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What Is Cuffing Season? + 5 Expert-Approved Rules To Follow

What Is Cuffing Season? + 5 Expert-Approved Rules To Follow



he cold nights have a way of making one crave companionship, as the desire to be “cuffed” is usually heightened during the colder seasons. A night under the duvet listening to your favorite R&B playlist and reminiscing about being cuddled up with a partner becomes an idea you begin to regurgitate. The chilly weather has singles feeling lonely enough to buy into the idea of cuffing season, even if it’s a short-lived relationship.

What is cuffing season?

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Cuffing season is coined from the word “handcuff,” implying a desire to be cuffed by a serious relationship during the colder months. These people might otherwise prefer to be single, but during the colder months, staying indoors could lower their serotonin level and influence them to want a steady relationship. Experts say loneliness, depression, and/or peer pressure could influence this decision.

If you’re starting to get “hey stranger” texts often, remember cuffing season is fully on right now. It typically starts during Halloween and ends after Valentine’s Day. Even for others in serious relationships, this season could help them bond, especially sexually. However, when done wrong, cuffing season sucks. For instance, Anabel chooses to use this opportunity to gather gifts from her many boyfriends, while Tony decides he just wants someone to pass the cold weather with. At the end of the day, they both meet people interested in something deep. Nobody wins.

The only way cuffing season can work without it being exploitative is when done mutually with transparency. You can’t have angry girls walking in and out of your house, smashing your TV and car windscreen because you lied to them about love only because you wanted to get laid during a timeline.

If you’re going to indulge in cuffing season, here are rules to doing it the right way…

#1. Start with yourself

Photo: Pavel Danilyuk/Pexels

Firstly, be honest with yourself, question your motives, and bring things to clarity. If you don’t know what you want, how would you know what to expect from your prospective partner? Decide if it’s a long-term desire or just a seasonal relationship. You also want to know what boundaries you’re willing to create to ensure you don’t cross the line and/or step out of focus. Do some soul searching; know exactly what you want and why you want it, before diving into the dating pool. Also, realize that there’s nothing wrong with being single, and being alone is better than rushing into a relationship for the wrong reasons.

#2. Be open with your intended partner

Photo: Tima Miroshnichenko/Pexels

If you are actively searching through dating apps, especially during cuffing season, spell out your intentions clearly in your bio. If you’re looking for friends with benefits, anyone who needs a life partner would swipe and keep moving. Having that conversation early will control the chances of leaving a boulevard of broken hearts. It will also give your relationship a sense of direction, and things could still change as you get to know each other, but always remain transparent with your partner.

#3. Be easy on the long-term plans

Photo: Anastasia Shuraeva/Pexels

Remember, there are so many factors at play here, and they might start to lift when the warmer days of spring start to kick in. You might eventually see things differently, so take it one step at a time. You don’t want to plan a meet-the-parents trip in summer, and then the relationship withers after the buzz of Valentine’s day. Not to be negative, but focus on getting to know your partner instead. They might just want a plus one to attend family events during the holidays.

#4. Resist the urge to ghost

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While ghosting has become a social phenomenon, it doesn’t make it right to disappear without explanation. If things aren’t promising, wear your big girl pants and have that conversation with your partner. Simply put, talk about it, end things amicably, and provide closure. It might not always end well, as you guys might have “caught feelings,” but it’s better than fading out of the relationship.

#5. Set boundaries

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Practice safe sex to avoid STDs or even pregnancy. You’ll also need to agree if it’s just a random hookup where you’re allowed to see other people or an exclusive relationship. Having healthy boundaries can protect you from lots of hitches. Communicate with your partner regarding your expectations, and do not ignore red flags. If you’re starting to want more, bring it to their attention, and their reply should decide if you walk away now or go through with it.

Although cuffing season might sound like an interesting way to combat winter blues or fight the pressure of being in a relationship, don’t start a relationship out of desperation. There have been cases when getting cuffed led to a serious relationship, but what are the odds? There are other ways to spend your time than diving into a regrettable experience, like finding new productive interests, enjoying your hobbies, spending time with loved ones, or starting a new passion project.

Consider talking to a therapist about the situation. It can help you work through your emotions and find the root of this craving. This way, you become a healthier version of yourself, and you get to walk out of cuffing season with nothing broken.

Will your relationship survive the cuffing season?

Photo: Asad Photo Maldives/Pexels

Life is unpredictable. You could start by wanting to hook up, but end up walking down the aisle. These signs have been proven effective, but shouldn’t be used as the ultimate determinant of your relationship’s life span.

• Are you beginning to make future plans together?
• Are your needs prioritized, and do you feel respected, wanted, and loved?
• Are you ready for them to meet your parents, and vice versa?
• Are you both interested in each other’s life goals and dreams?
• Are your value systems a perfect match?
• Do you see yourself marrying this person?

If you notice these signs, don’t just assume and let your guard down. Communicate with your partner and hear their thoughts. If the feeling isn’t mutual, perhaps it’s time to hop off the I’m-only-here-for-a-good-time bus before things get worse.

Featured image: @jonathan.jericho/Instagram 

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