You know that feeling of sweet warmth that you get when you are curled up on the sofa, under the covers, hugging someone, perhaps sipping a herbal tea or a glass of wine while watching a movie? This feeling is probably what pushes us to look for a partner in the autumn months; someone that will accompany us and pamper us until late spring.
It’s cuffing season, and Urban Dictionary defines it as “The time of the year where people are looking to be in a relationship. Everyone’s coupling up, and you are willing to settle for a new bf/gf way below your standard”. Cuffing season is a sort of emotional desire that affects those people who, although normally preferring the single life, perhaps due to the cold climate, the long time spent at home, the numerous holidays, long for a (serious?) relationship with someone at this time of the year. In the common imagination, cuffing season implies the following formula: sofa, big and warm blanket and Netflix (without excluding sex). An idyllic scene, provided that there are two of you and it's cold outside. Put simply, you are looking for a certain level of stability, as opposed to the freedom of the summer months.
According to psychology, the cuffing season is closely related to biology. The arrival of cold weather, combined with shorter and darker days, tend to generate greater depression in people - also due to a real decrease in serotonin - who for this reason are more than ever inclined to seek physical and emotional comfort. This phenomenon is amply confirmed by experts and analyses on the flows of dating apps, which are important in detecting the trends of singles in search of relationships.
According to Google Trends, the term has climbed steadily from 2013, with sharp spikes in late October or early November. However, relationship experts and psychologists have estimated that this year the cuffing season will be a bigger phenomenon than usual, probably because of the pandemic. After more than 20 month of restrictions, lockdown and isolation, we're more likely to seek emotional comfort when it's cold outside and we want to be indoors.
Inner Circle has revealed that now more than ever, members are ready for a serious and quiet relationship. The dating app has estimated that its members’ activity in search of a partner becomes much more intense (with a 24% increase) in September. However, in some countries, the cuffing season manifests itself more concretely in October, and November (with a 33% increase).
It is more than legitimate to be on the lookout for love, want to have someone next to you and seek refuge in the intimacy of a relationship. The only risk connected with cuffing season is that of ending up in a story that lowers your the expectations, leading you to settle for having anyone instead of the right partner. Surely nobody likes to be lonely, but if you are seeking out a relationship to avoid loneliness or any other unpleasant emotion or thought, you could be doing more harm than you know (not just to yourself but also to an innocent person who may really care for you).
So if your goal is to find a long-term partner, beware of starting a relationship during cuffing season. Like a summer fling, relationships that start during the colder months often have an expiration date.
Remember, there is nothing wrong in spending the coldest months of the year and the festivities alone. Don’t let the allure of cuffing season keep you from finding the right person or accomplishing what is important to you. It is probably not worth it.
Written by Miriam Tagini