Breadcrumbing is a technique used by emotionally immature individuals, in which they give you just enough time, attention, or affection to keep you hooked... but not enough to actually meet your emotional needs.

Examples of breadcrumbing might include:

- Sporadic text messages, DMs, phone calls (or other minimal efforts) to "check in" after periods of silence.
- Spending just enough time with you or giving you just enough attention to keep you interested (which makes it hard to move on)... but not enough to fully commit or invest in you.
- Using words to express how much they "care" and how much you "mean to them“… but not using actions to actually demonstrate that you are a priority.
- Consoling & attending to you briefly when you need emotional support (so they can say they were "there for you")... but then quickly turning the focus back to their own needs, wants, and interests.

Breadcrumbers keep you distracted from this reality by:

- Not communicating clearly the desire for your relationship to just be casual or noncommittal... but rather continue to mislead you to believe they are wanting something more to keep you invested and engaged.
- "Changing" briefly after you express hurt or frustration regarding an ongoing issue (to convince you not to leave) but will very soon after resume previous hurtful behaviors.
- Claiming they have "no idea" what you're talking about when you express hurt feelings about an unmet need... even it you have expressed it many times prior.
- Deflecting by talking about everything they have going on and all their current struggles... to avoid taking ownership for their actual lack of effort and contributions to your relationship.
- Saying things that lead you to feel like you are being needy, controlling, or unreasonable when you express your desire for their time & attention.
- Complaining that you are critical, reactive, or that they are "never good enough" when you try to express hurt about unmet needs... in order to try to make you feel bad for asking for more.

If you are frequently feeling lonely, contused, insignificant, and/or unfulfilled in this relationship... And then find yourself wondering, "what's wrong with me?" because expressing these feelings are rejected, dismissed, or shamed and almost always result in conflict.
Then it might be time to assess if there is more to this story...

(Dr. Elizabeth Fedrick)