Cuffing: It’s When You “Fall” into Love
As the days grow shorter and the leaves begin to fall, a strange sensation starts to creep over single people. Even those who are often blissfully unattached, start longing for someone to share the lengthening nights with – that’s right, it’s cuffing season. But what on earth is “cuffing season”, who decided to make it a thing, and why is it now? Today, our relationship experts are here to run you through everything you need to know about the art of cuffing season – so grab a cup of tea and learn a little more about this engaging time of year.
Like so many modern phenomenon, “cuffing season” was named by committee on the internet. The term made its debut in the urban dictionary in 2011, defined as the time of year when people who’d ordinarily be single or promiscuous desire to be “cuffed” to someone in a semi-serious relationship. Whether you’re considering hitting the bar scene or using a local matchmaking service, the term is now widely accepted and was even shortlisted for word of the year by the Collins dictionary.
Typically, these relationships last from November through to at least February, sometimes into April, depending on when the spring thaw comes to your neighborhood. For some, October’s raft of beer festivals and pumpkin patches brings a great opportunity to audition partners for the colder months ahead. For others, cuffing season is a bit more spontaneous.
In both cases, the objective is the same: find someone you want to binge watch whatever’s on your favorite streaming service with. It’s a bonus if you’re happy to take them to all those family and friends gatherings that the winter months will bring. In any case, the quicker the cold weather blows into town, the faster those prone to cuffing get into the mood for love – even if it’s only temporary.
There’re a number of schools of thought as to why cuffing is a phenomenon. Studies cite everything from a cyclical boost to testosterone in the late autumn to the natural ebb in serotonin some experience during winter – both of which could drive people to seek out physical affection. There are also obvious social pressures, including scads of work and other holiday parties, not to mention an increase in family dinner situations no one wants to navigate alone. Cuffing seems, for many, to be the inevitable solution.
While there have been some amazing viral ads for cuffing partners, the truth of it is that setting out to hook a temporary partner isn’t always the best course – no one would sail on a ship they knew was destined to sink, after all. So instead of framing things in a “just until it’s warm again” context, maybe think about this fun, festive season with an open mind and see where the long nights in take you.
What do I need?
To be honest, you just need the right attitude. But, if you’re looking for some great accessories for cuffing season, you’re in luck. We can make some heart-warming recommendations to fit any budget, including:
- Warm accessories: cute hats, shareable scarves, cozy gloves, and boots to tackle changing conditions are true must-haves for your cuffing season wardrobe;
- Seasonal scents: skip the fancy perfumes and consider essential oil blends that bring the season to life – cinnamon and nutmeg, frankincense and myrrh, and of course, everything evergreen;
- Warming home accents: one of the continuous themes in the “reasons for cuffing season” research is that people are seeking warmth. So make your home inviting and cozy with fuzzy throws, comfy cushions, and those all-important seasonally scented candles;
- An open mind: we mentioned this before, but approach your cuffing season interactions with an open mind (and heart!) for best results. Who knows what the future holds;
- A generous spirit: because cuffing season runs the gamut of holidays from Halloween right through to spring time, there are plenty of opportunities to give (and receive!) gifts. These don’t have to be high value trinkets, but giving such gifts the thought and attention they merit is sure to lead to happiness for all involved; and,
- Flexible schedule: one of the keys to cuffing success is being available – after all, you’re looking for someone to go to those awkward work and family functions with you during the holiday season, so it’s only fair if you show up for them as well.
Does it have to end?
There are no real rules in love – temporary or otherwise. Especially because cuffing season is fairly elastic, there’s no hard and fast rule about breaking things off after Valentine’s Day or even Easter. But, do be aware that open communication is the key to a successful relationship of any sort – being clear about your motives, needs, and hopes for this cuffing season project will help you avoid disappointment, and help spare the feelings of your potential cuffing partner.
What’s the downside?
While this all sounds like harmless fun, it is important to acknowledge that there is a downside to this temporary tie-down season. Some of these include:
- Emotional risk: breaking up is never easy, even if you know it’s on the cards from the start.
- Less spontaneity: the main benefit to the holiday season for singletons is the ability to cut and run to (or from) any party at any time, allowing for as much (or as little) social interaction as one requires. With a partner, that is much more difficult.
- Promotes insecure feelings: for some, cuffing is a substitute for true confidence and security that makes social interactions pleasant – don’t be someone else’s security blanket!
For some singles, the benefit of having a go-to partner for events and downtime during the dark, cold winter outweighs the potential emotional damage or wasted time of being cut loose once the sun comes out – it’s an individual choice only you can make.
Ultimately, cuffing season isn’t something that we can schedule like an oil change or dental appointment. It is not a “real holiday” or even a real season – and yet, it exists. It’s natural point in the year when we become more drawn to one another for a variety of reasons