Millennials are “cushioning” in relationships. And it’s not as cute as it sounds.

Video by Mamamia

There’s another word to describe another thing that millennials do in relationships. Probably, it’s always been done. But it’s not been done by millennials so no one’s come up with a cutesy name for it.

It’s called “cushioning” and it’s when you’re in a relationship, but you have someone on the back burner… just in case.


It might be for security reasons. You’re not quite sure about the person you’re actually seeing, so you’re keeping someone there in case your preferred relationship falls through.

It might be about your ego. You want to know you’re wanted; that someone’s after you, even when you’re in a steady relationship.

Listen: The one thing single people are sick of hearing. (Post continues after audio.)

It might be someone to “channel your crazy”; someone you can take it all out on, so your actual partner still thinks you’re somewhat normal.

It might be almost like a practice run. Practising your jokes and your sexy talk and your argument-making on someone else before the real thing… (I know, right?)

All these are reasons and excuses touted for “cushioning”. And, in the age of Tinder, it’s never been easier. You can keep messaging and flirting and having those almost-but-not-quite-crossing-the-line conversations, while your significant other remains blissfully unaware.

Millennials are 'cushioning' their partners... What? Image via iStock.

Getting your kicks somewhere else has never been more accessible.

Really, I think we're just making up words now. There was 'ghosting' and 'benching' and now there is 'cushioning'. All just words to describe how we're treating each other - particularly our partners - extraordinarily poorly.


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