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Cuffing Season Rules: Don’t Get Your Fingers Burnt

Couple cuddling together outside during winter, wrapped in blankets and enjoying cuffing season.

Cuffing season rules can be tricky to navigate. It’s the time of year when singles seek to settle down with someone to avoid being alone during the chilly fall and winter months. The season tends to run from October to February when cuddling up on the sofa in front of an open fire is a more attractive prospect than getting dressed up and heading out into a snowstorm.

Just like the rest of the modern dating landscape, however, cuffing season comes with a few complications to watch out for. That’s why we’re here to help! Just follow these six simple cuffing season rules and you’ll thrive all season long!

Cuffing Season Rules: Know How to Play

Keep your expectations modest

This is probably the most important of all the cuffing season rules. There’s always a chance that your seasonal romance might last through until the summer, but it’s important to manage your expectations just in case it doesn’t. That way, if one of you breaks it off at the start of the spring, you’ll be straight back into dating instead of nursing your broken heart.

If you know it’s temporary, be honest with yourself (and your partner)

Some cuffing season romances could lead to more, but if you know you’re the sort of person who’ll most likely want to be back out on the dating scene come March, make sure that your wintertime lover understands that. “Maybe they’ll hate the idea of a temporary relationship and walk out, but either way they’ll likely appreciate your transparency,” writes Kasandra Brabaw for Refinery29

This is sage advice that could help to avoid any awkward misunderstandings. Cuffing gets messy when one person is more invested. If you’re pretty sure that you’re not their forever squeeze, then take care to keep things casual and avoid leading them on.

If you choose to cuff someone, choose carefully

Don’t rush into anything just for the sake of it. Cuffing someone for those dark winter evenings can feel comforting and fun, but you shouldn’t feel pressured to hunker down too early in the season.

If you’re only settling with someone out of boredom and impatience, you’ll likely tire of your cuff-buddy long before the new year. You might also miss out on other possible holiday season hotties who might be better matches for you.

Make a “messy person” list before you start dating, and stick to it

Getting cozy with an ex can be an attractive prospect as the weather worsens and dating prospects dry up but approach this with a lot of caution. There’s probably a good reason that your relationship didn’t work out the first time around, and you might be happier single than back in an emotional maelstrom. 

By making a list of people to avoid in advance – and holding yourself to it – you’ll have a smoother season, and hopefully one without heartbreak.

Avoid running up the relationship escalator too fast

With plenty of important holidays during the winter, you’ll probably have lots of parties with family and friends that you’d love a date for. Though it might be tempting to bring along your new squeeze, take care not to get swept along too quickly with your date at the expense of quality time with other people. And try not to read too much into it if your cuffing season lover invites you to meet their nearest and dearest. 

Usually, meeting someone’s family and close friends could be a sign of longevity, but cuffing season rules are different, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll still be kissing regularly when there’s no mistletoe around anymore. 

Remember it’s okay to stay un-cuffed!

Just because everyone seems to be coupling up, it doesn’t mean that you have to.

“Even those craving attention and affection should think about what they actually need at this moment in life, lest they settle for a cuddle buddy hiding red flags underneath a cozy blanket or fall into a relationship they never really wanted,” write Alyssa Girdwain and Emily Becker for Women’s Health. Wise words indeed. You can always avoid navigating the cuffing season rules by choosing to stay single for a while.

Cuffing season can be a tough time to get through unscathed if you’re single, but if you follow these cuffing season rules you might just be able to make it to the spring with some happy winter memories, hopefully without getting your fingers burnt.

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