The Pros and Cons of Cuffing Season

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Winter is coming.

As the nights get colder, an evening inside is more inviting than a cold beer outside and our single status is well…still single. There’s only so much comfort a scented candle can give, so this season, some of us are on the lookout for something warmer. Apparently, something that’ll last as long as this winter’s coat. 

“Cuffing season” as it’s known, describes the period in which people who are usually happy being single during the summer months, find themselves wanting to get into relationship for the limited winter months.

Thinknum Alternative Data, a company that provides alternative data culled from the web, found that it is during the colder months that we put the most energy into finding dates. Data analysed from prominent dating apps saw a notable jump in active users starting right after Thanksgiving and into the winter months. Interestingly, relationship based apps saw a bigger rise in the number of active users compared to hook-up style apps. 

 Having a partner (or being “cuffed”) during this time has its pros and cons. Let’s find out.

The Pros

It’s not a lonely winter 

Now we all know that as the weather gets colder, feelings of positivity are...hard to maintain. We suddenly become aware of our lonely state which gives us a false sense of emptiness where we feel like we’re missing out on something which wasn’t apparent in the summer. For those of us who fall into this trap, you can see the appeal of having a cuffing partner to cuddle on the couch with and watch trashy Christmas rom-coms.

No pressure from the family at Christmas

If there’s ever a time you wish you weren’t single, it’s when your family are grilling you about your relationship status at Christmas. Having a partner by your side can be helpful for navigating the difficult festive period, but be careful of getting hopes up on all sides.

Might turn into longer relationship

While you might have gone into this knowing it was only going to be a temporary thing, you might surprise yourself. It could turn out you actually both like being in the relationship and choose to extend it into the summer months.

Relationship insight 

If you’re a fan of being single but sometimes miss the feeling of being in a relationship, cuffing season could be a good time to try it out (even if it’s for the short term). There won’t be too much pressure to be out all the time (i.e. less expensive!), you can enjoy double dates instead of being the third wheel and finally get a chance to try out couples’ costumes for Halloween (if that’s your thing). Judge for yourself if the grass really is greener on the other side.


The inevitable end  

The drawback of cuffing season is that it's only temporary. Is it really worth staying in a relationship knowing there’s a countdown clock to it at the back of your mind? 

Missing out on the one?

Before you take an extended break from dating for someone you vaguely like, just ask yourself if it's the right time? If you've recently just come out of a relationship, it may not be wise to jump into another one so soon for someone you vaguely like. Who knows you may be missing out on developing a better connection with someone else?

False sense of security 

It may feel smart committing to a relationship knowing there’s an end date, however there is the chance you could develop a sense of attachment you might not be aware of until it finishes. If your feelings aren’t reciprocated, it might make you more vulnerable after it ends. 

Mixed signals 

A trope many rom-coms have dealt with. You both agree to a situation. It’s all going well until you both face a defining moment that shows the other in a different light and it throws into question everything you knew about them and before you know it, you’re declaring your undying love… except in this case the feelings aren’t reciprocated. The caveat of this type of relationship is that mixed signals are pretty much guaranteed.  

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All Gifs via Giphy