As the times get colder, people find themselves wanting to spend time indoors with a cup of hot chocolate or coffee alongside someone to cuddle up to. Yes, cuffing season is a real thing and is a genuine phenomenon that happens every year.

Cuffing season starts as soon as the weather begins to get colder – single people become motivated to meet and shack up literally or metaphorically with someone. These people typically look for short term relationships to bear through the colder months of the year. The season usually begins in October and even lasts until after Valentine’s Day.

Cuffing season is largely attributable to the temperature drops and the flood of holidays which in turn makes people eager to have a sweetheart to cuddle with by the fire, to kiss at midnight on New Year’s, and to take to the office Christmas party and so on. But we all need to be careful, with cuffing season comes a wide range of possibilities along with their unique problems.A lot of people are looking for short term arrangements while others are looking for long-term ones. It is imperative for people to be straight-forward with whomever they are courting so both parties understand what the other person is seeking. For example, some people might just be wanting to find a partner to bring home and present to their family members over the holiday festivities while others are hoping the cuffing season transitions into a more permanent relationship.

But both parties need to be on the same page, things need to be clear about each person’s desires and both people need to be open about how they view the relationship – either as a temporary one only or as a temporary to maybe permanent one if there is a connection. Who knows, you might be more open to seeing what develops without feeling like you’re trying to force something that isn’t there or there yet. Furthermore, not being sure what the other person wants or needs can lead to a lot of short-term couplings filled with drama and misconceptions. Thus, cuffing season can be both thrilling as well as very hurtful.It always happens – each time when the weather transforms itself from hot into cold – people start to shack up. These people are typically single during the other times of the year but thrust themselves into relationships as soon as the late fall and winter months roll around.

That inherent desire to hibernate with someone in the winter is what Cuffing Season is all about. As the days get shorter and colder, there’s a seemingly natural pull towards wanting to couple up and swipe right on someone you wouldn’t necessarily be fully attracted to or ticks off all your desires on a check-list.

The cold weather creates a yearning for someone to hold or get held by with society constantly reminding us that the holidays are meant to be shared with a partner. This can trigger the winter blues and make us couple with people who may just be okay and not what our thoughts of an ideal partner should be.

Cuffing season is the antithesis to what most of us know as the “summer fling”. Just as there are rules to a summer fling, cuffing season comes with its own set of unique unwritten rules that we all need to be aware of before we place ourselves in precarious positions.

It can be very convenient to be hitched during the holidays but being in a relationship comes with it’s own rules and limitations. Yes, it may be convenient because you are no longer single and there will be no more awkward questions about when you are getting married from your Grandmother. But the fact still remains, you are in a relationship and relationship standards do apply.So, once the holiday fun times draw to a close and all your family members return to their home states and cities then reality kicks in and one or both people in the relationship come to the realization that they may or may not like each other.

Thus, the pain of calling it quits becomes all too real before, on or after Valentine’s Day. People get a sharp dose of reality that cuffing season is just that, a metaphor for an agreement to be coupled during the colder months and holidays and nothing more, just a short-term partnership, whether they are aware of it or not.

Casual relationships are very common in modern day society. What people like about casual relationships is that they can walk away at anytime without feeling guilty. But when you shack up for the winter, you are transitioning from a casual to a more committed relationship, even if you deem that relationship to be only temporary. Furthermore, the issue of bonding comes into play – if you constantly share close quarters with someone then you are susceptible to forming close bonds with them especially when there is regular intimacy.

The relationship may seem like a ‘friends with benefits’ set-up but will have an air of commitment written all over it. These commitments can become heavy once the interactions between both partners are steady and family from one or both ends get involved.

If you do not want anything that resembles a mutually exclusive agreement, then I would suggest staying away from cuffing season and staying single or get in a relationship only because you truly want to and is ready for one.

In essence, you (and your partner) need to be aware of these 3 main things when it comes to Cuffing Season.

A common pitfall of cuffing season is that you are less discriminating and settle for someone you normally wouldn’t be compatible with or have eyes for. You could also ignore all the red flags that would normally be deal breakers all for the sake of the winter holiday season.

When you are cuffed that means there is an investment in the relationship. You have invested your time, or gifts or emotions and more. Thus, the typical winter fling can easily transition into a full-fledged relationship post season and these relationships carry a lot of weight and responsibility.

When entering cuffing season with a partner, the lines between a fling and a relationship can get blurred and many people find themselves sticking with it throughout the duration of the winter months – some more willingly than others.

Yes, I agree that some will find cuffing season appealing and to them it will make, but the nature of the arrangement can have any expectancy such as a very casual relationship to an extremely committed one. The hype of cuddle season may be the appeal of temporarily attaining the feel of a real relationship but only for a limited amount of time.

But, this should all come with a warning – if you are not ready to commit to someone then spare yourself all the drama, subterfuge and headache and move on.

Just as there is a thing called “Christmas in July”, cuffing season brings back all the joy and tingly feelings you get along with romance and courtship during the winter. The typical modern-day men and women shy away from any sort of commitment, especially in the dating realm. This is due to a multitude of reasons such as ghosting as a way to end a relationship, the over-load of options, too much strategic dating responses, too many grey areas of dating, the lack of trust in relationships and the hyper-focus on sex and sexuality. The worst part of this is for someone to send mixed signals to someone who they don’t hold much significance for.

It can be extremely hard to part ways after cuffing season since unlocking those cuffs can be as hard in a metaphorical sense as they are in a physical one. Feelings can and will be hurt, one or both partners can become furious, irritated, angry and even carry harsh thoughts and feelings for the other partner once things are said and done.

Furthermore, being cuffed for an extended period of time can alter the “friends with benefits” space. Instead of keeping intimacy purely physical, cuffing goes beyond that and creates bonding, unclear feelings, and holiday responsibilities.

Cuffing season can be a good thing as well as bad. Cuffing season is just that – a purely short-term solution to a seasonal problem. But this solution can snowball into a long term-problem if you or your partner weren’t inspired to date authentically or have had a change of mind along the way. Once the calendar enters the early parts of the new year and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, then the life expectancy of your relationship drops dramatically and there will collateral damage coming soon.

But alas, some people find it a pleasant way to pass through the winter months while others avoid the phenomena like the plague. The cuffing season male-female (male-male or female-female) dating dynamic can end up messy for most or end up being the best decisions two people may make.

Furthermore, it is always best to know what you are getting into. If you are cuffing only for the short term then be straight forward about it. If you are only looking for a less committed relationship then be candid about it. The worst thing is to have two people in a committed or non-committed relationship with not truly knowing what their partner really wants and what level of commitment each person is seeking.