I had a really great first date with a curly-haired breadcrumber who kept in sporadic touch with me, which made me sad because I really had fun on our date and wanted to see him again.
There are lots of ways that technology has changed the way we interact with each other. A few years ago, if you’d been dating someone and you didn’t want to anymore, you had to say “hey, thanks for dating me, but I don’t want to anymore.” Now we ghost, fade, or breadcrumb our way out of hard situations.
Ghosting has been well documented: you’ve gone on a not-insignificant number of dates with someone, more than two or three, and then you Keyser Soze them like in Usual Suspects- you’re just in the wind. No text, no call. Everyone hates it, but everyone does it, because we feel that having been ghosted implicitly gives you permission to ghost, like being bitten by a werewolf makes you one yourself.
The first time I was ghosted, it really took me by surprise. I assumed that the person I had been dating for nine months was in rehab or prison (either one would have been a pretty good idea), and when, after two weeks of silence, I saw him tagged in a photo of just hanging out in his favorite bar, I was pretty amazed. I didn’t call it ghosting, I called it “being dumped by a sociopath”, which is in many ways more accurate.
Ghosting happens because it’s the easiest option, there’s no confrontation, and sometimes, ghosting happens because it never really closes the door- in the ghoster’s mind, they’ve never really broken it off with you, so there’s still a possibility of dating you in case what they’re pursuing also peters out, and also the thing after that, or if they someday reach the end of Tinder and it’s just a picture of a cat with a colander on its head. Breadcrumbing is the same- they might not want to date you now, but they maybe want to later? Or not?