What is cuffing season?
Aaaaah… Here we are at the beginning of what has been coined cuffing season. The hot gyal summer has come to a close, and people are thinking about the holidays, comfort foods, Netflix, and chill. It is a time when we instinctively feel drawn to stay inside and long for that cuddle buddy to weather the winter nights with. It's about heavy comforters, cozy sweaters, comfy pajamas, hot cocoa, hugs, and kisses. You may receive random texts or calls from exes during this time wanting to creep back into your bed or attracting more attention from potential partners than usual. I'm not sure if this is just an east coast term for when the nights get longer and colder or if there is cuffing season in other places like Minnesota, Michigan, Canada, etc. To put it frankly, cuffing season is the time when single folks seek relationships. The google definition; "Cuffing" is a term based on the idea of getting "handcuffed" or tied down to one partner. It refers to when people get into relationships during the colder months of the year, even though they ordinarily wouldn't be interested in a commitment."
According to certified sex therapist Holly Richmond, Ph.D., LMFT, CST, cuffing can be as simple as consistently hooking up with someone you know isn't going to be a long-term partner, sometimes even "going below what your typical standards might be in the summer." Not to say, a "cuff" can never turn into something long-term. Still, typically, it doesn't look like your usual committed relationship. Basically, people choose cuffing partners whom they wouldn't want to flaunt around or be seen with at the summer BBQs. It actually seems like folks enjoy being single more in warmer weather.
While "cuffing- season" may take the bite out of the cold winter season and fill the void of loneliness, avoid making permanent decisions based on temporary feelings. Be present in the moment, but be careful not to look too far into the future. Often, the vulnerability of our hearts during the cold, dreary months may create a false illusion of love, when in reality, you and your "cuddle buddy" came together for one common purpose- to get each other through the season. Be intentional and honest. Have the hard conversations upfront and don't assume the situation could go further without clear and concise communication.
Having a cuddle buddy can create a feeling of euphoria, relieve anxiety, and offer solace during bereavement throughout the holiday season. However, we must caution that it is not always the best option for people who struggle with co-dependencies, abandonment issues, or depression. The onset of the warmer months may cause your companion to detach abruptly, which may trigger some of these issues. With that in mind, do what makes you happy but be smart!
Remember, it doesn't have to be about hooking up. You can have a platonic cuddle buddy to spend time with, like a best friend, siblings, pets, or children. You can create your own definition of cuffing season!
If you are planning to sit this season out, here are some tips to help you:
1. Plan your evenings and alone time. If you already know or have a schedule of spending your free time, it will take out the space or opportunities to fall into feeling lonely. Get outdoors, have friends over. Write out your weekly schedule, from what your meal will be, to bathing, to bedtime.
2. Develop a nighttime ritual. Plan hot baths and foot treatments. Try rose petals and herbs like eucalyptus, jasmine, and lavender in the bath, or use these essential oils in a diffuser. No one can love you better than the love you can give yourself.
3. Self-care massages are where it's at! After your bath, choose an oil to provide yourself with a massage. You don't have to be a professional. Just do what feels good to you. Start from the top and work your way down. Making strokes and circular motions toward the direction of your heart. You can even invest in a handheld massager for spot treatments or a massage mat to lay on for your back.
4. Invest in a good vibrator for sexual pleasure. Don't be shy or cheap when it comes to pleasuring yourself. Visit your local adult toy shop or check out online options. Make sure you read the customer reviews before you purchase and look for product review videos on Youtube. Most products cannot be exchanged or refunded.
5. Get a weighted blanket. Not only does the blanket help you sleep more deeply and sound, but it gives the illusion of a person in bed with you. Use a body pillow for cuddling when just lounging around on the couch watching movies.
6. Travel! Take a trip to warmer destinations. You can find great prices on weekend getaways online. Be adventurous!
7. Keep a candle safely lit throughout the day and night. This will give your home/room a cozy feel and invite loving, warm energy into your space.
8. Sleep with a rose quartz crystal. Rose quartz is the crystal for attracting, healing, and feeling loved. Snuggle with your crystal and tell it all your dreams of love and what you want in relationships. Think of it like your little genie who will grant your wishes.
9. Journal intense emotions and look for patterns in your entries. We feel a natural urge to go within during this time. You may discover something new about yourself or have an open door and dig deep into shadow work.
10. Start your days with loving affirmations. Look in the mirror and say, "I am beautiful. I am love. I am loved. I am surrounded by love", or whatever I AM affirmations you resonate with.
Cuffing season runs from October to mid-February. Subscribe on Youtube for more in-depth live discussions! Let us know how it's going for you in the comments.