By Hannah Azlan
‘Wait, Don’t Do That!’ is the relationship column you didn’t wish for. Ever did something and instantly regretted it? Went through a harrowing experience and wondered ‘wait, what the hell’? Wanted someone to call you out on your bullshit? This is for you.
After explaining the term ‘cushioning’ to The Level’s editorial team, I got a fun statement – “wow, I feel old for not knowing that”. It’s not that I’m the youngest (I’m not) or the most connected when it comes to dating trends in my department, I’m just bored while browsing Facebook and this is the kind of stuff that pops up on my newsfeed.
The Daily Dot has a comprehensive article on this brand new trend, but every article online uses the Urban Dictionary definition (don’t you love the Internet?) – “a dating technique where, along with your main piece, you also have several ‘cushions,’ other people you’ll chat and flirt with to cushion the potential blow of your main breakup and not leave you alone.” So, cushioning – a new method of cheating or crippling fear of commitment?
TBH, guys – this isn’t a new concept. It’s just (like everything else) a new name pasted on something that’s been around since forever. Have a couple of side pieces in order to prevent complete heartache, okay! Never give yourself completely to someone because you’re convinced it won’t work out anyway, awesome! You’re selfish, for what it’s worth.
That’s right, I’m calling you out. I’m not going to say I don’t understand – because I do, really. It’s not like I’m some kind of saint, but I can safely say that this is one of the more selfish things to do. This is leading a person on, but in spades. Having multiple backups is a great thing to do when it comes to your electronic devices, not when it comes to your personal life.
The New York Post is particularly cutting in its headline: ‘New dating trend proves millennials continue to fail at relationships’. It’s true, to some extent. We’re supposed to have hope that dating now has been revolutionized with the advent of technology but this century’s concept of instant gratification has turned us into a bunch of selfish assholes. The entire article paints a pretty ugly picture, but this seems to be the majority.
So, is this a purely Western thing? No. I’ve seen it happen here in Malaysia, been privy to several friends fretting about their would-be beaus and the anxiety that seems to come with the possibility of it not working out. It’s sad, it’s worrying and it’s real.
Have we doomed ourselves?