Cushioning: What Does This New Dating Term Mean?

Cushioning: What Does This New Dating Term Mean?

Cushioning is the latest online dating term – but what exactly does it mean? And has it affected you?

When most people start talking to someone new, they experience a wide range of emotions. They feel excited, happy and engaged… but they may also feel worry that the other person doesn’t like them as much. They may think that their crush is talking to them while keeping their options open. Unfortunately this could be the case… and if it is, you are officially being ‘cushioned’.


Definition Of Cushioning

Cushioning is when someone keeps their options open while dating. Urban Dictionary explains that when someone is cushioning, they are talking to multiple people to help cushion the blow if one relationship ends.

If you think that this seems deceitful and unfair, you are correct. Normally people who do this don’t tell their crushes that they are still talking to other people, which can make it hard to trust them… even if they do eventually ditch everyone else in favour of you.


Why Are People ‘Cushioning’?

Cushioning is normally linked to emotional insecurity. The person doing it is scared of committing to one person in case they get hurt, so they use cushioning as an avoidance tactic. It means they don’t have to fully invest in one person; if the relationship doesn’t work out, they won’t have to deal with being alone.

However if you aren’t willing to accept the negative parts of romance, you probably won’t get to fully enjoy the positives. The person you really like could find out you are still talking to other people and end the relationship, or you could end it with a great person because you don’t think they are meeting all of your basic emotional needs.


How To Avoid Cushioning: Consider Your Insecurities

Are you avoiding love because of a negative experience in the past? Do you worry that you will fall for someone and they will break your heart? If so, it is likely that romantic insecurities are making you cushion the people you match with.


Talk To The Person You Have Strongest Feelings For

If you are talking to a few people but one person really stands out, consider talking to only them about any emotional issues you have (rather than bringing them up with other people). This will help to strengthen your bond, and the other person will understand you better.


Set Boundaries

If you have a friend who is slightly attracted to you, set clear boundaries rather than muddying the water. Don’t ask ‘what if’ questions if you already like someone else, and don’t complain about your crush to them. This could mislead your friend into thinking you like them, which may then create a difficult ‘friend-zone’ situation.


Take A Risk

If you really like one person, take a leap of faith and date them exclusively. This may feel scary, but you must take risks when it comes to love. Sure, there is a chance that it won’t work out, but if you don’t put 100% in, the relationship will likely fail anyway!



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