Isn’t dating hard enough, already. Now, a trend in online dating circles is starting to grow, and it’s called “breadcrumbing.”
Think back to Hansel & Gretel, where a trail of breadcrumbs was left by the children in order to find their way back home. Breadcrumbing follows the same method of thinking, users will send flirtatious back forth messages to a potential match only to never meet in real life and leave the extent of their relationship solely online.
Nina Harty is a flight attendant, and self-proclaimed breadcrumber. She’s pretty adamant about keeping these flirtations strictly online, and thinks it’s normal now. She told Mashable, “Apps like Tinder and Bumble are not where we meet guys we like. [Chatting with matches] is something to pass the time. You get a little ego boost, flirt a bit. There’s also a certain amount of paranoia that once you’ve chatted online so much, you’re not going to be as chatty in person.” Stylist Vincente Ben feels that people use these apps exclusively to chat because they feel lonely. “Some guys are just looking for a distraction or company. Maybe a little bit of flirtation. Some guys contact me from miles away just to chat. Perhaps they’re not brave enough to go to a club and flirt with real men so they use the apps for that.”
Dating expert Charly Lester assures people to not take being breadcrumbed too personally, and that online dating is all a numbers game. “Often it is the harsh reality that they are speaking to a number of people on the app. It’s also worth remembering that some people use dating apps purely as a vanity exercise. They they just want to know they are attractive to other people.”
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