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Love Bombing and Breadcrumbing: A Narcissist’s Manipulative Tactics

Love Bombing and Breadcrumbing: Understanding the Tactics Used by Narcissists

Have you ever met someone and thought you had an instant connection, only to have them suddenly pull away and leave you feeling confused and hurt? They may have been using a tactic known as love bombing, showering you with affection and attention to gain your trust and manipulate your emotions.

And, when they’ve achieved their aim, the pattern of behavior may change, and they may begin to slowly withdraw or breadcrumb you, leaving you feeling strung along and confused. In this article, we’ll explore the definitions of love bombing and breadcrumbing, understand the pattern of behavior, the type of person who uses these tactics and learn what to do if this happens to you.

Definition of Love Bombing

Love bombing is a manipulative tactic used to win someone’s affection or trust. The individual uses flattery, romantic gestures, and extreme amounts of attention to form an intense emotional connection with their target.

Love bombers often have very little concern for their target’s feelings or wants and instead focus on the end goal of controlling the relationship. A typical love bomber may come on very strong and fast in the beginning of the relationship, often feeling like love at first sight, leading you to believe that you are the only person in the world that they want to be with.

They use compliments, grand gestures, and lavish gifts to keep their target interested and satisfied. At this point, their target feels like they are the most special person in the world, but this often changes as the relationship progresses.

Love Bombing in Romantic Relationships

People in romantic relationships can also experience love bombing. Your partner may come on very strong in the beginning and do things like buy you flowers, take you to expensive restaurants, and text you repeatedly throughout the day.

This romantic gesture can be often misleading the other party into thinking that they have finally found ‘the one.’

A recent study found that people who have personality disorders such as narcissism are more likely to use love bombing. Narcissists often lack empathy and have a grandiose sense of self and, therefore, may view love-bombing as a way to gain power and control over their partner.


Love Bombing then Breadcrumbing Pattern

After the love bombing phase, the pattern of behavior may change. Your partner may suddenly become distant, stop initiating communication, or stop the grand gestures that were so intense initially.

If they do remain in contact, they may breadcrumb you, which is when they keep leading you on with just enough attention or affection to make you think that the relationship will progress when, in reality, they have no intention of committing. You may receive sporadic texts or calls after a long period of no contact, giving you false hope that things are still happening when theyre not.


Type of Person Who Uses Love Bombing then Breadcrumbing

Individuals who use love-bombing then breadcrumbing tactics are often emotionally manipulative individuals, and many of them are narcissistic. They may have a history of unstable relationships and may use tactics such as gaslighting, blaming, and manipulation frequency.

What To Do If This Happens To You

If you think you have been love-bombed only to be breadcrumbing later, then it is essential to recognize that you are being manipulated and that they are taking advantage of your emotions. It is effortless to become emotionally entangled in a process like this, so it is essential to take a step back and look at the situation objectively.

If you’re experiencing the patterns mentioned in this article, it’s critical to try and put some distance between yourself and the love bomber. Although it may be challenging to move on, it is important to see their tactics for what they are and to realize that you deserve better.

Dropping them can be your best decision.


Having an emotional investment in any situation can leave you blindsided to whats going on around you. When experiencing love bombing and breadcrumbing, it is essential to remember that not everything that glitters is gold, and learning to recognize when you are being manipulated is critical to protecting your emotional and mental well-being.

Remember that these tactics are often used by individuals that are narcissistic and emotionally manipulative, and that emotional maturity is your ally. By recognizing the patterns and understanding their tactics, you are giving yourself the power to make informed decisions about who you allow into your life and staying safe from manipulation.

Breadcrumbing: The Harmful Cycle of Being Strung Along

Have you ever felt like your friend or romantic partner was acting interested in you one day and distant the next, leaving you feeling confused and unsure of their true feelings? If so, you may be a victim of breadcrumbing, the manipulative tactic of leading someone on with just enough attention or affection to keep them around without any intention of committing.

In this article, we’ll explore the definitions of breadcrumbing, understand its impact on various relationships, the dangerous cycle of monkey branching, and the love bombing then breadcrumbing pattern.

Definition of Breadcrumbing

Breadcrumbing is a dating technique where one person gives out just enough attention or affection to keep the other person emotionally invested, but without any intention of committing to the relationship. This can happen to both men and women, and it can occur in all types of relationships, including romantic and platonic.

Many people who breadcrumb often use flirtatious messages, sweet notes, and romantic gifts to keep their partner emotionally invested, but will never make plans or engage in activities that go beyond the initial stage of affection. This behaviour often leaves the victim confused and hurt, believing the relationship could potentially become more serious.

Then, when the victim is no longer entertaining to the breadcrumber, they abruptly withdraw or ghost altogether.

Breadcrumbing in Various Relationships

Breadcrumbing is not just limited to romantic relationships. It can also happen in platonic relationships, where one party crumbs their friend, keeping them interested using flirtatious messages, jokes, or timely compliments.

They may not intend to have a genuine friendship with their ‘friend,’ so they never engage at any level beyond superficial texting. This can impact the other party, creating confusion about what kind of relationship is in question.

Monkey Branching

Monkey branching is another term related to breadcrumbing. It refers to the pattern of being string along by an individual that has multiple backups in case you get too serious.

They will never give you their time, priority, or commitment. Instead, they want to have the benefits of a relationship without the commitment.

While they may not cheat on you, they will likely always keep you in the reserve tier to fall back on when their primary interest is elsewhere or if they are lonely. People who monkey branch often juggle multiple romantic interests at the same time with no emotional consequences.

This pattern of behaviour reflects their lack of interest in sincere romantic connections and instead, their sole focus is on personal gain. It is essential to recognise early the telltale signs of monkey branching, being strung along and not having a long-term plan or commitment in place.

Love Bombing then Breadcrumbing Pattern

The love bombing then breadcrumbing pattern is a common tactic used by predatory individuals who use intimacy and prey on the vulnerability of others to gain control. This pattern usually starts with immediate and intense physical or emotional interests, with potential suitors immediately showering their targets with lavish attention, flattery and surprises – also known as love bombing.

Such interest then peters out when the honeymoon phase is over, and the breadcrumber begins stringing their target along by sending mixed signals. After the love-bombing stage, there would be a change in behaviour; the party in question may start pulling back, stop initiating communication, gifts or dates, and provide an overall lessening or vague interest.

The breadcrumber, however, will intermittently send sweet messages or flirtatious texts to promise potential prospects of a relationship. A cycle of negativity then forms as the target is strung along and confused by mixed signals.

They may keep telling themselves they’re ‘not ready’ when, in reality, they are not interested and using this tactic as a means to string you along without having to deal with the consequences of realising their actual disinterest. In


Whether in romantic or platonic relationships, breadcrumbing can be a toxic experience.

Recognising the pattern, the people who use it, and the mixed signals you are being presented with is essential to protect your mental and emotional well-being. If you find yourself falling victim to this manipulative tactic, it’s essential to take a step back, see it for what it is, and prioritize emotional maturity to realise your self-worth.

Remember, you deserve to be in a committed, genuine relationship with someone who values and cherishes you, not someone who keeps you in a constant state of emotional limbo.


Type of Person Who Uses Love Bombing then Breadcrumbing, and What to Do if this Happens to You

Relationships in any form, whether romantic or platonic, are essential to human psychological well-being. We all crave connections with other people because it leads to a sense of safety, security, and overall happiness.

The wrong kind of relationship can be highly toxic and creates negative emotions that can lead to severe consequences. Understanding the type of person who uses love bombing then breadcrumbing patterns, and what to do if it happens to you, is crucial to your emotional and mental well-being.

Type of Person Who Uses Love Bombing then Breadcrumbing

Narcissists and emotionally manipulative people often use love bombing and breadcrumbing to maintain control and get what they want. Narcissists are primarily known for their selfish behavior and have a grandiose sense of self-importance and entitlement.

They use love bombing as a means to get what they want, usually surrounding power or control over the other person, by engulfing them subtly with praises, gifts and displays of attention. Once they’ve achieved their goal, they may start the devaluation phase, which could be considered breadcrumbing as they withdraw their attention and affection.

Similarly, emotionally manipulative people often use breadcrumbing as a way to maintain power. They make promises they might not keep, stay unavailable for extended periods of time, and engage in confusing behavior.

As with narcissists, manipulators use these strategies to remain in control and have power over the other person. They know that an emotional investment is often what a person seeks and will use it against the victim of their manipulations traps.

Primary Relationship or Person

It’s important to note that primary relationships don’t prevent people from exhibiting love bombing and breadcrumbing behavior. Many people in primary relationships do use the tactic of stringing their partner along to keep their guard up.

In some instances, this can lead to infidelity, as people pull away from their primary partner to focus on a secondary relationship without actually leaving their primary relationship. It’s also important to realize that a person’s relationship status, though a part of the analysis, might not provide the full picture as to the person’s actual motives or character traits.

Anyone can use love bombing and breadcrumbing tactics irrespectively.

What To Do If This Happens to You

Being strung along is a painful experience that can leave you feeling confused, hurt, and hurt your confidence. It’s essential to recognise when you’re being manipulated and to take action to protect your emotional well-being.

Drop Them and Move On

One of the best ways to protect yourself is by dropping them and moving on. If someone doesn’t value you, its best to disengage and create boundaries to protect yourself against negative emotions.

Confronting Them

You can also confront them with what you’re feeling. It’s important to recognise that confronting them takes a lot of vulnerability and can often provide an opportunity for them to continue their manipulations.

Still, it is essential for you to communicate and put your foot down in regards to your expectations and their actions. Ultimately, the best way to confront them is by saying that you cannot tolerate being treated this way.

Manipulation Tactics

Be aware of the tactics they use and make sure you do not give in to their manipulations. Narcissists and manipulators will use tactics such as gaslighting or aggression to try and get what they want.

Be aware of their tactics and your own needs, to look for someone healthy who will provide that support.

Moving On and Emotional Maturity

No matter what step you take, realise that moving on and emotional maturity is the ultimate goal. It’s important to take care of yourself, find someone who values and cares for you and can provide healthy support while being mature about the issues you faced.

In conclusion, the type of person who uses love bombing and breadcrumbing tactics seeks power, control and lacks empathy towards others. Be aware of these personality traits and be vigilant when you observe these patterns in behaviors that do not come with genuine intimacy.

It’s essential to prioritize your emotional and mental well-being and to put yourself in a position where you can find support and stability in your most valued relationships over time.

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