As the holidays loom slowly over our heads, there are tell-tale signs of winter wherever you look. The leaves have browned and fallen, the daylight is scarce, the bitter wind chills our every move, and there are couples all around us. Wait. Let’s just rewind to that last one for a minute. As it happens, there’s a very good reason that all your friends are coupling up right now; this, my friends, is the beginning of “cuffing season.”
If you’ve yet to hear the term, you’re sure to have noticed its symptoms. Thanks to Urban Dictionary, there is now a somewhat official definition for this pop culture phenomenon circulating: “During the fall and winter months people who would normally rather be single or promiscuous find themselves, along with the rest of the world, desiring to be ‘cuffed,’ or tied down by a serious relationship. The cold weather and prolonged indoor activity cause singles to become lonely and desperate to be cuffed.”
That’s all very well and good, but what if you’re not ready to jump into a pseudo-serious relationship simply because you feel a little chilly? Can a singleton really get through cuffing season without finding herself shackled to the nearest person with hot blood running through their veins? Here are some little tricks to help you survive the season.
Appreciate Your Girlfriends
The reason that many women cuff themselves to someone during the cold months is that they have a desperate need for companionship. Spoiler: You don’t need a romantic partner to be your social support; you likely have it. If you’re lucky enough to have a close-knit group of ladies around you, cuff yourself to them rather than some random romantic partner.
While finding new love may alienate your closest pals, choosing to love them shows you’re in it for the long haul. Take this opportunity to strengthen your social relationships. Plan girly nights in complete with Netflix, popcorn, and vino, and please, leave all thoughts of romance at the door.
Look After Your Mental Health
You really need to take care of your mental health this season, and it may just stop you from cuffing before you’re ready. Four out of five people suffering from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) in the US are women, according to Mental Health America. What that means is that us ladies are more likely to come down with a case of the winter blues than our male counterparts. When you’re feeling low, you’re more likely to search for that miracle cure and, in this case, a relationship. Tying yourself down in a relationship is not the answer — not by a long way.
Instead, you need to take care of yourself rather than expecting someone else to do so. Looking after your own state of mental health means recognizing when you need a little help. It’s okay to reach out to your loved ones and admit that all is not well. After all, there’s a wealth of support, advice, and care out there. All you have to do is ask.
Prep Your Family Dinner Chat
Nothing says Christmas quite like sitting down with your loved ones and being given the third-degree about your poor life choices. For a single lady, this experience is particularly tiresome; there seems to be no end to the “when will you settle down?” line of questioning. If you’re going to handle this whole thing without breaking down into a soggy mess of tears, snot, and panic attacks, you need a game plan.
Change the conversation. If you have a bunch of exciting things to tell your folks about your career and social life, they will soon forget that you’re not in a relationship. Whether it’s a promotion at work or your latest foray into the world of writing, ensure you have something more interesting to talk about than mere romance.
Practice a Little Self-Love
If you’re lacking love in your life, you don’t always have to look to other people to provide it. It may be something of a cliche, but if you can’t love yourself, how on earth can you expect other people to love you? Sure, the winter months mean spending a whole lot of time cooped in your home, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be a negative thing.
Rather than opening up your life and affections to a partner, spend this time alone and truly get to know who you are. This is something that few ladies actually do, but it could change the way you perceive yourself and the world around you. Meditate. Run yourself a warm bath and light some candles. Explore your hobbies; from reading and writing to knitting and baking, there are many things you’ve promised to try and haven’t yet. Remember, there’s no greater luxury on this planet than time, so use yours wisely. Spend it on yourself, for once.