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From the makers of ‘catfishing’ and ‘ghosting’ comes another trend that’s sure to make you consider retiring from dating altogether. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you “cushioning.” Sure

it sounds soft and cuddly, but it’s actually toxic AF.

According to Urban Dictionary, if you’ve ever explored your potential romantic “options” while you were already in a committed relationship, you’ve ‘cushioned.’ Dating coach Tennesha Wood says “you’re not necessarily physically cheating, but you are engaging in a behavior with a potential romantic interest that you’re probably not telling your partner about.” In other words, it’s emotionally cheating or at the very least being super sketchy.

The experts say cushioners are usually doing it out of avoidance, fear, and insecurity in the relationship. And because they expect the relationship to end, they work on a plan B to ‘cushion’ themselves from the breakup. Hence the name. It’s all about self-preservation.

  • Obviously how problematic cushioning is really depends on your relationship. For example, if you’ve just started dating, cushioning is still actually encouraged. “However after you have defined the relationship and you’ve said, ‘Okay, we’re committed to each other,’ that’s when relationship expert Maria Sosa that’s when things take a turn “into that betrayal area.”

Source: Refinery29