The list of new-age dating vernacular goes on and on. We have the internet to thank for ghosting, breadcrumbing, haunting, benching and now cushioning. According to Urban Dictionary, cushioning is defined as “a dating technique where, along with your main piece, you also have several ‘cushions,’ other people you’ll chat and flirt with to cushion the potential blow of your main breakup and not leave you alone.”
Essentially, it’s the new "planting seeds." Your first thoughts might be that this is a purely selfish practice reserved for those insecure in their current relationship or cynical of love, hence why you’d need backups. Mashable even dubbed the term “a fancy new way to cheat on someone.” While this could all be very well true, with each new dating term comes new perspectives and not all of them are so harsh.
You know the saying “Don’t put all your eggs into one basket”? Well, some may consider cushioning as a way to chill out in the beginning stages of dating so they’re not putting all their energy into one person. And dating apps have made it much easier to keep a plan B, C, D, F, etc., on the back burner just in case your “A” doesn’t work out. Still the lines seem a little blurred as to how far along in the relationship cushioning is acceptable behavior (if it even is in the first place). It also doesn’t seem at all fair to the cushionee or cushionees, in any case. However, all is fair in love and war.
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