What is Cuffing Season and how do we resist it?


By Philippa Speed / 26 November 2019


*Disclaimer – this article by no means is an attack against those in a happy relationship and thriving in cuffing season 😊*

It’s that time of the year again when the days get shorter and the afternoons get darker; the outside pub sessions become limited and slowly your single friends slip away, one by one, into a winter hibernation, or what is commonly known as… a relationship. 

Long gone is the ‘Hot Girl Summer’ mentality: we can feel the unsaid pressure to ‘find someone’ to settle down with over the Christmas period protruding from every Christmas ad and film around. In recent years I’ve dreaded the autumn/winter months, more so than the Valentine period, as the ongoing festivities are a constant reminder to those of us who are single that we have no romantic interest to share them with. But not this year. This year we are carrying the torch of summer liberation right through to these cold months and having a 'Hot Person Winter'! No more forcing ourselves to like someone as per the arrival of ‘Cuffing Season’. No more feeling that you can’t go to festive activities without someone’s hand to hold or hot chocolate to share.

This revelation came to me today as I was idly scrolling Instagram, and without realising I had been sucked in by the PDA pics of people I don’t even know cosying up by the fire.

So typically, me being me (and hopefully some of you), I messaged a boy asking him if he wanted to go for a drink. His response was “1 – I’m not in London, and 2 – I’m seeing someone, it’s Cuffing Season”. CUFFING SEASON? Where did this expression even come from? And why is it an unspoken rule that people completely change their habits as soon as we transition from summer to autumn/winter? 

Urban Dictionary attributes the phenomenon of ‘Cuffing Season’ to the ‘the cold weather and prolonged indoor activity causing singles to become lonely and desperate to be cuffed’. Like…what? ‘Prolonged indoor activity’ makes you feel the need to waste a few weeks of the Most Wonderful Time of the Year convincing yourself that you really like Joe from Hinge, even though you don’t really have anything in common, he doesn’t like drunk food and he doesn’t know the words to a single ABBA song? Scientific investigations would align the increase in new relationships over the winter period to a lack of serotonin in our bodies, which is a result of the decrease in sunlight. As a result, it is feasible to assume that people may be looking to boost that low serotonin via validation from a love interest. However, I think we should be attempting to beat these winter blues on our own merit and not rely on other people to prove our worth. 

Ice skating? Mistletoe? Winter Wonderland? Autumn walks? I used to think all those things were for couples only, that I couldn’t do with my friends in case whichever boy I was texting might suddenly want to take me on a date as opposed to partying until we couldn’t remember who the other was.

It’s time to start spending more time with new friends, old friends, family friends, friends who are a bit annoying but then so are you so you love each other regardless friends! Let’s take ourselves out and go to that café we have always wanted to try, or watch that new rom-com in the cinema, and stop worrying that we aren’t ‘cuffed’ enough. This winter let’s cut out all this ‘prolonged indoor activity’: don’t get me wrong, sitting inside watching Christmas films is fun, but let’s layer up, womxn up, go outside and create the fun ourselves.

If you do meet someone who loves looking at otter memes as much as you do and they treat you well then do you and get that cuff bitch! But if you don’t, don’t beat yourself up about it and enjoy the festivities with your already existing nearest and dearest. 

Words by

Share this article