"He's breadcrumbing you," my friend insisted as we pored over the likes on my latest Instagram post, the most recent of which came courtesy of my ex. But that conversation with my friends a couple of years ago was enough to inspire a shift in mindset.
Throughout my dating experiences in an age when social media has made us both more and less connected than ever, I've wondered whether the rise of our relevant terminology—ghosting and all the offshoots that have followed—is bad for us; whether it normalizes shitty behavior with pithy, meme-able terminology.
You're not just making the decision to separate in real life; you have to decide whether or not to part ways digitally as well, which can seem overdramatic if things ended somewhat amicably.
And even if you choose to unfollow that person, they might not return the favor—haunting you in the form of peeping your Instagram Story, for example.
Breakups, no matter how casual, are emotionally charged.
When our egos are bruised, it's too easy to see a passing "like" or even someone checking our Instagram Story as evidence that our narrative together isn't necessarily over, that maybe they really enough. Assigning labels to these behaviors brings rational thought back into focus by reminding us exactly how widespread they are and that, most likely, your ex is not the exception to the rule.
They talk all the time and will continue to see each other when they can."And Jenner’s okay with this arrangement.
That's all complicated by social media, which can muddy even the cleanest of breaks.There's also haunting, benching, and the slow fade, along with at least half a dozen more lowbrow-brilliant colloquialisms that sum up just about every niche dating experience you've ever encountered (and then some).My personal favorite—in terminology, in practice—is Draking: posting moody lyrics and "cryptic" inspirational quotes in lieu of directly addressing a tough break.This person sends you a text here and there (usually late on a Friday night, in my experience), "checks in" to "say hi" on social media, but flakes when it comes down to making concrete plans.A writer at Bustle once described breadcrumbing as "ghosting's sadistic cousin," which I think sums it up beautifully.
There are a variety of other tools and even print options for the exact same labeler.