Confession: After all of one day I took the advice of my friends and broke up with my seventh-grade girlfriend by slipping her a two sentence "Dear Jane" letter into her hallway locker. In subsequent years my breakup technique became more sophisticated although just as spineless. Sometimes I was the evader and occasionally the discarded. The insightful reader will recognize my wrongheaded attempt to avoid or inflict emotional pain as rationalization.
The advent of virtual technology has given rise to yet more ingenious ways to enable this faulty logic. Faulty thinking often necessitates a corruption of the language. Nowhere is this better illustrated than the corruption of our language around relationships.
For instance, are you “cushioning?” Cushioning once meant to buffer or brace. In the context of virtual dating, cushioning is when someone plumps up their network of partners in case their current relationship doesn’t work out.