7 Ways to Know if a Guy REALLY Likes You (or is just breadcrumbing)

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Notes from the podcast:

A peculiar trend has emerged in the ever-evolving landscape of modern dating, leaving many to wonder, “What in the world are guys doing?” The scenario is all too familiar: you’re texting a guy, the conversation is flirty, sparks are seemingly flying, and then suddenly, it all fizzles out to nothing. You might even suggest going out sometime; he agrees enthusiastically, and then… radio silence.

Unraveling the Silence: The Dual Culprits

Two primary reasons often underlie this baffling behavior:

1. Shyness or Fear of Rejection: The fear of being turned down or not being good enough can paralyze even the most interested individual.

2. Backburner Syndrome and Breadcrumbing: It’s a strategy that could easily be mistaken for the world’s worst cooking show, where someone keeps you in their orbit without any real intention of initiating a serious relationship.

Breadcrumbing is essentially emotional manipulation. It’s showing just enough interest to keep someone hanging on, providing them with sporadic and inconsistent attention without any clear plan or intention of developing a full-fledged relationship.

A Widespread Phenomenon

Is this situation unique? Absolutely not. Research from 2020 involving around 600 participants revealed that over half had experienced breadcrumbing at some point. Interestingly, breadcrumbing prevalence is notably higher online compared to in-person dating contexts, particularly among individuals seeking short-term relationships. But remember, it’s not about you; it’s a reflection of the modern dating scene.

Why Do Men Do It?

The reasons are varied and often not flattering:

-Some men believe they can always do better, keeping their options open for a “better” opportunity.
-Others might be bored, lonely, or even married, using breadcrumbing to feel connected without commitment.
-A significant factor is avoiding confrontation; many find it challenging to cut things off.

The Psychological Hooks of Breadcrumbing

Breadcrumbing exploits several psychological principles:

Intermittent Reinforcement: The unpredictable nature of the attention can be as addictive as gambling.
Gain-Loss Theory: The desire to “win over” someone boosts the perceived value of their sporadic affection.
Scarcity Principle: We tend to want what we can’t have, making the elusive attention seem more valuable.

Recognizing Breadcrumbing

How can you tell if you’re being breadcrumbed? Look out for signs like sporadic communication, superficial interactions, flakiness, mixed signals, and a reluctance to make the relationship a priority.

Protecting Yourself

Here are three principles to guard against the effects of breadcrumbing:

1. Self-Value: Remember, you deserve more than crumbs; a high-value individual seeks a fulfilling relationship.

2. Equal Investment: Ensure the emotional and effort investment is mutual.

3. Behavior as a Priority Indicator: Actions speak louder than words; behavior consistently demonstrates genuine interest.

True Signs of Interest

If you’re questioning a guy’s feelings, here are seven undeniable signs that he likes you:

1. Consistent Communication: He maintains predictable texting patterns and regular contact.

2. Follow-Through: He does what he says he will, demonstrating reliability and integrity.

3. Makes Time: You are a priority, and he makes an effort to spend time with you, even in a busy schedule.

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4. Effort in Planning: He takes initiative in setting up dates or meetings, often going out of his way to see you.

5. Emotional Vulnerability: He is willing to share his feelings, thoughts, and vulnerabilities with you.

6. Sacrifices: He is willing to sacrifice for you, such as meeting after a long day or adjusting his schedule to fit yours.

7. Genuine Interest: His interest goes beyond the physical; he wants to understand your thoughts, feelings, and experiences.

In conclusion, while breadcrumbing has become a prevalent strategy in the dating world, recognizing and understanding it empowers you to navigate these tricky waters. Remember, settling for crumbs doesn’t keep you fed – it keeps you starving for the genuine connection everyone deserves.

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1 month ago

I settled for crumbs and used that term constantly throughout my “situationship” of 11 years. I finally said enough I worked on myself and fine nothing short of a miracle. I met a wonderful man and know what it’s like now to be valued and appreciated.

Terri Cally
1 month ago

I am a retired psychotherapist. My daughter is still in practice as a psychotherapist. We both have become aware of a growing problem: Sex and Porn Addiction in men. This is a real and true addiction and is affecting women as they attempt relationships with these men. Estimates are as high as 40% of all men suffer from this affliction. I think you should take this unfortunate phenomenon into account as you are coaching women as they endeavor to find a worthy mate.

Terri Cally ACSW

1 month ago
Reply to  Terri Cally

Men have always made life choices using the wrong head when thinking.

1 month ago

What about lying and making up stories

1 month ago

Thank you so so much this! It came at the most PErfecT time for me!

1 month ago

When I was young I never slept around. When I divorced at the age of 60 (after 13 years of separation), I did not think about a serious relationship. I think I was afraid of that. Nevertheless, I wanted to have some fun. I guess I had to go through that. It allowed me to get to know men and their „dark sides” a little more. No, no one has harmed me, LOL I had no grudge against anyone. I don’t look my age so it’s never been a problem for me to attract the attention of guys much younger… Read more »

1 month ago
Reply to  JJOLANTA

Yeah, I will add one thing. My new friend is divorced and he is six months older than me., LOL

1 month ago

I SO appreciated this podcast! Love you guys!! You work so well together! So, is bread-cumbing always so black and white (you’re either being breadcrumbed or not)? I have been in a relationship for a year and half with a man. I am 62 years old and a widow. His divorce was not final until four months ago. He, actually, was still living in the house until 6 months ago. So the majority of the time that we have been together, he has been working through the complications of his divorce. He was, more or less, rejected by his wife… Read more »

1 month ago


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Your article is a real find, thank you for that. The facts are correct and now I know for sure that he likes me. Now I will think about how to spend time together. I like to play online games alone, but it’s definitely more fun together. Since we are from the UK, I think https://non-ukcasinos.org will be a great choice for us. I hope that he will also enjoy spending time with me and our online friend, which will bring us a lot of fun and earn money for our next date. 

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