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Relationship expert issues warning about toxic dating trend 'spider-webbing'

Relationship expert issues warning about toxic dating trend 'spider-webbing'

This isn't just something to be wary about on Halloween, spider-webbing is a spooky dating trend you need to know about

There’s a brand new dating trend we should all be wary about called ‘spider-webbing’.

While dating these days can be a huge mess during the best of times, a relationship expert has explained what we need to do to avoid becoming part of this terrifying trend.

So, what is spider-webbing? It has nothing to do with actual arachnids or Spider-Man. It's actually about people becoming trapped in relationships that ultimately leave the other person feeling distraught. It involves people spinning a toxic web around the person they’re in a relationship with.

In addition to love bombing and gaslighting, spider-webbing also shares characteristics with breadcrumbing - a type of manipulation when one person sends out flirty cues without any real intention for commitment.

Couples should be aware of spider-webbing signs.

Seeking’s dating expert Emma Hathorn spoke to Metro about what spider-webbing is and the warning signs to be on the lookout for.

“[Spider-webbing] is a web of deceit and manipulation that can trap victims in an unstable and toxic relationship,” she said.

Warning signs can be hard to spot, meaning that people tend to miss them.

The first red flag to be aware of is love bombing, which is usually seen as extreme displays of attention and affection, like gifts.

You should also keep your eye on signs of gaslighting, which is when your partner goes to great lengths to sow seeds of self-doubt and confusion in your mind as a form of manipulation.

Spider-webbing is closely related to breadcrumbing and gaslighting.

“They might deny things they said or did, or lead you to believe you're being irrational and to question your reality,” Emma said.

She added that people often do this because they are ‘insecure’ and ‘narcissistic’.

Your partner may also attempt to use ‘therapy speak’ as a way to manipulate you.

UK-based clinical psychologist Dr Sarah Bishop told HuffPost: “For example, they may blame their bad behaviour on how much they love and care for you, rather than reflecting that they can choose whether to express their affection in a more healthy and balanced way.”

Spider-webbing usually begins with love bombing, then they will then give you small amounts of attention to keep you infatuated but their mood will fluctuate from hot and cold.

After they try to gain control of your perception of things and when you attempt to confront them, they will accuse you of being in the wrong.

Featured Image Credit: praetorianphoto/irinamunteanu/Getty Images

Topics: Sex and Relationships, Life, Real Life