What Is Cuffing Season? How To Cuddle Up For The Winter Holidays With A Short-Term Partner

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man and woman in winter hats toasting cups

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

Cuffing season usually begins in October and lasts until just after Valentine’s Day.

Have you ever been cuffed? Had a relationship start in the fall and end before spring?

Were you blindsided by this breakup? Have you cuffed someone for the holidays, and then before Valentine's day decided, "Nah! not that serious."

It’s not uncommon and dating sites pick up attention during the fall season through the holiday season.

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: 10 Reasons To Ignore Cuffing Season And Stay Single AF This Fall

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...

What is it I’m really looking for right now?
Is this person long-term material, or just fun and exciting?
What aspects am I overlooking that I normally wouldn’t?
Am I dating this person to avoid being alone during the holidays?
Am I clear on my intent, or do I need to sit with myself to get clear?
Have I communicated my intent to the other person?

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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… And 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 — so long as you remember to stay safe during the pandemic.

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.