are you Be­ing Bread­crumbed?

They ‘like’ your photos and con­stantly ask to meet up – but it never hap­pens. Oh dear, it could mean your friend­ship is toast…

Look (UK) - - CONTENTS -

If you’ve ever been vic­tim to a sin­is­ter breed of dater known as the Bread­crum­ber, we have some bad news: the men­ac­ing be­hav­iour once re­served for Tin­der time-wasters has evolved – and now our mates are throw­ing crumbs too.

‘Babe! How are you? Con­grats on the new flat, let’s go for a drink soon?’ Sound fa­mil­iar? How many times have you re­ceived this type of mes­sage in the last month? How many times have you ac­tu­ally ended up get­ting that drink? A quick poll of the Look of­fice and for most of us, re­ceiv­ing a text like this is a weekly oc­cur­rence – usu­ally in the form of a Face­book com­ment or a What­sapp mes­sage, trig­gered by a big life event (of­ten pro­mo­tions, en­gage­ments, or just a de­cent selfie).

Be­cause along with dat­ing apps, a pen­chant for brunch and the in­abil­ity to claw our­selves onto the prop­erty lad­der, there’s an­other fan­tas­tic char­ac­ter­is­tic of be­ing a mil­len­nial: we sur­round our­selves by a spe­cific pool of non­com­mit­tal ‘friends’, oth­er­wise known as Bread crum­bers.

Bread crum­bers usu­ally present as old uni friends, mates you spent a sea­son with in Napa circa 2010, or girls you know from school. The ones whose hair you held back every week. The one who was your first choice of ‘go­ing-out friend’ dur­ing The Big Break Up Of ’09. They’re not your best mates, you might not have even known them for a long time, but at one point they were a huge – and very real – part of your life.

These friends will com­ment on your so­cial me­dia and plan to meet up with you with­out ever con­firm­ing. Or text you out of the blue to say ‘You look great atm’, but it’s never go­ing fur­ther than that. While it might feel like they don’t value your friend­ship, is that the en­tire pic­ture? ‘Some­times we overex­tend our­selves,’ says psy­chol­o­gist, friend­ship ex­pert and author of the­friend­ship­ Irene S Levine. ‘We have every in­ten­tion of mak­ing the plan, but when it comes to it we just don’t have the time. Other peo­ple have a hard time say­ing no, so they lead friends on rather than dis­ap­point­ing them or mak­ing them an­gry.’ So why do we cling on to these flak­ers? Shouldn’t we just let them go? Re­becca Mill is a 23-year-old stu­dent from Lon­don who’s Bread­crumbed by her friend

‘I have a mate I was re­ally close to be­fore uni, but she went away for a cou­ple of ski sea­sons. Now she’s back in the coun­try, she ac­tu­ally lives re­ally nearby, but she’s im­pos­si­ble to pin down. She sends the clas­sic ‘Let’s meet for a cof­fee’ every few weeks, but when it comes down to meet­ing up, noth­ing ma­te­ri­alises. She’ll ei­ther take weeks to re­ply or she’ll sug­gest meet­ing up that day. It’s al­most as if she knows I won’t be able to. Some­times I think I shouldn’t bother, but I miss her and I al­ways hope she’ll change.’

Of course, no one is in­no­cent here. Let’s be hon­est, for every Bread­crum­ber in your life is a girl you’ve Bread­crumbed your­self. ‘My friend Lucy* is a good laugh,’ says Anne Breth­way, 26, a re­cep­tion­ist from Not­ting­ham. ‘As she’s one of the only sin­gle peo­ple know, I just like go­ing on nights out with her as my wing­woman. But in be­tween, I guess I just “like” her so­cial me­dia photos and we don’t re­ally see each other any other time, just when we go out on the pull. I kind of as­sume she feels the same about it, but I think ac­tu­ally I’ve just been Bread­crumb­ing her all along.’

It’s an­noy­ing, yes – but does it make your friend a bad per­son? Af­ter all, many of us are vic­tim to busy life­styles and hec­tic work sched­ules – and we all feel bad about let­ting go of mates. In fact, a whop­ping 83 per cent of us hold onto toxic friend­ships.

‘Some peo­ple feel bet­ter know­ing they’re sur­rounded by a large cadre of “friends,”’ says Irene. ‘So­cial me­dia has made the mean­ing of what it is to be a friend some­what murky. Stay­ing in touch on a su­per­fi­cial level may be enough for some, but in a sense it di­lutes the mean­ing of friend­ship.’ Gen­er­a­tion Flaky, it’s time we sorted our­selves out…

So­cial me­dia has made the mean­ing of friend­ship murky

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.