“Spider webbing” or when the romantic relationship becomes a trap

“Spider webbing” or when the romantic relationship becomes a trap

“Gophering”, “ghostlighting”… so many toxic love trends that arise in the world of dating. Recently, a new term has emerged: “spider webbing”. It refers to lovers who find themselves trapped in the web woven by their partner.

Love jargon is enriched once again with “spider webbing”. And it is once again a red flag in the list of love trends for 2023. Translated into French as “the spider’s web”, this manipulation technique consists of trapping one’s partner through different processes in order to have control over him.

According to Emma Hathorn, relationship expert at luxury dating site Seeking, spider webbing is characterized by “a web of deception and manipulation that can trap victims in an unstable and toxic relationship“, she declares to Psychologies.

Unlike other love trends spotted, “spider webbing” encompasses several of them. Namely, lovebombing (an avalanche of emotions, of compliments aimed at establishing emotional dependence); breadcrumbing (making things languish without ever making them happen); therapy baiting (lying about being in therapy) and gaslighting (a manipulation technique consisting of creating doubt in the other). The person who is the victim finds themselves manipulated and confused in the face of a partner who likes to feel in a position of strength, in omnipotence, in a romantic relationship, even if it means lying and deceiving others.

All of these techniques are even more common as the winter holidays approach, according to experts. “The end of year holidays and winter push many people to flee loneliness, leading them to hastily look for someone and take the risk of exposing themselves to manipulative behavior.“, recalls psychotherapist Tasha Bailey in a HuffPost article.

So how can we protect ourselves from this trap? You must be very vigilant if your partner shows signs. “This is usually characterized by a desire to establish excessive closeness too quickly, by excessive familiarity, or by expectations that are too great and too early.“, warns Dr Sarah Bishop, a clinical psychologist in Birmingham, UK. Having a discussion with him can also address your doubts. Any relationship you enter into should be based on trust, mutual respect and communication. Talk about it around you or otherwise to a specialist can also protect you from this type of toxic relationship.