Your Cuffing Season Survival Guide

When the leaves start turning and the shelves are stocked with pumpkin spice, well, everything, it's a secret sign that "cuffing season" is right around the corner.

Defined as the period when everyone seems to be meeting and dating someone new while the temperatures dip and the holiday season approaches, cuffing season lasts from the onset of fall to just before Valentine's Day, when things with the relationship would start to become "too serious" (exact timings can vary).

Whether you dread this time of year or look forward to cozying up with someone new, we could all use a few tips to stay sane when it rolls around once again. So, in a condensed format, here are your basics to successfully surviving cuffing season:

1. Don't Feel Pressure To Date If You Don't Want To

There's an unwritten rule of friendship that says that when you're in a relationship, you want your friends to be too, and the same goes for when you're single. But just because your friends seem to all be falling into relationships as the leaves start falling off the trees doesn't mean you have to say yes to the first prospect of a relationship that comes your way. If you don't want to date right now or simply aren't finding anyone you're interested in, there's no reason to take part in the activities of cuffing season.

Shutterstock: Young cheerful girl giving her friend piggyback ride while third girl laughing at them.

(via Shutterstock)


2. Ask The Right Questions

If you do decide to be an active participant in the season (which is completely made up, by the way), then it's important to make sure you at least kind of know what you're actually doing here. Cuffing season is essentially the reverse of the summer fling in that it's when it feels super easy to be in a relationship, even if the person you're dating doesn't actually consider it a relationship. So, be sure to be open and honest with the person you're seeing to see if they're still dating other people and what their intentions may be. If they just want some hand-holding and movie dates but nothing more and you do, too, then that's great. But if you want a legitimate relationship that's going to last through Valentine's Day and they don't, then it's best to know that early on.


3. Put Yourself First

If you're an anxious dater, like many of us, then it's easy to get so caught up in the idea of wanting your partner to want you so much that you end up losing yourself in the process. The best way to try and fix this is to think of dating as a business (in this context only): instead of dating like you're interviewing for a job, date like you're the CEO. Essentially, this just means that you should be putting your wants and needs first instead of changing yourself or making sacrifices just to please the person you're with—after all, they should be working just as hard to impress you!

Shutterstock: Young bored girl sitting and drinking coffee on date with her boyfriend at cafe. Speed dating, unsuccessful meeting

(via Shutterstock)


4. Take Advantage of Cute Date Ideas

The reason cuffing season exists in the first place is because cozy weather makes people want to do cozy activities, and these activities are 10 times better when they involve a romantic partner. If you're cuffed up by the fall, try making the most of cute date ideas like apple picking, pumpkin patch visits and hayrides while the late autumn and early winter bring endless hot chocolate sipping, couples' ugly Christmas sweater ideas, holiday parties and so much more. But remember, being single during cuffing season doesn't mean you have to miss out on all the fun! Try organizing plans to do all these same things with a few friends instead (you'll probably get better Instagram pictures with them, anyway).

Shutterstock: young beautiful couple have a fun and walking on city streets and drinking coffee

(via Shutterstock)


5. Remember That Being Single Isn't a Curse

Even if you remain single during cuffing season when you really wish you had a partner, try to remember that being single is actually pretty great. You have less to stress about, no extra Christmas presents to buy, don't have to wear a hideous couples Halloween costume and don't need to worry about your parents interrogating the person you're dating when they come to pick you up for your dates. Plus, being single gives you the time to explore what you really love about yourself—your hobbies, talents, academic passions and more.


If you stay single through cuffing season while your friends end up cozied up with their cuffs, keep calm and know that we've got you covered. Click HERE to learn why you should embrace being "the single friend."