3 Women on How Cuffing Season Affects Them
As the cold nights and crisp mornings start to creep in, and we begin to feel ourselves go into hibernation mode, many of us find ourselves craving human touch and connection as a form of comfort.
Have you ever noticed that you’re more inclined to get into a relationship in winter? It’s actually a phenomenon, that has a name; cuffing season.
Cuffing season refers to a period of time when single people begin looking for short-term partnerships to pass the colder months of the year. The use of the word cuff is in reference to handcuffs because the idea is you figurately handcuff yourself to someone.
So, how does cuffing season affect women? I decided to ask two friends and a colleague. Here’s what they said.
Single, but actively dating
“I have such an instinctive desire to be held in the cold weather. Having these feelings of wanting to stay in and just cook and chill out with someone, can make you — and the other person — feel like you want a serious relationship when really you just have this like super natural desire to be warm and feel secure.
“I’m normally the kind of person that loves to go out, but it’s like as soon as the weather starts to get cold, I just instantly feel less spontaneous. Usually, when I’d meet someone out for a date, we’d go for a drink and just see where the night takes us. But at the moment, I’d so much rather go to someone’s house and just eat dinner on the couch, which definitely breeds more relationship vibes.”
Kim is at a stage in her life where she’s kind of open to anything. She’s casually dating a few people, she’s living her best independent flirty life, but she’s also open to falling in love and being in a serious relationship, with the right person.
Although usually pretty sexually active, Kim is finding herself actually less horny right now.
“It’s like, I don’t know if I’m not having much sex because I’m tired and busy, or because it’s winter, or if the two go hand in hand! I just feel like my energy levels for new people and experiences just fade in winter compared to the warmer days and months, so I have less eagerness to go out and be sexy with strangers.
“I guess that means I’m more into comfort and security right now.”
Similarly, my colleague Sangeeta acknowledges feeling the effects of Cuffing season, being single. But for her, it’s more about the early nights than the cold weather.
“When it’s pitch black outside at 6pm, I have no motivation to do anything after work, and that’s when I’m like – yeah, it would be pretty great to not have to leave my apartment and still have someone to hang out with (I recently moved in on my own).”
While this isn’t her ideal winter environment, Sangeeta is taking an impressively positive mindset; using this time to practise self care and embrace her alone time, which she knows she won’t always have.
“At the moment, though, I’m really just trying to embrace these winter nights with lots of self-care and relaxing. My nights this winter (or I guess you could say this cuffing season) see me making dinner, taking a bath or shower and then bundling myself into my velvet robe and reading a book, journaling or meditating in bed. Sometimes I’ll also clean or organise my apartment or put on a face mask. I feel so great when I have a clean, clutter-free space and my body feels looked after.
“I know I’ll have lots of social things to do in the evenings once the warmer months roll around again (and even more so when I eventually have a family), so I’m actively trying to appreciate the nights at home on my own, knowing they’re temporary.”
Recently ended a relationship
“We met at a cafe. He and I worked there on and off at the same time. One day he glanced over and took a look at the work I was doing on my laptop and we naturally starting chatting about creative work, entrepreneurship. He had kind eyes. I was a little hooked. But equally very focused on my work and not wanting anything serious. He asked for my IG (not my number ha) and we became social pen pals for 6 weeks before we finally went on a date.”
Sam says that she doesn’t have a pattern of behaviour during the seasons, however, she’s aware of the classic “single for the summer” vibes, and knows she isn’t totally immune to “wanting to snuggle, hibernate and eat hearty food with loved ones” during winter. Even still, she’s in a place in her life right now where she doesn’t want a serious relationship.
“I went into this date knowing that I wasn’t right place for anything serious. I am about to start the process of freezing my eggs (I’m carrying the Fragile X gene) — and the emotional weight this currently has on me, my body and the powerful feminine energy I am feeling, all means that there’s little space to give to a man right now.
Although I was definitely more inclined to let this relationship go on for a bit, because it’s nice to have someone comfy in the winter, I never led him on. I was open and honest with where I was at when we first met — which is why it took us six weeks to go on a date! — and when I felt it starting to shift into something more serious, I felt it was only fair to give it a go. Maybe Cuffing season had a hand in that?
“The relationship was slow to begin with, and then sped up really fast. He was staying over a lot. We were cooking dinner, watching movies, reading books, chilling together. It was as if we had known each other for years. But it also freaked me out.
“I definitely think I was more more inclined a more serious vibe a go on for a bit because it’s just nice to have something warm and comforting in winter, but also, I’m very much the type of person that doesn’t want to regret not trying something. If you don’t try you don’t know, right?
But regardless of how amazing he was, and how beautiful the connection was, I realised — even in the heart of winter — that you have to be true to where you are in life and honour yourself. Even if it just means you have to turn up the electric blanket and cuddle your cat.”
It seems that whether you’re ready for a relationship or actively not looking, Cuffing season has the power to take a hold on you; and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
If you’re feeling like you want to be settled and affectionate more than usual right now, we say; embrace it! It’s a totally lovely way to feel, and something beautiful could come out of it, whether that be a relationship, some nice memories, a good story or even a new friend.