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r00tb33r
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09 Jul 2024, 11:45 pm

No, it's not the kind of cushin' you go pushin'.

Your Partner May Be "Cushioning" You Without You Even Realizing — Here Are The Signs To Lookout For

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Years ago, writer Sara C. felt palpable chemistry with a coworker. She had been married for 14 years at the time, but her friendship with the man was flirtatious and she started to fixate on it. They communicated regularly and had coffee dates. Then they slept together.

But a line was crossed even before the physical relationship began: Sara had invested in a figment of a relationship until it became a real one, to the detriment of her marriage.

“My affair definitely started out as an emotional affair,” said Sara, whose last name has been withheld to protect her privacy. “I think many people in steady relationships sometimes stagnate or get into tiffs that remain unresolved.”

“Whether it’s boredom or complacency or unresolved frustration, I’m not sure,” she added. “But it makes them see other people in a different light and can elevate the human connection.”

Those lingering connections are sometimes called backburner relationships. A “backburner” is “a person to whom one is not presently committed, and with whom one maintains some degree of communication, in order to keep or establish the possibility of future romantic and/or sexual involvement,” according to a 2014 study in Computers in Human Behavior.

The concept has also been called “cushioning” ― as in, “I have a Plan B ready to cushion the blow if Meg and I don’t work out.”

Oh yes, the dreaded "orbiter". Got to experience that one.

Anyway, the article resonated with me, but I hadn't heard that term before. Learned something new. I was kinda ignorant about the whole cheaters thing for a while, with all that virtue signalling going on you'd never dare to suspect...



autisticelders
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10 Jul 2024, 6:53 am

I am very familiar with the behavior but I had no idea there was a term for it.


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DuckHairback
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10 Jul 2024, 1:04 pm

I think we've got enough words for things now.


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r00tb33r
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10 Jul 2024, 5:02 pm

DuckHairback wrote:
I think we've got enough words for things now.

I wish some things didn't exist so they wouldn't require words to name them.



IsabellaLinton
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11 Jul 2024, 1:36 am

I don't think "cushioning" is always intentional like that.
People gravitate to relationships / people who make them feel good about themselves.
That's as far as some folks can think.
Most people I know who cushioned had no idea it could become problematic.


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r00tb33r
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11 Jul 2024, 1:44 am

IsabellaLinton wrote:
I don't think "cushioning" is always intentional like that.
People gravitate to relationships / people who make them feel good about themselves.
That's as far as some folks can think.
Most people I know who cushioned had no idea it could become problematic.

Somemany people feel bad for mental health reasons. Still hardly a good excuse for infidelity.

Especially if the fun with other people comes before other important things in life like having a job. Maybe if the time was filled with important responsibilities there wouldn't be time to mess around? (You know that expression about idle hands...?)

Just some thoughts.



IsabellaLinton
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11 Jul 2024, 2:17 am

Most people I knew met their cushions at work.
It's kinda hard to meet people otherwise.


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r00tb33r
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11 Jul 2024, 2:22 am

IsabellaLinton wrote:
Most people I knew met their cushions at work.
It's kinda hard to meet people otherwise.

If they meet their cushions at work then they aren't working. Cushions should be found at home when you rest. :lol: :clown:

Yeah, that's the point. And sadly that's not always true.



IsabellaLinton
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11 Jul 2024, 2:23 am

That's why historically, men didn't want their wives to work outside the home.


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r00tb33r
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11 Jul 2024, 2:26 am

IsabellaLinton wrote:
That's why historically, men didn't want their wives to work outside the home.

Now, are you implying that women will cheat given an opportunity? (No need to get offended, that's only humor.)

But I have to say, thanks to the Internet in the home maybe a job is the better way after all. :tongue:



Last edited by r00tb33r on 11 Jul 2024, 2:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

IsabellaLinton
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11 Jul 2024, 2:29 am

I don't consider cushioning cheating.
They're two different things.

This, from a woman who took a year-long couples' course on infidelity.


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r00tb33r
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11 Jul 2024, 2:41 am

IsabellaLinton wrote:
I don't consider cushioning cheating.
They're two different things.

This, from a woman who took a year-long couples' course on infidelity.

Infidelity is the correct word.

As my therapist defined, infidelity is an act that breaches the trust of a partner.

Carrying on outside romantic relationships or actively accepting romantic advances from another fall under that definition, as my therapist confirmed.



IsabellaLinton
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11 Jul 2024, 2:44 am

I don't think cushioning is necessarily romantic.
Sometimes it's friendship.
It can even be same sex.


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r00tb33r
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11 Jul 2024, 2:47 am

IsabellaLinton wrote:
I don't think cushioning is necessarily romantic.
Sometimes it's friendship.
It can even be same sex.

That doesn't fall under the definition in the OP article. Platonic friendships are not cushioning.

Now, people do lie about the exact nature of their friendshipsrelationships.



IsabellaLinton
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11 Jul 2024, 3:08 am

I think of the term as synonymous with "emotional affair" or even just a safety net. I also said earlier that some people do it subconsciously without realizing how problematic it can become. It's not always a conscious desire to form a romantic relationship imo. For example, I could be bored or stagnate in my relationship and end up confiding in my BFF all the time, thinking it's harmless whether they're male or female. Then I start thinking I prefer that relationship over my real relationship with my partner. I could end up leaving my partner because I feel like my friendship with the other person is safe and comfortable and I won't be lacking a confidante in my lonely, singleton future.

*Then, cue the Hollywood music, and all of a sudden I realize I'm in love with my friend and I'm jogging to a lame New Year's Eve party to spill my guts and tell my ravishing friend I can't live without them, and ask for their hand in marriage.

I'm pretty sure I didn't even see it coming. /s





https://youtu.be/g4ODPyUxLNw?si=pH6CIkjsx0PmTlgP


You need to watch more chick flicks, RB. :twisted:


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r00tb33r
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11 Jul 2024, 3:15 am

IsabellaLinton wrote:
You need to watch more chick flicks, RB. :twisted:

I think I've seen all the ones Nora Ephron made. (That includes When Harry Met Sally, of which you included a clip, it's definitely a favorite.)

With a worthy chick, I'll watch the flick. That's commitment.

Tonight if I do end up watching anything it will be The Outsiders. (Previously read the novel and watched the film in middle school, but I wouldn't mind a refresher over 20 years later.)
That has to be a chick flick for sure. So many pretty boys for chicks to like.



Last edited by r00tb33r on 11 Jul 2024, 3:22 am, edited 1 time in total.