Meteorological fall begins September 1st and the first break of cool weather reminds us that cuffing season is upon us. It’s the time of year when “me” turns into “we” and your friends may have less time to spend gabbing on the phone than usual because they’re paired up with a hot new flame. And I’m not talking about the fireplace.
No worries, guys. The first official day of fall isn’t until September 22nd, so that gives us a little more time to prepare as the cuffing season is ushered in. Cuffing season, you ask? Is that even a real thing? It absolutely is. The Urban Dictionary defined the term as “the cold season when everyone’s coupling up and settling down for a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship.” Also known as the time when people start to get “booed up”. During this time, people are motivated by the warmth of staying inside & would prefer not to be cooped up in the house alone & with the current state of affairs #quarantine (a meager global pandemic has reminded us all of how precious and limited having someone to love is). The consensus is that during the summer season, people want to be free and have fun, so they use this time for testing the waters, entertaining or whatever you want to call it and during the cold months, people prefer to have someone they can cuddle up with at home rather than to go out. Of course this is not true for everyone. There’s always an exception to the rule.
Essentially, cuffing relationships are the opposite of summer flings. But summer flings can turn into cuffing relationships and cuffing relationships often turn into serious & in some cases, long-term relationships. A cuff can also come out of a Netflix & chill situationship, if you play your cards right.
There are many ways one can become cuffed during this time. For example, you may have “messed around” with someone for a bit during the summer or indulged in a “summer fling” while you weren’t looking for anything serious. But there’s something about a chill in the air that makes people want to be close to each other. And science may have a sensible explanation for this. A 2008 study by Williams & Bargh showed that physical warmth (provided by human contact) increased interpersonal/emotional warmth, trust & intimacy levels.
So what is about cold weather that prompts us to crave physical closeness? Can cold weather really have an effect on your relationship status?
Think of it this way, when you imagine the festivities of the fall & winter seasons, the state fair, harvest nights and of course, the holiday season and office parties where it’s almost expected that you’ll bring a plus +1 (and if you don’t you feel secretly judged for being solo at 30…) the idea of having someone gets you all warm and fuzzy inside. And sure a good scarf & cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows can do that, I suppose, but it’s just not the same.
Of course, there are a variety of social pressures involved as well, — taking someone home for the holidays, having someone to take goofy pics with at the ugly Christmas sweater party and kissing underneath the mistletoe or on New Year’s Eve as the clock strikes midnight — are all enchanting ideas. Afterall, who doesn’t want to star in their very own Hallmark Christmas movie?
Williams, Lawrence E., and John A. Bargh. “Experiencing Physical Warmth Promotes Interpersonal Warmth.” Science (New York, N.Y.). U.S. National Library of Medicine, 24 Oct. 2008. Web. 16 Mar. 2017.
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