What Is 'Cobwebbing' And How Can It Improve Your Love Life?

Moving on from a past relationship can be hard enough without those moments when a song on the radio, an old movie ticket you fish out of a jean pocket, or even a familiar perfume brings the past rushing back in. Healing from a breakup can take time and patience and the process is never linear, per Psychology Today

You might think you've fallen out of love with the person you once imagined a forever with and maybe you have, but your memories and present situation could be saying something else. Coaxed by friends and family or even by your own determination, perhaps you've put yourself out there again. Maybe you've even met some interesting people on dating apps, or connected with others at book clubs. Life looks promising from the outside but only you're aware of the elements from your past that seem bent on ruining your present. They could manifest as connections to your ex or people they know and associate with, old friends you both had together, or even keepsakes that remind you of your past life (via Bolde).   

Dating app Bumble has identified a new dating trend that could benefit anyone looking to have a clean slate and a healthy new beginning — it's called cobwebbing.

Cobwebbing: dust off the old and welcome the new

At its most simplest form, the definition of cobwebbing can be gleaned from the word itself, per Bolde – it's about dusting off the cobwebs of your old life and relationship. Bumble's relationship expert Dr. Caroline West explained to Stylist that "holding on to past relationships, whether that be phone numbers, messages or even an old T-shirt, can hold you back when it comes to dating as you're not mentally focused on the present." By letting go of what was and what could've been, you're essentially making space for new memories and experiences, Metro noted. 

Coined ahead of Halloween 2022 (via Get Reading), Bumble's dating trend can be especially beneficial for anyone trying to come out from under the weight of the fear, shame, and pain that usually accompanies a bad relationship, Bolde reported. It could improve their emotional health. 

Sexologist and therapist Ness Cooper told Metro that cobwebbing aids us in future relationships as well. You're primed to have a better connection with someone new if you leave old baggage where it belongs. "When cobwebbing happens before a new relationship starts, it means that you go into a new relationship with less conflicts," she offers. So how does one go about jumping on this new dating trend of cobwebbing?

Steps to get you started with the new dating trend

Rachel MacLynn of matchmaking site MacLynn told Stylist that it's important "to stop thinking emotionally and kick your rational thinking into gear" if you are to leave your past in the past. There is, however, some leeway for grief. Relationship expert Deb Morgan stresses on the importance of allowing room and time to grieve your old love. Just be cautious about not making anyone new in your life feel uncomfortable through this grieving process. 

When it comes to your connections to your ex, you can start by removing phone numbers and unfollowing social media accounts of them and anyone else who'd remind you of your past, according to Bolde. While you're at it, get rid of any belongings or even joint belongings of you and your ex that could be keeping you stuck in the past. 

Turning your focus toward your future and what it could be is a great and empowering next step, per MacLynn (via Stylist). Some old relationships are particularly hard to move on from and sexologist and therapist Ness Cooper thinks it's important to recognize that and seek help, she explained to Metro. "This may mean that individuals struggling with cobwebbing can benefit from additional support from a trauma informed therapist." If you aren't able to meet someone in person, the BetterHelp app can help improve things.