You probably started hearing this term float around in 2011 and since then, the cuffing culture has taken off. But what is the cuffing season, exactly?
Cuffing season refers to the time of year when the weather turns cold and your desire for a romantic partner amp up.
Since you’re spending more time inside, you’re looking for a not-so-serious relationship to get you through the holidays.
According to a research, the cold weather and lack of sunshine and natural Vitamin D often lead to depressive symptoms. It causes a heightened desire for a romantic partner even if this means lowering your standards.
What does cuff mean in a relationship, you might be wondering? Cuffing refers to being handcuffed to another person, similar to how one might call a spouse a “ball and chain” or refer to marriage as “getting hitched.”
When does cuffing season start? Keep reading to find out.
When Does Cuffing Season Start?
It usually starts around October when the weather is starting to get cool. It starts around Thanksgiving and ends in mid-February.
These season dates are pretty much the perfect time for singles because it ensures you have a plus one to any family events coming up, a snuggle buddy for movie nights, and a date for upcoming romantic occasions.
Of course, this is not a hard and fast rule. You, by no means, have to break up with your cuffing partner just because a calendar says you have to. So long as you’re having fun, go with it!
10 Cuffing Season Rules
Here are 10 cuffing season rules you should be aware of:
1. Be available
It is a time to be available to your spouse.
The rules suggest cuffing is not a friend with benefits situation, it’s a partnership – no matter how temporary.
Make yourself open and available to your spouse as if they were your serious boyfriend or girlfriend.
2. Don’t rebound in cuffing season
Don’t make your partner believe your relationship is something it is not. Do not rebound during this season and use somebody to make yourself feel less alone.
Inform your partner of your this season’s schedule and let them be in on the enjoyable season!
3. Don’t get clingy
It’s time to be free of rules.
Cuffing is all about having a short-lived but wildly romantic relationship during the colder months. It isn’t a time to get involved with someone.
If you do end up becoming attached to your ‘temporary partner’, don’t be afraid to bring it up. You don’t have to end your relationship just because of an imaginary cuffing season rule. If your relationship is working, feel free to keep it going – unless you’re a stickler for the rules!
4. Take it slow
What is cuffing season if not a time to cuddle up close with someone else?
What does cuff mean sexually? Technically, it still means to be ‘handcuffed’ to someone else in the bedroom, but don’t feel like you have to get dirty with your spouse to have a good time.
Intimate activity, including holding hands and cuddling, releases the hormone called oxytocin. This hormonepromotes bonding and raises trust between partners, which can make it difficult not to become attached to your temporary partner.
5. Plan the best winter dates
What does cuff mean in a relationship? It means you have someone awesome to go through the dark winter with. Some ideas are:
Go to an ice-skating rink
Have hot chocolate cafe dates
Make gingerbread houses or bake winter cookies
Sip wine by a roaring fireplace
Watch your favorite winter movies
Go to the pumpkin patch
Head to a maple syrup festival or sugarbush trail
Plan amazing winter dates and embrace the cold as a couple.
6. Get Netflix ASAP
What is cuffing season if not a time to binge your favorite shows under a warm blanket with your special someone?
If you don’t have Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, or any other streaming service, now is the time to invest in a great winter getaway from the comfort of your couch.
7. Don’t make assumptions
It’s a time to have fun and enjoy someone else’s company without assumptions.
Assumptions can lead to disappointment, so get the skinny on how your partner feels about:
Going to family events together
Hanging out with friends as a ‘couple’
Breaking up in the spring
Posting photos of the two of you on social media
8. Establish rules
What does it mean to cuff someone?
Can you date someone else while you’re cuffing?
Are you obligated to go to family events while shacked up together?
These are all great questions that you’ll want to know the answers to before starting up with someone new.
What is cuffing season if not a time to have fun and be a little selfish?
Instead of worrying about where your relationship is going and what the ramifications are for your cuffing adventure, relax and have fun.
Find someone you can be yourself with; someone who makes you feel amazing. Then take some time to bask in the afterglow of your cuddly winter tryst.
10. Have “THE TALK”
You know that when it comes to this season, you’re only in your relationship for a short time. But does your partner know that?
Both parties should go into the season knowing exactly what the relationship is and is not.
But, if you’ve left your short-term plans out of the equation with your partner, eventually you’re going to have to have “THE TALK.”
What is your season’s schedule and what season of the months are you going to call it quits? These are things you should explain to your spouse before you let your relationship continue. Otherwise, they may develop feelings for you and be heartbroken when you decide to call the relationship off.
How Do I Find a Seasonal Bae?
It’s a time to find someone new to cuddle up with for the winter, but where can you find a sweetheart to keep you warm this winter?
Find a partner the same way you would if you weren’t on a season’s schedule. Meet someone online, start flirting with a friend, or have someone set you up.
Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing who to cling to this season:
Don’t hook up with an ex
It may be tempting to romp around with an old fling, but winter is better spent alone than with someone who you already kicked out of your life once.
Be a flirt
If you want to find someone to cuff with, don’t make your intentions a mystery. Flirt with that special someone you’ve got your eyes on and make your desires obvious.
If you and your spouse haven’t yet had “the talk”, you may be wondering what are its regulations?
How do I know if I’ve been cuffed?
Here are some handy guidelines to help you figure it out.
1. You got together in the winter
This doesn’t necessarily mean anything, but remember- when does cuffing season start? It begins around October, or when the weather first starts to cool off.
If you and your partner started hooking up around this time, it may be a sign that your relationship isn’t going to last long-term.
2. Your relationship is based on shallow attraction
Do you find that all you and your partner do is jump into bed and watch movies?
If you have a crazy attraction to your partner but don’t seem to have a deeper connection than the shallow or physical things in life, it could be a sign you’re on your partner’s cuffing season schedule.
3. You have a lot of dates
Cuffing season dates are close together. If you’re in a cuffing relationship, it probably didn’t take long before you and your crush were spending all of your time together.
4. You haven’t met each other’s friends or family
Unless you’ve been to holiday-related get-togethers at family events, odds are you aren’t going to be getting close to your bae’s friends or family if you’re in a cuffing relationship.
5. There is no relationship talk
Your dates are mostly indoors. Aside from a smattering of winter-related dates, the majority of your time together is probably indoors and in bed.
6. Your spouse is already planning their next relationship
Have you noticed your partner getting cozy with someone new? If so, it could be a sign that you are living by the season’s rules and your time is almost up!
7. You’re being ghosted
Ghosting is a rude but unfortunately common way for people to end their non-serious relationships. If your spouse is suddenly ghosting your calls and texts, the season may be over for you.
Should I Participate in Cuffing Season?
You know your needs better than anyone, so only you can decide whether to participate in the cuddling season this fall and winter.
Here are some pros and cons to consider.
It’s fun. If you’re into summer flings, you will love having a winter cuddle buddy. Having company during the cold, blustery months is a great way to pass the time.
It keeps you occupied during the winter. No more binging shows by yourself. If you participate in the season, you get to snuggle up under the covers with your temporarily special someone and Netflix to your heart’s delights.
Plus, according to this schedule, you’ll always have a date for winter events.
It’s a fun way to date someone new. When you learn this calendar, you open yourself up to possibilities you may never have considered if you were looking for a long-term relationship.
It’s kind of selfish. Much like dating on the rebound, cuffing season is kind of a “me first” movement.
It banishes commitment. The season rules dictate that you won’t be in your winter relationship for the long-haul. Depending on what you’re looking for, this could either be a pro or a con.
More responsibilities with less reward. Cuffing around the holidays means you’re automatically signed up for their family dinners, gift-buying, and celebrations. This is all of the responsibility of a real relationship without many of the bonuses that come with one.
It’s a time where you have a not-so-special someone to create a cuddling season with during the colder months.
When does cuffing season start? The calendar usually stretches anywhere from October to February/March. Simply put, it’s a relationship season from late autumn to early winter/early spring.
Cuffing season rules dictate that you should establish rules with your partner, not get too close or clingy, and have fun during your short time together.
What is cuffing in dating? You can tell you’ve been cuffed if your relationship is based on shallow attraction and if you spend most of your cuffing season dates indoors binging shows and kissing. Being ghosted around February is another sure-fire sign that you’ve just been cuffed.
Only you can decide whether or not the cuffing season schedule is for you.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.