Millennials Are “Cushioning” Their Partners & That Is Not OK

In new relationships, especially if they’re formed via dating apps, we often worry that it’s not going to work out in the end.

So, most of us would do something about the relationship, of course. Like paying more attention to our partner and loving them dearly.

Unfortunately, millennials have taken to “cushioning” their relationships and that is not OK.

What is “cushioning?”


Cushioning is when a partner starts to seek out other prospects while still in a serious and exclusive relationship. Essentially, the partner is “cushioning” him or herself in case the current relationship doesn’t work out. The “cushions” are there to catch them in case of a fall.

“Cushioning” is different from “overlapping” – the latter is about seeking another serious relationship with the intention of ending the current one. “Cushioning” is more casual, and the cushioner has no intention of ending the current serious relationship. They’re just afraid that it will end and they won’t have someone to fall back on.

Cushioners are already predicting the demise of their current relationship and they may not be willing to commit 100% to their current partner.

Cushioning can be necessary sometimes

Source: Pinterest

“Cushioning” is actually a by-product of modern dating apps. If you’ve met someone on a dating app, you wouldn’t be surprised if they’re meeting other people too, at this early stage of the relationship.

It’s safe to say that “cushioning” is necessary in the early stages of a dating-app based relationship. After all, neither of you have got off the dating app or declared that you’re officially together yet.

Signs you’re the “cushion” in your relationship

1. Your partner keeps their phone with them at all times, and they’re always texting on the phone. Granted, it could just be work, but who works ALL the damn time, like when you’re cuddling?

2. They may disappear and reappear from time to time, sometimes in a matter of weeks, and it’s not just on business trips.

3. They’re not interested in pursuing anything beyond what you have now, even though you’ve been going out for a while.

4. Your partner hasn’t deleted his dating apps yet (or has recently reinstalled them to his phone).

If you catch your partner cushioning, it’s best to confront him and ask him where does he think your relationship is going, and why does he think your relationship will ultimately fail. If you can, find out who the other “cushions” are and confront your partner together. Major oops on his part – major win on yours because you may get a new group of friends!

Fair warning, it could also be because you’re the cushion and your partner has someone else in mind (eg: one of the other “cushions”). “Cushioning” can backfire – but some people may just be afraid of being alone, or they’re terrified of losing something dear to them.

Either way, you’re not a cushion. You deserve to be in a relationship with a partner who is 100% committed to be with you.