The cold nights draw in, the sunlight disappears and the days shorten. You’re single, unattached and you just want someone to snuggle up with and keep you warm during those long, cold and lonely evenings. Welcome to ‘’Cuffing season’’.
This is the modern term used to describe the period during Fall/Autumn and Winter months in which lonely singletons find themselves seeking to be “cuffed” or “tied down” by a serious relationship. You would be forgiven for thinking that ‘’cuffing’’ is a kinky term and something to do with to BDSM.
Online Dating apps such as Tinder and Bumble see a big increase in the number of active users and sign-ups during the months of November through to February. Cuffing season usually kicks off on 1st November and runs until the day after Valentines day (14th February). During this period, people who would normally prefer to be single or promiscuous, find themselves (along with many other singletons) wanting to be “Cuffed”. The cold weather and forced indoor activity causes singletons to become lonely, so many look for someone to spend this time with and are therefore looking to be cuffed. Christmas can also be also be a lonely time of the year for people who are not in a relationship.
Cuffing is often viewed as being temporary and seasonal. It can be this, yes, but it can also lead to a serious long-term relationship. Put simply, it’s the act of finding a significant other for the sole purpose of staying warm during those cold winter months. Although Cuffing season tends to be casual and fun on the whole, we all know that relationships aren’t usually as simple as that. Feelings can develop, even if the initial goal is to just have a ‘’cuff buddy’’ over those colder months. If feelings are mutual, you need to talk to your cuff buddy and you should always go with your gut instinct.
Serious relationships can occur when you least expect them to. Emotions can quickly change and there’s always the possibility of falling in love with a new online acquaintance. Once you’ve matched with a prospective partner online, you will need to evaluate whether or not they are looking for the same thing as you.
‘’A good cuffing partner is one that will make plans in advance, instead of just asking you out for the upcoming weekend’’, says Dr. Jane Greer, who is a New York-based relationship expert. Someone who plans in advance shows signs of commitment which is a great indicator for a long-term relationship.
Being attentive is also very important during cuffing season and there is no reason for either of you to play games and be distant with each other. When your cuff buddy messages you, you should reply as soon as possible. You should want to hang out with your cuff buddy at least once a week, that’s if you want to keep them around until the Spring. You may have been hanging out together and doing cute, fun and sexy things whenever you meet up, but unless you have both agreed that you want to be on each other’s social media, you probably shouldn’t be adding any ‘’couple pictures’’ just yet. You should remember that this relationship is more than likely going to end come Spring, so flaunting your relationship online might not be the wisest idea at this stage. You’re having great times together now, but come those warmer months, you should not assume that you will be invited to any family gatherings or parties.
Many scientific studies have proven that cuddling releases the happiness hormone, oxytocin. Once this hormone is released, it is human nature to continue doing the same thing that causes it to be released. This is simply because it makes us feel happy. Cuddling up with a cuff buddy on those long winter nights is obviously going to lead to some fun and sexy times, but as we all know, if you’re having sex you need to be responsible and stay safe. Practice safe sex, so that you don’t end up with any nasty surprises (or diseases) at the end of the cuffing season.
At the end of the day (or “at the end of the cuffing season”) what really matters is that you met someone new and that you had lots of fun with them. Don’t take the relationship too seriously at first or look too far ahead. See how things develop with your cuff buddy and go from there.