By Lynnie Stein / April 28, 2022

Healthy Relationship Boundaries + Breadcrumbs

Boundaries are like “guidelines’ for your relationships – they demonstrate what you consider safe & acceptable behaviour & how you expect people to treat you. Setting boundaries takes practice but so worth it for a healthy, peaceful, beautiful relationship that we all deserve. If someone truly loves you, they will come out straight instead of dropping breadcrumbs. If they show they don’t want a relationship right now, that’s not an invitation to sit in their waiting room.

Setting boundaries will help set the foundation of a healthy relationship…sometimes we experience rejection in many forms …Ghosting

It comes in many different forms, but the experience of being ghosted is universal. And most of us would probably agree: GHOSTING SUCKS.

Remember: While rejection stings, ghosting is almost always much more about the ghost’s issues then it is about issues with the person being ghosted.

In fact, getting ghosted says essentially nothing about you.

We tend to forget that baby steps still move us forward

  • Building healthy relationships is key to living a healthier life! Each partnership has a different evolution. Some couples enter a power struggle in the relationship quickly, while others are able to exist in their independent attachment strategies for years without much complaint.

Less conflict. More peace. Less anxiety. More relaxation.

  • Little things don’t bother you anymore, and when there is conflict, you both are able to find a middle ground, hold one another’s differences, and repair more quickly.
  • Red flags have become a common way for people to access where they are in a relationship process. While it’s helpful to identify unwanted behaviour, it’s very helpful to balance it with green flags and to be able to know what you are both working toward or what a healthy relationship behaviour looks and feels like.

Boundaries require…

  • Setting boundaries takes practice & profound courage to place boundaries or limits in a world that encourages us to always “hustle” or push past our limit, that tells us to deny our reality, + that overall expects us to operate like a machine. Dr. Nicole LePera #1 New York Times Bestselling Author
  • Limits are healthy. Not everyone is going to GET IT. You’ll be misunderstood. Some relationships may even end or shift to a much happier, peaceful place.
  • Guess what relationship you’ll be healing in the process?
  • The relationship you have with your self.
  • The process of healing from co-dependent tendencies will help you to change your relationship with yourself, which will also transform your ability to set boundaries and have healthy, peaceful relationships with other people as well.
  • “No” is a complete sentence. Learning to not feel bad for saying no.
  • Being overly accommodating as you may feel like it was strengthening the relationship but in fact it was counter productive.
  • Here is an example of setting a boundary. When you are away having very important ‘me’ time with your friends and you receive Toxic Messaging from your partner – “I find these messages really upsetting & destroys my happiness. It takes a lot of energy for me to respond empathetically – in other words they are soul destroying.” Also need to have boundaries in place, so the messaging doesn’t have a chance to start…see the good morning text below.
  • “I appreciate if you tell me the truth” – the good, the bad and the ugly
  • Share how you feel.
  • Be clear about what you are willing to do & what makes you happy.
  • Coming from a place of compassion for both.
  • Give space, time & freedom & not be judgmental.
  • Don’t be hard on yourself or overthinking.
  • SELF ESTEEM…
  • You deserve to be treated well and respected by everyone, starting with yourself.
  • Setting boundaries that support and protect your safety, success, and happiness will build self-esteem that is stronger and healthier.
  • What are your personal boundary issues?
  • Do you allow people to treat you poorly, or do you put other people’s needs before your own?
  • Learning to set good boundaries was one of the most important lessons for improving my self-esteem.
  • There are certain situations I no longer put myself in + that’s one of those situations, so I won’t be there.
  • I’m working on putting myself first right now, so I’m going to have to say no to that.
  • I’ve come to an awakening around some intense things in my life (why I require consistency and then I always have my shit together, and focus on what needs to be done) + need some time to process.
  • You might not agree with me + that’s ok. I trust I know what’s best for me.
  • I definitely understand you don’t get it or are disappointed + that’s ok.

Trauma teaches you to close your heart and armour up.

Healing teaches you to open your heart and boundary up.

A Safe (Secure) Relationship

  • There’s boundaries around things that happen in the relationship + private things aren’t shared outside of it without your knowledge
  • You can share emotionally intimate parts of your life + your past without them being weaponized or used against you
  • During conflict or high tension times, you’re able to discuss face to face with both first (no just texting or ghosting) and take breaks if needed to communicate when your nervous system is regulated
  • You know you can say ‘no’ + don’t do things to avoid a rage cycle or because you know you’ll be pressured or forced into it
  • You (overall) feel seen, heard, valued + appreciated for who you are
  • You’re able to share how you feel without being mocked, shamed, talked over, or invalidated. Your perspectives are honoured + listened to even when uncomfortable
  • You can have different viewpoints or beliefs without character attacks or shaming. Your reality is valid even if it’s not shared.
  • You’re able to be independent, to do things meaningful to you + have separate interests outside of the relationship that are encouraged.

Having healthy boundaries is crucial for any healthy relationship.

You should try to be clear with what you’re looking for, what you want, and what you expect.

If someone truly loves you, they will come out straight instead of dropping breadcrumbs.

Also, they will make you feel worthy, loved, and cared for.

You do not have to settle for breadcrumbers

What is bread crumbing? In simple words, it’s leading someone on.

  • It is a dating tactic that’s used an awful lot these days since the advent of dating apps.
  • Bread crumbing is when you lead someone on romantically, especially through texting.
  • In a relationship context, bread crumbing refers to a person who gives you just enough ‘crumbs’ of attention or affection to give you hope and keep you on the hook — but not enough to make you feel comfortable or assured the relationship is going well.
  • Think Hansel and Gretel being tempted onwards to their doom by the witch.
  • It basically means they’re stringing you along, but with the help of modern technology.

When someone breadcrumbs you, they do not see you as a potential, serious partner.

They may say things that suggest otherwise, sadly it’s only to string you along.

  • The breadcrumbs are the messages you send in order to keep someone interested in you, even if you don’t actually like them or have any romantic interest in them.
  • Some people might breadcrumb deliberately to keep you hanging on, but most people aren’t entirely conscious of their behaviour.
  • They stick their head in the sand and convince themselves they’re not doing anything wrong.
  • But whether people who breadcrumb are conscious of it or not, it’s still an emotionally manipulative dating tactic…
  • and one that can cause a lot of hurt to the person who’s being led on, with no hope of a relationship actually materializing.
  • Signs Of Bread crumbing
    If you’re still unsure as to what bread crumbing is or think it could be happening to you, here are some of the tell-tale signs that you’re being led on.
  1. They blow hot and cold.
    They don’t message you consistently.
  2. They are good at the talk but don’t deliver – no action – full of excuses.
  • You might be in contact a lot for a few days, and then a week or even longer can go by before they respond to you again. Ghosting
  • They have an uncanny knack of getting in contact with you just when you’ve finally started to forget about them and move on, meaning you go right back to square one.
  • Keep an eye open for red flags moving forward and don’t engage with people that aren’t equally as invested.
  • If you decide to keep firmer boundaries, you can find relationships that are more fulfilling in the future.
  • The term bread crumbing is mainly used in the context of dating, but it can apply to established relationships and even marriages, too, though it has a slightly different meaning.
  • The concept is the same – it’s all to do with giving someone the bare minimum to keep them happy.
  • Know where you draw the line in the sand and what you will and won’t put up with.
  • If they message you with talk soon – make them commit to a time. If you want to talk on the phone, have more regular conversation, or have dates during daylight hours that don’t include being horizontal, then speak up.
  • Telling someone how you want to be treated also lets you hear yourself asking for your needs and being your own advocate.
  • You deserve much more than just crumbs.
  • It is never going to be satisfying to try to scoop all these crumbs together and cobble them together into something real and tangible when it is full of holes, missed connections, or lacks the ingredients to create real substance.

Various factors can cause someone to engage in breadcrumbing behaviours, such as low self-esteem and personality disorders.

  • Meanwhile, those with high levels of empathy and a dependent attachment style may find themselves more at risk of succumbing to a breadcrumber’s tactics.
  • Several approaches can be taken if you’re being breadcrumbed, but the most important factor is recognizing that you’ve done nothing wrong and it’s not your fault.
  • When dealing with a breadcrumber, the best thing you can do is face reality, cut them off, and move on.
  • Why?
  • Because a breadcrumber will never be anything more than a breadcrumber to you.
  • It’s possible that one day they might wind up being a good partner to someone else.
  • But as far as you two go?
  • This situation is never going to change.
  • It’s much like dealing with a Ghoster who comes back.
  • The majority of times, nothing good will happen.
  • Always exceptions

As dating expert Matthew Hussey eloquently stated, “people will reappear in your life because there is a void in their own.”

  • Some people try to fill that void with sex and temporary intimacy.
  • Once that itch has been scratched, your ghoster will likely disappear again.
  • A ghoster may have reappeared because they are bored. Perhaps the single life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, or maybe they are in a social lull. Whatever the reason, they are using you to fill the void.
  • Either way, the result will be the same – they will disappear again, and you will be fucking hurt again!
  • They’ve changed.
    Occasionally, a ghoster might come back because a significant amount of time has passed, and you have both changed. They want to take responsibility for their behaviour and make amends with you.
  • This type of ghoster will acknowledge their mistake and show you with their actions that they’re serious about trying to date you again.
  • If this is something you are willing to entertain (and you most certainly don’t owe them anything), here are some things you can do to determine if a resurrected ghoster deserves a second chance.
  • But before we do that, it’s important to note something for anyone wondering if ghosters come back because they are hoping that one will. In most ghosting situations, the ghoster has done you a favour, and this is not somebody you want in your life.
  • If they can do those things and you’re interested, the next step is to set clear boundaries.
  • Let them know:
  • You can’t pick up where you left off.
    It will take time to rebuild trust.
    The two of you are starting over.
    Take it slow.
  • You’ll need time to see if this person has truly changed. Can they provide consistency and open, honest communication?
  • This means letting them take the lead.
  • They’re the one who ghosted you. Now it’s their turn to show initiative and prove they are a serious person worthy of your time.
  • If you’d like to hear Relationship expert Jack Butler talk about breadcrumbing, check out this video:

Is it superficial of me to expect a good morning text every morning from my partner?

My partner and I spent 4 years living apart. We always texted each other hello in the morning, good night before going to bed, and if schedule permitted, called each other for an hour or two around 9pm on given days. (Tony)

  • Every relationship is different. You need to work out what your both comfortable with. That would depend on when you are working, type of work your doing (would there be time during those hours), how to deal with R & R time, etc.
  • Discuss with each other when it is a good time to communicate so you know what to expect.
  • I don’t care about the good night text every night or morning it can become mundane. 
  • If you’re sending love quotes all the time, they may begin to lose their impact.
  • I do desire to have a simple 2 word text when my love is on leave and enjoying valuable time with his mates…so easy to do, when taking your wake up pee pee send the 2 word text – “leaving now”, When arriving at destination and unpacking the bike pannier, send the 2 word text “arrived babe”.

To me, it’s all about priorities.

  • Nobody is ever too busy.
  • Nobody is ever too tired.
  • No such thing as a redundant task – it’s just how much you value that task and its result.
  • When I say, ‘Sorry, I’m too busy the past few days, didn’t have time to answer your calls’, what I am essentially saying is, ‘Sorry, I have other tasks with higher priority than talking to you.’
  • I love my friends and families, and I tell them so clearly.
  • I also tell them sometimes I have things that will trump over our talks, but do shout out if you really need me.
  • It’s important to me that people close to me understand this – I love them dearly, but we all have a life to live, and we need to agree on the optimum amount of communication between us for the relationship to work.
  • However, I prioritise my partner above many things, hence I will check in at least twice a day and send a kiss goodnight no matter what. (Anonymous)
  • I would most definitely want this and I don’t care how busy you were. I mean really how long does it take to say Good Morning or Good Night and why would you not want to?
  • Why be in a relationship then? Save you both or the one you don’t want to make an effort with some heartache and let them go so they can find a real relationship!
  • I am not mad I just don’t get people these days and I have a tough time with no one wanting to communicate with their partners and just assuming things and getting advice from others rather than going to their person directly and and and! (Anonymous)

Remember That Good Communication Is the Key to A Successful Relationship

  • Whether or not you send romantic goodnight texts all the time, it’s important to note that communication is the key to a successful relationship.
  • You need to be able to communicate with your partner so that you can be on the same page about goodnight texts.
  • Talking to your partner about any concerns that you might have is important.
  • It’s also good to be able just to know that you can turn to your significant other when you need comfort.

Discussing your concerns and feelings can’t wait too long, otherwise negative emotions begin to build.

  • Try to be open and transparent in your relationship so that you can build a bond that is based on honesty.
  • This gives your relationship a firm foundation, and it helps you to make room to grow together in the future.

Communicating with your partner is about much more than just sending sweet goodnight text messages.

  • It’s about tearing down emotional barriers and being willing to place trust in someone.
  • Over time, you should be more comfortable doing this.
  • If your partner is the one who needs help with being more emotionally available, then try to spend time working on things with them.
  • However, Goodnight & good morning messages may be a good way to start.

Send that good morning text to make their whole day.

It might seem insignificant but it has a powerful effect on their entire day. You have the power to turn their day into a great one or a bad one. Not texting them will only make them insecure and think you’re upset with them.

So send that message. It doesn’t need to be any more complicated than, “good morning, babe.” If you want to make it even more meaningful, you can switch it up so it doesn’t seem like you’re doing it out of routine.

Sally s

Should I text her good morning and good night every day?

If you don’t, chances are someone else will. (Gordon Miller)

Texting is not a conflict resolution tool.

Instead, arrange a time to talk to one another in person.

  • If you’re frequently disappointed in the way your partner responds to you via text, then take some time to talk about it.
  • This way, the next time you get a text that irritates you, you’ll understand the motivation behind it and not take it too personally. And better still if you both set boundaries on texting you will each know where you stand. Peace & harmony will be the outcome.

Relationships also require

Female hands showing heart sign love concept
  • Appreciation (for who they are, rather than what they do)
  • Open Curiosity (curiosity around their emotional state, their internal world) “how are you feeling about all of this? “I’m here if you want to talk about anything or process it all”
  • Loyalty.
  • Respect.
  • Communication.
  • Comprehending.
  • Connection. When we connect with people, our attachment background comes up in the form of behaviours + trauma responses in the body. If you have an insecure/avoidant attachment pattern, the body can freeze in attempt to stay safe from the threat.
  • Forgiveness. I forgive myself. I am not my past. I am growing, healing + evolving every day. I’m proud of choosing myself.
  • Forgiveness does not mean that you excuse bad behaviour.
  • Forgiveness does mean that you can energetically release yourself from the people who hurt you in the past.
  • Forgiveness also allows you to release yourself from the guilt you may feel for your past behaviour.
  • Compassion. Practice compassion with yourself and others despite the mistakes you’ll both make.
  • This is an essential skill for love to last. You will spend your life with another flawed human being, just as you will always be imperfect, too!
  • Learn to love all the parts of you – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
  • If you want to be loved unconditionally, you have to love yourself exactly as you are.
  • This will allow you to love and accept others without judgment.
  • And selflessness.
  • If you feel panic or want to run when romantic relationships become committed, this is the freeze response. Fearful avoidant attachment style – any avoidant attachment style will create a trauma response of some sort.
  • You desperately want the connection + fear it at the same time. A patterned trauma response every time you connect with a partner: love + admiration, followed by a level of vulnerability that send you into a freeze state. Still feeling the fear as you did as a little girl who was never safe to show her sensitive + caring side.
  • Don’t spend a lifetime running from it. The first step is becoming aware. I tend to go into freeze in relationships, why I spent so much time alone. Growth is about learning to communicate with partners. Understanding your thoughts aren’t “truth’. And of course being kind with yourself as you practice (with time being more + more vulnerable).
  • We often will feel the “freeze” but perceive it as “there is something wrong with me” and do what we can to cover from our true authentic self as we strive for connection.
  • You are not alone or broken or wrong in feeling this way. We can teach ourselves not to be afraid of the dark or true connection now as adults through working on our connection with ourselves through developing self-awareness + self-trust.
  • Growth + Healing come from discomfort. We must leave our comfort zone (slowly) again + again.

We need to make mistakes and learn from them; we need to fall and break before we get up again; we need to lose ourselves in the process of loving someone else to know the importance of doing our inner work; we need to hurt, grieve people, let them go, miss them, and let them go again before we learn what true love means; we need to meet a few people who might break us before we meet someone who could make us.

A soulmate is someone who is willing to grow with you, who chooses to be with you until the end, and will love you through good and bad. 

T.B. LaBerge

Maintaining a healthy relationship

  • It takes setting and maintaining healthy boundaries
  • And hard work alone.
  • To receive you must give.
  • And vice versa.
  • Mutually.
  • Equally.
  • And not more than the other.

“When I say I love you more, I don’t mean I love you more than you love me.

I mean I love you more than the bad days ahead of us, I love you more than any fight we will ever have.

I love you more than the distance between us, I love you more than any obstacle that could try and come between us.

I love you the most.”

Unknown

Love is so very important

  • That you need them to grow
  • That you need these special
  • Rare. Beautiful.
  • Interactions
  • That they, too, will represent some of your best moments.
  • That someone you love will always be involved in something memorable.

Just remember…

  • If you let someone close enough to love you, they are going to hurt you.
  • It is inevitable. That’s what humans do. We hurt those we love.
  • Either because of ignorance, carelessness, or the unhealthy coping mechanisms we developed in our formative years.

“There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved”.

If we care enough, we try not to hurt them the same way ever again.

A lesson + a blessing

• To care enough that you make an effort never to hurt them the same way twice.

We are most alive when we are in love”.

Love is the greatest power in existence.

Its presence can be deeply felt wherever it resides.

Essentially, true love is when you have an unwavering, unbreakable and unparalleled fondness and devotion for your partner.

It’s also defined by an emotional as well as physical connection with him or her that runs immeasurably deep, and life without your significant other would be practically unthinkable.

Love you to the moon and back, up to the stars and back down to the sea for eternity & beyond.

Xo,

Sources

  1. Wetmore, D., “Just Say No.” The Productivity Institute, 2018.
  2. Relationship Good Morning texting
  3. In How to Do the Work, Dr. LePera offers readers the support and tools that will allow them to break free from destructive behaviour’s to reclaim and recreate their lives. Nothing short of a paradigm shift, this is a celebration of empowerment that will forever change the way we approach mental health and self-care.

4. Navarro R, et al. (2020). Ghosting and breadcrumbing: Prevalence and association with online dating behaviour  https://www.researchgate.net/publication/351083776_Ghosting_and_breadcrumbing_prevalence_and_association_with_online_dating_behavior_among_young_adults

5. Navarro R, et al. (2020). Psychological Correlates of Ghosting and Breadcrumbing Experiences: A Preliminary Study among Adults. Available at: https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/17/3/1116

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