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Is your partner breadcrumbing you?

 Is your partner breadcrumbing you? (Photo: iStock)

Almost every woman has a person who is not their boyfriend but their relationship is something close to what romantic relationships are. At times the relationship is not even sexual.

He’s just a person who takes you out once in a while, gets you flowers and gifts on special occasions, a person who says he would be lucky to have someone like you but then in a weird twist of events these people never pursue you. Sometimes it could just be someone you exchange texts with regularly.

These people have been in your life for long and they keep dropping hints to keep you interested and hooked up to them. You will think you are not together and to keep you hooked they will hit you with something like, “Babe, I want to buy a couch. What do you think of this colour?” and you will start feeling like the woman of his life because see?

You helped him decorate his house. You must have a future together. Except that it isn’t true that you have one. What is usually happening in such situations is called breadcrumbing which is the new word for “stringing someone along.”

Social cues as defined by society put us women at a disadvantage and men know this. They know we wait for them to ask us out first. And then we wait for them to decide if they want something serious or not, and when we are in a relationship we again wait for them to ask us to marry them.

They know that they need to keep us hooked with little minuscule gestures to make us wait and that is why a man asking you to choose his curtains should not impress you unless you are about to move in together. He’s probably asked three more girls the same question over text to make them believe he sees a future with them

It is deeply unfair how relationships cannot move forward until the man makes the decision to lead them that way and that is why I encourage women to ask that question we all fear to ask. “What are we?”

If anything, women should take that question a notch higher. Ask them what their intentions are with you from the start and keep asking until they give you a definitive answer that fully defines where you stand with the person.

It is so easy to be a victim of breadcrumbs in this digital age. We are always one text away from each other. The easy accessibility we have with each other makes communication easier but it also makes it easier for men to lead women on and that is why women need to be careful about the connections they invest in.

To take your power back as a woman you need to be able to ask “Where is this going?” and get clear, accurate answers that do not leave you guessing. Your dating life should never be dependent on the whims of men and that is something that can only be established by having strong personal boundaries.

Women also need to recognise that conversation is labour and it requires some sort of emotional investment from both parties to keep it going. Ask him why he’s texting you every day. Does he want you or is he looking for entertainment? Because if he is looking for entertainment, he can find it on supersport. Does he want you or is he looking for someone to be ranting to about his lousy colleagues? Because if he is interested in the latter, you should be charging him for conversations hourly like a therapist. And if he wants you where is this going?

Is it Netflix and chill for life? Is it basic Friday booty calls? What does he want exactly?

And you also have to ask yourself what you want and act accordingly. Is the talking stage you are in serving your needs or are you a dissatisfied woman who is waiting for a man to decide whether he wants to be with you or not?

More often than not, women end up suffering in relationships as a result of their internal issues. It is not always about men and that is why there’s a need for a certain level of accountability towards the self.

Women also need to recognise that they do not always have to be on the losing end. It is also possible for you as a woman to breadcrumb men too. Do not be too invested in one talking stage for example. Be in ten and let the best man win.

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