healed and you don’t respond to breadcrumbs now you’re in control of your future relationship.
The bottom line: Is breadcrumbing harmful for me?
Yes, breadcrumbing can be very harmful when you’re not healed and you still have expectations from your ex.
Giving you mixed signals can hinder the process of healing and make you experience the same pain as at the beginning of the breakup.
To avoid making any mistakes that might lead you into hurting again, find out the reason why your ex has contacted you and if they really mean it.
If you don’t feel like reconciling the relationship then according to your breakup and interaction you might choose to ignore them or answer politely.
Loneliness strikes both your ex and you but in different forms. Test the waters before making any instant decision.
Show the strength that you’ve gained during No Contact and choose what makes you better.