There are various forms of Toxic Dating practices that have recently emerged over the past few years that Singles need to watch out for.
Dating abuse seems to become rampant, as I am seeing more and more victims who are very kind people “being played” by nasty cruel gamers while innocently trying to date to find a quality, exclusive relationship.
Recently, a new term emerged called, “breadcrumbing” which is best described in the Urban Dictionary as, “the act of sending out flirtatious, but non-committal text messages (i.e. ‘breadcrumbs’) to members of the opposite sex to lure a sexual partner without expending much effort to date them.”
These games are a very cruel form of emotional abuse; and best played by a Narcissist; who are in a category of Emotional Manipulators which I describe in my #1 Best-selling book, LOVE Beyond Your Dreams, Break Free of Toxic Relationships to Have the Love You Deserve. Narcissists are extremely selfish people who have an excessive and constant need to be admired, adored, praised and appreciated. The relationships they enter into are one-sided; as these individuals never put forth much effort, nor apologize or accept responsibility, and think of themselves as superior and blame-free to their prey.
Breadcrumbing could also be done in a more severe way by a Sociopath; who is often charming, popular and well-liked; but they do not care about other people. They are out for attention, sex, monetary gain; or anything else that is good for themselves. They are extremely toxic; they pathologically lie, break rules, are manipulative, lack remorse and never feel any guilt from their actions. They see seduction as a game, and like to ruin people’s lives for the sheer fun of it. Some sociopaths are violent because they totally lack conscious. They choose a prey who is kind, supportive, attentive, and works hard to get their admiration and attention. Martha Stout, PhD.; author of; The Sociopath Next Door, reports that 25% of people have Sociopathic traits, making this a high number of Singles out there who could be playing toxic games.
The DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) describes Sociopathy as an “Antisocial personality disorder which is characterized by a lack of regard for the moral or legal standards in the local culture.
There is a marked inability to get along with others or abide by societal rules.” The old standards of dating seem to be practically gone. But you can find genuine Love if you know what to do, and refuse to play into the dysfunctional, toxic dating games that are out there.
Last year, “Ghosting” became popular amongst the selfish, self-absorbed game players. These idiots suddenly cut all contact off with you once they no longer wanted to continue the relationship. These players come on strong, flirt and give you a ton of attention, and even may tell you “they Love you” just to be sexual, then once the deed is done, disappear. I see these poor victims in my office who are concerned over this person, “wondering if they had an accident, or some horrible mishap.” Nope; they just moved on to the next score.
Unfortunately, people tend to do breadcrumbing to seek attention, without commitment. In the techno, hetero and same-sexed dating world, many people are looking for a “fast sexual hookup” without responsibility, love, connection or obligation. This has become rampant. The “swipe apps” where you quickly choose, “Are they Hot or are they Not?” and “Let’s Meet up – Right now!” feeds into this “hit and run” pattern of dating.
If not having sex upon the first meeting, one partner will give their prey plenty of flirtation and attention, until they get sexual; and then throw out some attention, such as Likes on your social media, or a random text hello – just enough to keep you on the line for another fast hookup. It’s sad because you may conceive they are truly interested in you and in having a real connection, but instead, waste your time when you could focus on someone genuine.
It’s a very dangerous, toxic pattern that innocent people can get caught up in quickly. One must be aware it goes on, and stop it quickly once they spot it. These are not nice people; they are Users.
Breadcrumbing can also occur after a breakup, when one partner doesn’t want the other to find Love; or wants a stable of dates “on-call” for intimacy at their whim. This used to be called a “booty call.” Anyone texting you for attention after 9 pm, don’t answer; anyone texting you after 11 pm, block their number. If you suspect you had a date with someone playing emotional games, flirting excessively that they loved the date, but then don’t text you back for 4-5 days; and then come back to you strong late at night, or for a last-minute date – delete their number, and move on. Trust your gut and error on the side of safety.
All Narcissists and Sociopaths have come from Childhood Trauma; which makes them seek attention to win your affection (or sex) but also have a lot of dangerous anger and psychopathy inside.
Due to our current society norms; many people have come from broken homes, toxic, absent or addicted parents, have suffered from neglect, or verbal and emotional abuse. As a Dating & Life Coach, I teach what the red flags are to watch for immediately when dating. Unfortunately, dating and relationship skills are not something taught to us in schools.
When dating, there are certain rules to follow and questions one must ask before, during and after a date, to ensure you don’t attract a toxic partner. Kind people with a conscious who are sincerely looking for love and really want to find an exclusive partner will not be playing these types of games. The world is abundant and there are plenty of honest, down-to-earth, men and women who want an emotionally healthy, evolved and loving relationship.
Be honest and straight-forward with those you date; if you are seeing other people, say so. If you are dating for the hope to find an exclusive partner, or for marriage or a family, be honest about this. If you are interested in someone, do text them back, but don’t do the opposite – chase, over-text, use sex, or try to control someone into “loving you.” Don’t play games. If you don’t see future potential with someone simply say, “I think you’re very nice, but I don’t quite think we’re a match;” and move on to date someone else.
Protect yourself and your heart by not becoming intimate early on; move slowly in dating to see if this person could become a potential partner. “Hooking up” never wins a partner for marriage. Your body is a gift; many women think being sexual quickly will win a man; but the opposite is always true. It’s important that you learn “the rules of success for dating” to ensure that you don’t get hurt and instead, get the Love You Deserve. Breadcrumbing and ghosting are just plain mean; you are toying with someone’s emotions, that could cause Love trauma long after the game is over. If you are a victim of this, reach out to a Certified Love & Dating Coach, to get help and to gain confidence to attract an emotionally healthy, loving partner.