We’re officially in fall. The weather is getting colder, the leaves are changing, and the scent of pumpkin spice lingers in the air. We trade in our bathing suits for sweaters and our air conditioning is replaced by a roaring fire. It’s the season for snuggling, when we crave a warm body at night to keep us warm. Is it any wonder why fall is the beginning of cuffing season?
Cuffing season goes from the beginning of fall to the end of winter. It’s when even those among us who are usually happy being single find themselves jumping into a relationship. We want those cuddles and snuggles so we trade in our singlehood for a partner. And while those cuddles are nice, being caught by cuffing season isn’t always such a good thing.
You’re jumping into a relationship.
Sure, some couples who met during cuffing season end up with a great relationship, but that’s not always the case. During this time, people are on the hunt for a significant other. And when you’re looking for a partner and you’re doing it on a deadline, sometimes you’re willing to compromise way too much. You might be sacrificing your happiness and what you want in a partner just because you want to be in a relationship before winter hits.
Remember that dating should never be on deadline. You’re looking to be with someone before the weather gets cold, but be sure you’re not overlooking red flags in exchange for a snuggle partner. You’re looking for Mr./Ms. Right, not Mr./Ms. Right Now.
You might be rebounding.
Did you just get out of a relationship this spring? Or even as late as this summer? Considering taking more time for yourself. Cuffing season is especially hard on those who just got out of long term relationships. It might seem like you’re seeing couples everywhere and you’re reminded of your last relationship. It can be a big trigger for loneliness. But there is nothing wrong with being alone. You learn about yourself and you learn to make you happy, rather than relying on a partner to make you happy.
Rebounding is never a good way to start out a relationship. It’s often said that it takes three times the length of a relationship to get over an ex. While I don’t agree that it takes quite that long, my point is that it takes time. Break ups do leave wounds that need time to heal. You cannot speed up that process by applying a new relationship like a bandage. You heal by letting yourself feeling your feelings and relearning to take care of yourself, just yourself. Seeing other couples together might make you want to rebound, but resist that urge.
You’re missing out on other connections.
Fall and winter are a great time to reconnect with people. Rather than spending the season going on dates, don’t forget that friend dates are often even better than romantic ones. Ask your friends to go pumpkin picking with you or go to a haunted house. Halloween is a great holiday for friends. You can throw a Halloween party or you can find an event to go together. And friend group costumes are always better than couples costumes.
Even as the weather gets colder, there’s so much to do to bond with those you love who maybe you don’t get to see as often as you want. Consider having a Friendsgiving or a Secret Snowman party. Have a family dinner, go volunteer at an animal shelter, or call up a friend you haven’t seen in months. Work on those connections that we sometimes neglect when we’re in a relationship.
You’re letting fear of being alone get the best of you.
It’s often said that no one likes being alone around the holidays. I think that is a big reason why cuffing season exists. Cuffing season is like a countdown to Christmas and New Year’s Eve. We see a million and one movies of couples kissing under the mistletoe or kissing as the ball drops at midnight. We’re trained to believe that these scenarios are the perfect way to celebrate. But why? Why can’t we be happy being alone around the holidays? You can spend them with friends and family or you can choose to spend it alone. But we’re told time and again this time of year is meant to be spent with others, as if we’re not allowed to be happy being alone.
But it’s okay to be alone sometimes. Speaking from experience, spending New Years watching the “Twilight Zone” marathon on Syfy with a glass of wine is one of the best ways to spend it. Don’t be afraid to be alone sometimes, even if it seems like everyone else is together. You don’t have to do what everyone else does and it’s good to learn to enjoy your own company.