Every once in a while, you hear about dating trends that just make you wonder why we even try to date at all. You might have recently read about the people who are using dates to score free meals before bailing. Or you might hear about a woman getting conned by a man and taken for all that she is worth from a recent podcast. Funny enough, the potential craziness of dating doesn’t stop there. One recent trend that has been sweeping through the dating scene is about “cushioning”. While it is one step above the whole con-artist thing, it is still straight up terrible. In this post, we will discuss what cushioning is; what it might mean for you. And how you can make sure that you aren’t sitting on rocks while your new beau is laying on a nice collection of pillows!
So, Like, What Is Cushioning?
Aside from being something that only a questionable person would do consciously; cushioning is the act of making your relationship a little more comfortable by making sure that you have backups. Yes, you read that correctly: backups.
If your first instinct is to wonder if we’ve just invented a new word for cheating, that isn’t the case. In reality, it would appear that people have created a new way of cheating that isn’t actually cheating. But it is still kind of definitely cheating if you squint your eyes and spin in a circle. Or like, experience human emotions.
Now, you might be wondering what it means for a person to have backups. Well, it essentially means that they continue to chat or flirt with other people to keep their options open.
Sure, they might be dating you and that’s a thing. But in the background, they are still subtly stringing along some other options. This means that if things don’t work out with you or they just decide that they don’t want to be committed anymore; then they can turn around and call one of their cushions.
This makes it easy for them to avoid committing entirely because well, they aren’t committing in reality. And in the event you decide you don’t want them anymore, someone else will be ready to come over that night.
What Does Cushioning Mean For Those Involved?
Well, for the person who is in the relationship and keeping cushions, life probably seems pretty great on the surface. However, the one reason people want to keep cushions means that he is not in the right relationship yet; therefore they still keep looking.
As far as they know, they are happy to be desirable and worthy of affection by multiple people; never have to worry about going to bed alone in the event they get dumped.
They never have to commit, never have to try, and never stop having fun. Of course, they’re building bad habits and setting themselves up for a life of attachment issues; but that’s beside the point.
For the unfortunate cushions, it means getting strung along by a person who will only date you when nothing works out well for them. It means you will being permanently in the sidelines until that person decides to let you play.
While it can be fun to flirt, the reality is that you are probably chasing a carrot that may never come. Worse, if they do come to you to date next; what makes you think they won’t be keeping other cushions just like you?
For the person who is in the relationship and not secretly entertaining backups, it generally means heartbreak. It means trying to actively commit to someone who has no intentions of committing to you. And you will always be wondering why you are not the only person in their life.
It can also mean wondering if you’re too territorial or jealous because it isn’t technically cheating. Really, it just means all kinds of bad emotions, but you deserve better.
So How Do You Avoid Cushioning?
Since this situation royally sucks for most anyone involved; you might be wondering how to make sure that you don’t end up with the short end of the stick. While nothing is guaranteed and people are really very crafty about sneaking around, the safest bet is just to be aware of the commitment levels in your relationships. A few key considerations for doing so are:
1. Pay Attention to Social Media: If he is constantly calling other girls that he talks to attractive or uses pet names, chances are he isn’t that committed to you. A guy who treats every girl like a girlfriend isn’t really boyfriend material.
2. Beware the Chronic Flirt: When he is around other girls, if it seems pretty constant that he is relatively flirty, this is something to take note of. If your guy is always flirting with other girls and can’t seem to stop picking up female friends; then he might be cushioning.
3. Ask Him If He is Committed: While this one can be awkward depending on timing, the easiest way to get the truth is just to ask him where he thinks that your relationship is. Don’t be jealous or upset, but you will not be in the wrong to ask him if you two are exclusive and where he sees the relationship going.
In general, people will always find new ways to get more for themselves. And it comes at the cost of taking from others. Cushioning is only one of the latest trends in dating mishaps, ghosting, benching are the dating games you should also be aware of.
It’s essential to know what you deserve and what is and isn’t okay in a relationship. Therefore, it’s always advisable to be mindful of those signs and set the boundaries right even when at the initial stage of love.
It goes without saying that you deserve someone who truly loves you and is committed to you, so don’t be afraid to fight for what you deserve, even if that means kicking a guy to the curb because he has three other girls waiting in the wings. Sometimes, you can also get a guy to commit by walking away.
At the end of the day, you deserve a commitment from a person who is willing to give it. Do not forget that, and look out for shady people doing what shady people do!
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