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There is nothing more heart-wrenching than loving someone who does not love you back. Sadly, we can become so blinded by love that we miss all the big red flags, blaring right in our faces, but I am here to share some of those with you today to clear the air.

First and foremost, breadcrumbing is what happens when someone gives you just enough attention to keep you on their hook. They will be present enough to keep you around them, but not enough to be a good partner. There are several reasons people breadcrumb others, whether it be for ego, for money, or for a kick, the result of this behavior is emotionally abusive.

If you have begun to think that your partner may be breadcrumbing you, here are 9 signs.

1. Everything is super vague.

When you are being breadcrumbed, the person will likely be super vague with you. When you message them and ask what they are up to, they will respond vaguely. When you ask about their intentions, they will respond vaguely. Pretty much everything with this person will be above the surface because they are not interested in having a real relationship.

2. They only message enough to keep the connection alive, or when they want something.

Breadcrumbers will message you, but only enough to keep you believing you have a chance. You might not hear from them for a few days and when you ask where they went, they will respond, “Oh, I’m sorry, something came up.” However, they will continue to do this over and over again. If they want something, though, you best believe they will be reaching out.

3. They use sex to get what they want.

Someone who is breadcrumbing you will obviously like you less than you like them. Unfortunately, they tend to realize this, which means that sex can be utilized as a tool to keep you thinking that they are interested.

4. Their actions don’t match their words.

While they may say that they want to be with you, that they aren’t going anywhere, and that they are as invested as you are-their actions won’t align with those sentiments. Remember, pay attention to how someone behaves, because it’s in their actions that you find their answers, not in their words.

5. Their behavior is inconsistent.

Someone who is breadcrumbing you will be present one day and all in, and in the next moment, they will dip back out. They will be extremely hot and cold, making you believe they will finally commit, only to pull the rug out from under you by growing distant again shortly after. You will never know where you stand with this person, which can be very painful.

6. They blow you off frequently.

The breadcrumber will be keen to make plans with you at the moment, however, right before it’s time, they will back out. If someone blows you off once, that does not mean they are breadcrumbing, but if they do it damn near every time, you likely have a problem.

7. They are big on booty calls.

Someone who is breadcrumbing is likely to utilize the booty call to the fullest extent. You may not hear from them all day, and then suddenly at 1 A.M they are blowing up your phone, “Hey, what’s up?”

8. They are non-committal.

Breadcrumbers love saying, “I don’t like labels,” when in reality what they mean is that they enjoy the ego boost of chasing multiple people, rather than committing to one person. Indeed, some people may not like labels- but it’s very disingenuous to say that and then say that one day that might change. Unfortunately, the likelihood of that changing is slim to none.

9. Everything feels one-sided.

When you are dealing with a breadcrumber, you will be the one putting in all the work. When it comes down to it- the connection will feel forced.