‘Cuffing Season’ Is Here! How To Cuddle Up For The Winter Without Getting Burned

Ready to cuddle up over winter? Here's how!

man and woman in winter hats toasting cups getty

If you've ever been "cuffed" or have "cuffed" someone, you're familiar with having a relationship start in the fall and end before spring.

Whether you were blindsided by this breakup, or cuffed someone for the holidays only to break up before Valentine's Day, cuffing season is among us.

What is cuffing?

Cuffing season refers to a period where single people begin looking for short-term partnerships to pass the colder months of the year.


It’s actually not uncommon, and dating sites pick up attention during the fall season through the holiday season because of this.

When is cuffing season?

Cuffing season usually begins in October, when the weather is cold, and lasts until just after Valentine’s Day, when spring is here and the weather is warming up.

RELATED: How Your Zodiac Sign Survives Cuffing Season (+ Your Perfect Match)


Cuffing season alleviates loneliness for singles during the holiday season.

You want to have someone to share the celebrations with to toast the New Year to, or someone to share the winter and snuggle up to a fire with. It’s romantic. It can be very exciting.

Many singles do not even know they're "cuffing," they just have a desire to date and get involved with someone during this time. They're not thinking about if it's long-term or "just for now."

What a great feeling it is to be falling in love during the winter months during the holiday season. Holiday songs, romantic movies, parties, and romantic packages show up everywhere. Romance is in the air!


Communication is key in cuffing season.

The biggest issue with cuffing is that you don’t communicate that it's “short-term.”

Again, many people don’t even realize they're cuffing — they don’t ask themselves why they're so intent on finding someone during this time period. They don’t question the strong urge to partner; they just do it.

Come February right before Valentine’s Day, breakups happen. It’s the biggest breakup time of the year.

This is because right before the most romantic holiday of the year, you stop to think if you truly want to continue on with this person. You notice the aspects you overlooked during the holiday cuffing season, because you had a subconscious need to avoid being alone during that time.


Avoid the drama by being honest.

There's nothing wrong with short-term relationships. It’s just healthier to communicate your intent.

Yes, you face the possibility that you'll be rejected if you're honest. But you'll also avoid hurt feelings later on when the truth comes out that you didn’t have long-term intentions with this person all along. It also avoids drama and arguments.

Asking for what you want is not only healthy, but also sets you up to find someone looking for the same. They're out there. Quite possibly they just want to cuff, also!

RELATED: How To Find Your 'Cuffing Partner' For The Holidays In 4 Easy Steps

Questions to ask yourself before 'cuffing' someone.

If you notice that you have this “romance is in the air” vibe going on this time of year, ask yourself a few questions before you cuddle up for the winter with someone new:


1. What is it I’m really looking for right now?

2. Is this person long-term material, or just fun and exciting?

3. What aspects am I overlooking that I normally wouldn’t?

4. Am I dating this person to avoid being alone during the holidays?

5. Am I clear on my intent, or do I need to sit with myself to get clear?

6. Have I communicated my intent to the other person?

Why do relationships end after cuffing season?

Since cuffing season occurs in the colder months, you're more likely to remain inside. That means snuggling under a blanket with hot cocoa while watching television with a companion.

Unfortunately, when winter is over and the weather becomes warmer, you won't want to stay home as much.


Warmer weather means you can spend time looking for a partner that will be long-term, rather than someone to casually date when it's convenient.

How to Know if Your Relationship Will Last After Cuffing Season

Check in with your subconscious intent. Most of your relationship decisions are made from the subconscious, and therefore, aren’t made with your conscious mind.

You often just get involved with someone without ever really checking in with yourself to notice what your true intent is. During cuffing season, it’s just more intense.


It’s a good time to notice how you get into messy situations in relationships. You don’t date and relate consciously; you just go with what you're feeling at any moment, and if it feels good, it must be good.

Your feelings are fleeting and can change at any moment. You should always take them into consideration.

It’s more important to look at potential long-term partners with a logical mind. Following those fleeting moments of romance really turns you on, but it can also be the boomerang that comes back to hit you hard.

So, take a good look at your dating habits and ask yourself, "What is cuffing season, and am I participating in it consciously or not?"


It's fine to enjoy the holiday season and the romance that it brings, but it's time to take your rose-colored glasses off and check in on reality.

If you're looking for a short-term partner, be honest and upfront! This way, the both of you can leave without hurt feelings and still enjoy a fun winter fling.

RELATED: 5 Tips On How To Survive Cuffing Season — And Turn Your Winter Fling Into A Long-Term Relationship

Lisa Hawkins is a certified life coach, certified cognitive-behavioral therapy coach, and a dating and relationship coach. She has 26 years of experience in personal growth and development, psychology, and human behavior with an emphasis on relationships, which includes the most important one: with yourself. For more information, visit her website.