If you've ever been 'ghosted', you'll know that dating can be pretty discouraging sometimes, but now there's a new trend breaking hearts everywhere, and it's called 'breadcrumbing'.
A quick recap - 'ghosting' is the act of going on a couple of dates (or even just one) with someone and then suddenly disappearing off the face of the planet.
It can be executed in a number of ways - for instance radio silence over text message, ignoring phone calls, avoiding the person in public. And it is done for a number of reasons, mainly linking back to the fact that you don't want to see that person again, and you just don't want to face telling them why.
'Ghosting' is certainly made easier with technology, which is usually the main form of communication when meeting up again. And it has taken away the responsibility some people may feel for others' feelings.
But according to Jessica Bennett, a writer for The New York Times, there's a new trend in town, and you're not gonna like it.
'Breadcrumbing' is the act of keeping someone on the hook and making them think you're interested, just in case they might be useful in the future.
The way you do this is by sending the odd message here and there - just when they think you've forgotten about them. But the kicker is really that breadcrumbers are so non-committal that when it comes to setting up a date, they're almost always reluctant.
Bennett spoke to Rachel Simmons, and author and leadership coach at Smith College, who said, “It really is a cousin of the ‘friend zone'. It’s about relegating a person to a particular dead end, but one that still keeps them hanging on in some way.”
But it's not just limited to dating - it could be a recruiter teasing you with a job opportunity but never following up, or a friend who is the definition of flaky.
So online daters, beware!