Cuddling up: Cuffing season has started

The weather in central Illinois has started to turn cooler, the days are getting shorter and shorter. Gazing out the window, fall foliage is starting to appear. The sun's daily path crossing lower and lower on the southern horizon. This means not only that fall is here but for those of us single people not in some form of a committed relationship(s) that cuffing season is now open.

Photo: Pavel Danilyuk/Pexels

Fuel by a combination of biological need, psychology, societal pressure, and of course, creative holiday marketing, "Cuffing", is a phenomenon where men and women attach themselves to a romantic interest through the fall and winter months. According to Merriam-Webster's online dictionary, cuffing season is "... the time of the year when the weather starts to turn cold and single people begin the active search for romantic partners in the hope of having someone with whom to ride out the colder, snowier, bleaker months." Coincidentally, enclosed in what is considered a five-month season are the big three romantic holidays of the year.

While the practice of cuffing has probably been around since the dawn of mankind when humans migrated to cooler climates, the term "Cuffing Season" was popularized back in 2011 in the online Urban Dictionary. The phenomenon has been researched and debated by scientists and matchmakers alike. Commonly seen as monogamous winter frolicking among Millenials, cuffing knows no age barrier.

Cuffing can best be described as an extended Netflix & Chill, a winter test drive, or a four-month stand, all to stave off loneliness during the dreary winter months and fill the need for companionship under the sheets and in social settings. Depending on the expert you talk to, the season usually ends by mid-April. If you have ever started dating someone new between September and mid-November, then find yourself ghosted by your cuddle buddy around the first week of May, you were cuffed.

For the rookies and veterans alike, cuffing season closely resembles a typical championship series in professional sports. There are regular-season events like holiday office parties, dinner with the parental units, and gatherings at the homes of married friends itching to get you hitched just like them to attend. Then, there are four mandatory "championship" events - Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Eve, and the Super Bowl of the season Valentine's Day - that paired up couples and companions to celebrate together.

Cuffing buddies are guaranteed dates, hands to hold, and arms to cling on as they make the social rounds during the holiday season. They are crucial in deflecting the annoying, endless queries wondering when will your serial singledom end. The best part for many is when the DJ spins a crowd favorite, they have a warm body to do the Double D or Electric Slide by their side. In addition to regular nocturnal activities and late-night footsies under the comforter, trapped cuffees with nowhere to run often must endure uninteresting minutiae from their partner's otherwise boring life, bad grooming habits, and sometimes embarrassing social grace.

Like college and pro sports, there is a recruiting process that can start as early as August. Prospective cuffs are evaluated, covertly tested, and vetted for the upcoming season during the three-month tryout period better known as 'summer flinging'. By the time Halloween - cuffing season's preseason event - is two or three weeks away, the attaching process started weeks earlier in the form of tailgating, pumpkin picking, and frequent Uber rides home together after last call.

In major cities like Denver, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, cuffing is played at another level with combines, so to speak, in the form of extravagant parties for singles to mingle and look for their winter bae. There is even a new cuffing season drink, mainly vodka and maple syrup, making a splash.

Cuffing season is Thanksgiving dinner with your new partner's family or yours. Cuffing season is a romantic romp on Christmas morning before opening gifts. Cuffing season is dinner, drinks, and New Year's Eve kisses. Cuffing season is dinner and shiny trinkets for Valentine's Day.

Cuffing season is officially over, some say, the day after Cupid has left the house on February 15. The uncuffing process usually takes another 30 days or so for one party or the other to weasel their way out of the relationship. Sometimes they will seemingly disappear completely off the face of the Earth. Sometimes, the breakups can be bitter, especially when one party develops stronger feelings of attachment.

However, cuffers sometimes beat the odds and move into a long-term, committed relationship. Couples that have enjoyed a variety of memorable shared experiences beyond the living room sofa are more apt to keep their relationship intact months longer into the summer and beyond.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related articles:

Four signs you need a new roof over your head

A roof is one of the most important components of any home. It protects the structure and its inhabitants from harsh Illinois weather, debris, and even pests. However, over time, roofs can become damaged due to age or extreme conditions. Knowing when it’s time to re-roof your house can save you money in the long ...

Designing your study space for success, start the new school year off right

Are you embarking on the next leg of your academic journey? Your environment plays a pivotal role and it's essential to carve out a space that enhances focus. By choosing to create a productive study ...