Goshdarnit! We compile a love dictionary in our heads, thinking we had the dating lexicon covered, and then – BAM – another phrase floats into view. It’s called ‘cushioning’… have you heard of it? What is cushioning, we thought, before realising that some of our team (no names!) have probably done it already.
The same goes for you: it’s a sigh-worthy characteristic of modern romance, or what passes for it. To balance the scale a bit and turn back to real, honest date activity, we’d like to outline the cushioning phenomenon, and why it puts us in a pickle…
Cut to the chase – what is cushioning?
Okay, so let us arrange our academic goggles for a minute, and tell you about the semantic meaning of ‘cushioning’.
Who, or what, is a cushioner? It helps if you recall a time where you were really, really into someone, despite fearing they don’t feel the same way. Or instead, has there been a period in which you’ve undergone some terrible dating advice, and hooked up with a guy or girl who’s just… alright, there for the sake of having a partner?
In these scenarios, you might still have strands of interest attached to you from others, the ex-flames or admirers who keep a candle burning. For whatever reason, you doubt the person you’re officially with. Therefore, to avoid a train wreck, you’re being flirty, emotional and suggestive with a handful of contacts.
It’s like a big, nefarious Plan B – a parachute to catch you if you fall out of love or the object of desire spurns you out of nowhere. Ostensibly, you’re leaving others hanging because they might – just might – be able to pick up the pieces.
Why cushioning can be disastrous
First off, it’s only natural to be worried about commitment; some would argue that we’re programmed to think the grass is greener elsewhere. But for a true partnership, cushioning is a time bomb waiting explode, and can really undermine a person’s self-worth.
There’s the risk of your other half discovering these messages, for one thing. Whether it’s saucy Facebook pings or good ol’ SMS, no-one’s going to appreciate seeing winky faces from Chaz and Steven when you’re staying over. They have a right to ask what the heck you’re playing at.
But also, consider the cushionee’s feelings. Night after night, they’re being roped into a false pretence, imagining the great things you’ll do together. In reality though, they’re on the dating bench, shelved in case you need a pick-me-up. Far better to cut ties, let them go free, and adopt an all-or-nothing mindset. It’s awful having broken hearts at your feet, even with fair intentions…
FreeAndSingle pride ourselves as one of the best dating sites in the UK. That label doesn’t come without knowing how people look for a connection, and how that trust can be broken. We urge all of our users to resist cushioning, to forge ahead with their single, dedicated shot at a soul mate. ‘Uhhming’ and ‘aaahing’ isn’t good for building something real.
So don’t juggle with online dating prospects – otherwise, you won’t find The One! Sign up to a FreeAndSingle account today, and put that promise to the test…