Single Lady In Nairobi – Looking For Love On A Trail Of Breadcrumbs

A man flirting via text message. Image from

In a society, full of dating sites, social media and constantly checking & rechecking your phone before you sleep, there is a guy from your past (or present) who may come back into your life and show you that they are interested in connecting with you. They may start liking your photos on your social media sites, especially those who like about 15 pictures in a row, just to get your attention. Once they have you at arm’s length, they slide into your DM with the occasional ‘I miss you’ or ‘You look hot in that photo, when can we catch up and have coffee?’ or the classic ‘I was just thinking about you’.

A man flirting via text message. Image from
A man flirting via text message. Image from

Usually and weirdly enough, whenever they try to wiggle back into your life, you’re in a good place. Whether it’s in terms of career, friendship or in your love life, you’re at peace – then they intermittently appear in your life again, keep you in a daze and keep you wondering what they want from you, then ‘poof’, they vanish. Those are your breadcrumbers.

Have you ever been breadcrumbed? No? Well if you live in this day and age, then you are more than likely to have been crumbed at some point. As a lady, and one living in a city where there’s an array of beautiful men to choose from, there’s a whole lot of activity in the dating scene. There’s the bunch of guys who want to sleep with you and disappear, then there’s the type of guys who are dead serious about being with you and would do anything to be with you; then there’s the breadcrumbers.

I mean first there was ‘ghosting’ where someone just ceases all manner of communication with you; from texting to calling to going on dates without prior notice. You don’t know if you did something wrong to scare them off, they just stop talking to you. Even when you’re asked what happened, let alone if you broke up, you have nothing to say because the two of you just phased out and things just ended.

Now, as if that’s not bad enough, there’s breadcrumbing. I was reading an article Move Over ‘Ghosting’, The New Bleak Dating Tactic Is ‘Breadcrumbing‘ by Esquire and I was like so this is what that annoying behavior is called. Let me explain a bit more about a breadcrumber. The term was taken from the trail left by the characters in the childhood story Hansel and Gretel. The path was made by Hansel who took a slice of bread and left a trail of bread crumbs to follow home. However, after they are once again abandoned by their family in the forest, the children find that birds have eaten the crumbs and they are lost in the deepest part of the woods with no way back home; kind of what is happening right now in the dating scene.

There are also other versions of the breadcrumber, like the Creepers who view your social media pages but never make contact. You will see that they have viewed your social media pages and they know that you know but they don’t say anything. Then there are the Zombies, who seemingly re-emerge from the dead, after no months of no contact, they suddenly text or call you. Then there are the Text-Bubblers, who have the annoying habit of starting to type a message, then they stop, start typing again and then stop again, leaving you in suspense as to what they wanted to say.

Even in dating there are different types of breadcrumbers. There is the person who breaks up with another but doesn’t want to let the person go so they keep dropping breadcrumbs to keep the person interested. There is the breadcrumber who does it as a way of keeping a dating prospect on hold – as in they want you to stay there waiting for them but they are not ready to date you at the moment or they want to keep you out of circulation by thinking there is something going on between you. There is also the breadcrumber for who this is a kind of game, where the person isn’t interested in you but they are interested in themselves staying relevant to you, so its all a game where they want to be top of mind but they don’t want to date you.

If you’ve dated, or maintained any kind of relationship, you’ve probably known a breadcrumber – or worse still, been one.

A trail of breadcrumbs. Image from
A trail of breadcrumbs. Image from

How do you spot a breadcrumber?

 They have the most minimal form of communication

They don’t constantly check up on you, because they only do it on their terms. It’s either via text or a phone call that doesn’t last more than 5 minutes (and the major point of concern is mostly when they can see you next.)

  • Theirs is worse than the friend zone

There’s the family zone, friend zone then the crumb zone. You really don’t know where you stand with them. Whether it’s as a friend or as a romantic prospect, they’ll never make it clear about what role they want to play in your life.

  • They toy with your emotions

They disappear and reappear without a trace, all within their convenience. A well-known case is when they set up a lunch or coffee date and decide to not show up due to unavoidable circumstances. Which brings us to the fact that they’re also…

  • … Born charmers

They have a way with words. It’s like they’re born with sure and certified ways of keeping you in their pocket. By the time you realize how they came back into your life, even after you had made several speeches in front of a mirror, they sneak their way back in and by the time they’re gone, all you’re left saying is ‘Saitan’

  • They have a sure way of robbing you of your peace.

As time progresses, you keep asking yourself whether you’re asking for too much from them. I mean, they haven’t declared a stand with you, so it’s only logical to ask yourself, “Is this really going anywhere?”

This also results in you believing that you’re at fault, that you’re incapable of being loved unconditionally and can only be used as an occasional ‘love door mat’ and you as the receiver might also be forced to close yourself from other relationships to avoid getting hurt by other breadcrumbers.

Fortunately, all this can be cleared up and better yet avoided if people were clear about the type of relationship they are looking for and what they want from a person, instead of jumping from person to person as they look for options while keeping things at a level that’s less than casual.

So have you been breadcrumbed?


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The singlehood series is a collection of real-life stories and opinions from different people. It looks at the current world of dating in Kenya and experiences that people have gone through. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of