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Cuffing or the Real Deal?

Last year I wrote about Cuffing Season and it's odds of changing with the times, even though it stays relatively consistent year to year, we always have to examine trends and shifts in culture. I’ll explain in a bit more detail what Cuffing is once more for those of you that are unsure what it is.

Cuffing is a biological (and partially socially produced) need to pair up with a significant other in the colder winter months. It is typically done by someone that loves likes to date around, then all of the sudden has the desire to bag themselves a long term, serious relationship (mmmm, nice and cozy right?). They are cuffing themselves to a commitment, but most likely only while the weather stays chilled. But this year we may see the biggest change in cuffing season yet. Why? Because a much earlier type of cuffing has already happened for many singles during the summer of 2020… Pandemic Cuffing.

Pandemic Cuffing took many of us by surprise. None of us have ever experienced a pandemic before, never experienced a global shutdown, a complete stop to life as we knew it. So, what is it about the pandemic that would make singles react in such a manner? It's because traumatic, crisis situations push us into a high speed accelerator for our relationships. Everyone was lonelier than ever during the middle of the year. Most singles latched on to the closest thing they could find to a partner, to safety, physical touch, company…

People moved in after the first few dates and singles began to realize that they didn't want to die alone. In a much less serious manner, this is what tends to happen biologically (and subconsciously) when the weather gets cold EVERY year.

The pandemic cuffing relationships that started 7 months ago are already beginning to fall apart or are long dead by now.

Does that mean cuffing season part 2 is upon those same individuals? Maybe. It all just depends on the state of our world and if it's safe to go back to our day-to-day lives of meeting new people and falling in love all over again, the old fashioned way. You know, by swiping right and meeting up for an Old Fashioned, unworried about a plague that could befall you. Although most singles may hope this normal will return 100% soon, the odds are actually quite low that will happen. So, here are a few tips on how to avoid the first wave of the post-pandemic cuffing season and make it until the weather warms and we can all go back outside again:

  1. Make it well known you are serious about a long-term relationship. If you are using online dating platforms, make sure to quickly move from the initial conversation to an actual call, to a digital date or in-person date if you feel comfortable. The word quickly may seem counterintuitive to avoid cuffing, but this sets the tone for a more serious approach to dating, getting to know someone on a much deeper level and makes it obvious you aren't just looking for a winter cuddle buddy.
  2. If a previous hook up is starting to cling and you sense cuffing vibes, cut ties! I'm not joking. It will be healthier for you both in the long run if you stop the temporary commitment before it begins. Do not respond to texts, DMs, plans to go distanced site seeing with your cute new masks on. Just don't.
  3. Try to take comfort in knowing you are not alone in being alone. Many singles are in the same situation now. Hold on to your healthy bubble of close friends and family and ride this one out. You will find a much more significant relationship post all of this.
  4. Dating out of loneliness is the worst decision you can make. Doing anything out of desperation will always lead to chaos. Do not be with someone purely out of obligation or because it "sorta kinda" makes you happier than if you were watching
    Netflix alone. Focus on you. And if you happen to meet someone standing 6 feet behind you in line to get coffee or sitting distanced in the park, enjoy the ride and build a real
    relationship that doesn't feel like settling. You will know the difference.

The most important thing, especially after experiencing 2020, is that whatever you do brings happiness and the journey is joyful. We all deserve that.