Cuffing Season Is Well Underway—So What Is It?

by Quinn Sluzenski ’18

Seriously, what is cuffing season? I hope I’m not the only person who only heard of it this year… Don’t tell me if I’m the only one who was out of the loop.

Assuming I’m not actually the last person in the world to learn about this, here’s an explanation. If the words “cuffing season” makes you think of handcuffs, you’re… actually not wrong. It’s the word for the need people have to “cuff” themselves to a partner when it gets cold. If you think about it, it makes perfect sense—who wants to not have an answer to “so, are you seeing anyone?” at family dinner, or have to walk past the seemingly infinite number of heart-themed decorations on Valentine’s Day only to grumpily drink coffee by yourself? Plus, it’s cold. Cuddle partners during the winter are practically a human right.

But wait, there’s more: a phenomenon known as the “turkey drop.” It’s not a new Thanksgiving dinner trend; it’s the pattern of long-distance high school relationships coming to an end around Thanksgiving. Couples tearfully say goodbye when leaving for college, swearing to stay together forever, and then experience something different from their hometowns for the first time in their life and have a change of heart. In order not to be too mean, they wait until the first trip home to break the news to their high school sweethearts, leading to a drop-off of relationships right around Thanksgiving.

So…now that we’ve explored the possible situations, how do we navigate these most tumultuous of romantic times?

Option 1: Cuff somebody, stat
Statistically speaking, people have lower standards this time of year. Put “not interested in hook-ups” in your Tinder bio and start reeling in some long-term fish (at least until after Valentine’s Day).

Option 2: Stay with your long-distance bae
Opt out of both traditions and stay loyal to your high school sweetheart. You’d still be cold, but they’ll be around for the holidays and probably at least send you some chocolate for V-Day.

Option 3: Nope out of there
Cuffing season is also flu season, after all. Reject social conventions and stay alone because who needs a partner anyway?

Option 4: Continue existing as usual
Or, you could just ignore the societal construct that we should all have romantic partners and continue working/dating/hanging with friends/engaging in competitive cereal eating or whatever else you were doing before you started thinking about cuffing season. Almost forgot this was an option, to be honest.

All jokes aside, there are no wrong ways to play out your romantic life this winter. Whether you are looking for a serious partner, would like some casual dates, or just want some alone time, you do you!

(It’s still flu season though. Health first, everyone.)

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