The Pros and Cons of Cuffing Season

Two people snuggling in bed with two puppies during cuffing season.

Baby, it’s cold outside. Which means most of those who are single during the chilly months are looking to find someone to help keep him or her warm for the next little while. In other words, whether you know it or not, we are smack dab in the middle of ‘cuffing season.’

It’s okay if you’ve never heard the term before. Cuffing season, which usually lasts from November to April, was introduced into the popular vernacular back in 2011 on Urban Dictionary, and although it’s gained popularity each year since then, the expression still gets people scratching their heads. The website defines cuffing season as the time when,  “people who would normally rather be single or promiscuous find themselves along with the rest of the world desiring to be ‘cuffed’ or tied down by a serious relationship.”

Even if you’re not familiar with “cuffing season,” chances are—especially in the midst of the holiday hubbub, complete with sappy romance movies and family time—you’ve probably considered cozying up to someone for the winter.

Before you decide to contact that cute match in hopes of being ‘cuffed,’ here’s everything you need to know about the pros and cons of the cuffing season.

Pro: You have the opportunity to bring out your more romantic side.
Oftentimes, those who are open to “cuffing season” see it as an excuse to get offline and get real and romantic with someone in real life. This means that it’s usually common for people, specifically men, to get serious about dating, which includes bringing out some old-fashioned romance. In other words, courtship replaces hookup culture, and people are more likely to give their first date a second one.

Con: You’re dating someone for convenience.
Are you spending tons of time with this person because you really like him or her, or is it because you’re just lonely? The dreariness of winter combined with the excitement of the holiday season often blurs the lines between what’s real and what’s not. Besides, knowing there’s probably an imminent breakup in your near future will most likely cause you unnecessary stress and anxiety… and, ya, maybe a little guilt too.

Pro: You have a date your parents’/sister’s/co-worker’s holiday party.
When you’re cuffed with someone you’re no longer subjected to the constant questioning of, “Why are you still single?” that often occurs during the holiday season. With your new cuffing partner by your side, you have physical proof that you are attractive and worthy of someone’s time and attention. Plus, you have a guaranteed midnight kiss on New Year’s Eve.

Con: You’ll have to explain to your parents/sister/co-worker what happened to your date.
Unfortunately, cuffing season usually has an expiration date. When you next see your family and friends, you’ll inevitably have to answer questions about, “What happened between you two?” And then return back to square one with the age-old, “You’re still single because…?”

Pro: You can actually Netflix and Chill with someone other than your cat.
The next time you binge watch your fave show, you can nuzzle up to an attractive human body—and not use your cat as stand-in for a sweetheart. So if you’re looking to snuggle up against a warm body at night—as well as having sex on a regular basis—then cuffing season is the perfect opportunity for that.

Con: You might be creating a false sense of intimacy.
Intimacy, particularly physical intimacy, often creates an instant connection that sometimes ends up being only a temporary feeling of euphoria. Just like how a band-aid doesn’t heal a bigger wound, ‘cuffing’ someone won’t reconcile your ultimate relationship goals. If you’ve rushed the process of truly getting to know one another, your perceived compatibility could blow up by spring, leaving you both disappointed and possibly heartbroken.

If you’re ‘pro cuffing,’ it’s important to practice safe cuffing. If you intend to only have a significant someone for the season, always be upfront and honest with your intentions, so you’ll avoid hurting them. However, if you actually enjoy their company and see potential in your relationship, then perhaps your ‘cuffing’ will last longer than a season or two.

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