In a new dating trend, youngsters are ensuring they have backup in case things don’t work out with their current partner.
In an era where swipes and tags on social media decide who we meet and hook up with, the idea of ‘being’ in a relationship has changed to ‘almost’ in a relationship. A new dating trend called “cushioning” is where someone in a relationship flirts with others and keeps options open. Like having back up plans A, B or C in case your relationship blows up in your face and land you into soup.
Long gone are the days of Pyaar kiya toh darna kya, whereas today, it’s just easy to hook up with someone you find attractive or someone you think would make your Instagram wall look good and fetch you likes. Breakups don’t really break us!
Well, you know how it all starts, you see someone, you like them and you are in the early days of dating them but you aren’t really sure if they are the one for you. Yashaswini, a former active user on Tinder says, “I think, we are in an era where nothing is permanent, if someone gets dumped then there are ten other platforms to get a date within seconds like Flo, Tinder, Woo, and TrulyMadly. I have always kept my options open but also made sure I’ve labelled my relationship as open.”
While on the other hand, Meera Ravi, a relationship expert and counsellor questions the need to have backups and says, “The trust factor is lost when partners in relationships are dating others simultaneously and the foundation for any relationship to be successful is ‘trust’ and if people go through a breakup they need to take some time off and start afresh without rushing.”
Sure some of us do engage in healthy flirting while we are dating someone and ‘cushioning’ might not really mean anything — it could just be a casual date. Nikhilesh an active user on social media says, “It’s fair enough to keep backups if your current relationship is casual.” All those matches on Tinder, your friend who has wanted to date you or the flirtatious colleague at work, are just cushions.
Mr Ampat Verghese, an education consultant tells us why the generation today is following the trend, “It’s a sign of relationships being commodified. If Surf doesn’t work well, make sure you keep some Tide handy. It might also be that the young people want to have multiple relationships what in the old days we used to call bed hopping.” So who are we? Friends with benefits?