IT IS THAT time of year again. As the temperature drops and the carefree attitude of summer seems like a distant memory, an interesting phenomenon seems to occur. Individuals who typically enjoy being single and free begin to wish for something more. This scenario is real and has even been given a name: “Cuffing Season.”
Cuffing Season is described in the Urban Dictionary as a time “during the fall and winter months [when] people who would normally rather be single or promiscuous find themselves . . .desiring to be ‘cuffed’ or tied down by a serious relationship.” There are a number of reasons for this shift including the cold weather, prolonged indoor activities and the approaching holidays. Ultimately, loneliness sets in and many desire someone special with whom to spend their time.
While I don’t believe that this situation applies to everyone, I have certainly seen it play out and even been subject to the cuffing craze myself in the past. There truly is something about this time of year that makes many envious of their already “cuffed” friends and family members. You may find yourself in this position in the coming months, and I think it is important to keep a few things in mind as you search for a holiday hottie to take home.
First, it is important to do some self-reflection on what you are really looking for. Is this a temporary endeavor or just an ideal time to make some long-term changes? Are you looking for a snuggle buddy until April or an actual partner? Once you have decided the level of commitment you can realistically take on, you can begin to look for someone who can meet those needs.
Second, have honest and transparent conversations with potential cuffs about what you want. No one deserves to be misled or manipulated. Everyone involved in any relationship, as always, needs to be a willing participant. It is not fair to use someone to meet your needs and disregard their needs or feelings.
My last suggestion is to have mutually-agreed-upon ground rules. If you are exploring a temporary cuff, talk about the relationship’s shelf-life. Do not expect everyone to understand and agree to your terms, but stand strong on the things that you are not willing to change. If anything that is important enough to bring up is a deal breaker for one of you, it is not a good cuffing fit. Making false promises or maintaining unrealistic expectations will be the downfall of any healthy relationship. Do not close yourself off from possibilities because there will inevitably be growth, but always have a back-up plan.
Remember, people who find themselves in seeking a cuffing situation may have trouble with commitment, so keep your expectations in check and don’t make promises you can’t keep. In any relationship always have fun, be smart and, above all else, be safe.