You were carefree and happily single all through summer—until the first leaf of fall hit the ground. Suddenly, you’re seeing couples everywhere, flaunting their disgustingly romantic relationship and reminding you of your single status.
Welcome to so-called “cuffing season,” a period spanning roughly from October to March where people wish to be “cuffed up” with each other. It’s not a made-up phenomenon. The gloomy weather, lack of sunshine and higher levels of testosterone in the fall makes people seek out a relationship in the colder months and get those mood-boosting chemicals from cuddling.
So, are you ready to make the most of cuffing season this year? Here is your go-to guide for finding a cold-weather buddy that will love you for a long time (or at least until the spring).
Find Someone to “Cuff” Yourself to
Imagine it: Walking through pumpkin patches together, savoring apple cider donuts and sipping hot chocolate by the fire while the cold weather rages outside. If you want these fantasies to become reality, you need to focus on finding the right person to cuff yourself to. Here’s how:
- Figure out what you want. Before you start looking for your cuffing partner, think about what you want in a relationship. There’s nothing wrong with seeking out a short-term relationship. Just make sure that both of you are on the same page and you set up expectations from the beginning.
- Start swiping right. Guys, we hate to break it to you, but she’s not going to fall out of the sky and into your lap. So, crack your knuckles, do some finger exercises and start swiping right on Hinge (or whatever dating app you’re using) to maximize your potential matches. Of course, you don’t want to trust the app’s algorithm completely – you do have standards – but you want to keep an open mind.
- Set yourself up for first date success. Making a good first impression is key to landing a second date. Throw on your best button down shirt and a nice pair of chinos—nothing too fancy, but enough to show her you have some style and respect the date enough to wear something nicer than a pizza-stained pair of sweats. Remember to listen before you speak and be sure to follow up with a short text after your date if you were into her.
Keep Her Interested All Season Long
Let’s be honest–a relationship founded solely on the desperate need for companionship is on pretty shaky ground. Okay, so she seems content to curl up on the couch and watch Star Trek reruns with you right now. But what happens if she meets someone else?
We don’t mean to make you paranoid or anything. Rather, we’re just pointing out that you can’t rely on the power of cuffing season to give you the warm fuzzies for each other all winter long.
To keep you glued to one another for the foreseeable future, here are a few things you can do to keep the romance alive:
- Set the mood for Netflix and chill nights. You can only watch so many episodes of Mad Men before it starts feeling a little repetitive. Try switching things up by building a blanket fort together. You can throw up some string lights and create a romantic playlist to set the mood. While you’re at it, consider swapping your ratty sleepwear for a pair of men’s lounge pants that she’ll immediately want to rip off (in a good way).
- Take her to a football game. Going to a football game with your girl is way more romantic than you might think. You can put on a unified front by dressing in college tailgate apparel and cheering on the home team. Plus, it’s the perfect excuse to snuggle up close, share your favorite craft beers with each other, and share some delicious game day food.
- Consider a staycation. We get it: You both just want to stay in bed and cuddle while it’s so frosty outdoors. Who says that you need to stay in your bed, though? Try changing up your scenery by booking a stay at a nearby B&B or a fancy hotel. You can order breakfast in bed, cuddle in a jacuzzi and grab drinks at the bar for a super romantic “getaway” without actually going anywhere.
Navigate the Holidays with Ease
By now, things are really starting to heat up in your relationship. She’s left a toothbrush at your place, your dog has gleefully accepted her into his life and you’ve had to restock your supply of men’s pullover sweaters because she’s stolen all your favorite ones (you’re totally into her, so it’s cool, right?).
With Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner, you need to come up with a game plan for navigating the holidays as a couple. Should she meet your parents? Does she even want to?
While every relationship is different, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Consider the nature of the relationship. If you really want your relationship to go the distance, you may not want to introduce her to the family just yet. The holidays can be a stressful time for everyone, and your fam might not be on their best behavior. If you think that your relationship can handle it, then go for it.
- Give her the scoop on your family. Is your family a bunch of weirdos and have tons of taxidermy animals all over the house? She needs to know this stuff before she’s staring straight into the lifeless eyes of a dead mountain lion your dad killed with his own bare hands (he’ll definitely be telling her the full story later). Give her the low-down on them so she can either run for the hills or prepare to meet your weird but lovable family.
- Schedule a (brief) time to meet. Spending hours with your family can be a lot to handle for a new relationship. Rather than bringing her to Christmas dinner (which can go on for hours), plan a brunch with the family instead. She’ll get to mingle with your family without being subjected to them for hours on end.
Reevaluate the Relationship
Finally, you’ve made it past the holidays. The snow is thawing, the birds are chirping and people are currently in deep, deep mourning over the loss of pumpkin spice everything.
With spring right around the corner, cuffing season is coming to an end. Is your relationship ready to go the distance? To find out, here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- Is she interested in making plans beyond March? If she seems less than thrilled about attending a wedding with you in the summer, you may want to think about why that might be. She might consider you as a cold-weather buddy and nothing more.
- Are you a better person when she’s around? One of the signs of a great relationship is liking who you are when you’re around them. If you’re the best version of yourself with her, she’s a keeper.
- Is she putting in the work? In the early stages, there isn’t much “work” that goes into a relationship. However, you probably have a good idea about whether she’s willing to go the distance with you based on how much effort she puts into the relationship.
Lastly, don’t forget to straight up ask her where she thinks the relationship is headed. At the end of the day, nothing is sexier than an honest and confident guy who knows what he wants in life.