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Holiday Romance Brings Out Cuffing Season

You may have dismissed it as being a made-up idea, but cuffing season is real and often begins in November. Just when you thought you’d stay home by the fire and enjoy your pumpkin-spiced latte, you get a text from someone who seems to really be into you. But is it sincere, or are they looking for a temporary relationship during the holidays?

Cuffing season is a time when people who enjoy being single suddenly desire a serious relationship. Normally, you may be content being single but during the holidays, it seems romantic and cozy to watch Christmas movies and sit in front of a crackling fire with someone special. Experts believe that with the time change and colder weather it becomes more important to people to connect with others. Longer, darker nights get lonely and having someone to take home to meet friends and families becomes more appealing. In a recent survey, more than 46 percent of respondents said the holidays are the most romantic time of the year.

If the pattern continues, you can expect more attention from prospective daters beginning in November before Thanksgiving and ending after Valentine’s Day. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying this time and creating a relationship, unless you mistake a temporary “cuffing” with the real thing. Below are signs that your new date is looking for a temporary relationship and will be gone after Valentine’s Day.

  1. Your cuffing dates are socially and emotionally intense. If your date suddenly wants to spend every moment with you from errands to daily dates, this could be a red flag. Always beware of someone who takes a relationship from zero to 60 in a day.

  2. Your phone buzzes 24/ 7 but only around the holidays. Cuffers are focused on the holidays because they feel a sense of desperation and don’t want to be alone on the holiday. Their communication heightens the week before the holiday, party, or event they are attending with you.

  3. Cuffing is more attractive to daters suffering from family pressure. Family pressure can make single people feel inept. It minimizes the pressure if they can find a suitable person to be with and support them with their family. Meeting the family is an important topic for couples to talk about prior to spending the holidays with family. Partners get hurt and feel betrayed if you mislead them to think the reason you want them to meet your parents is because you are in a committed relationship.

  4. Cuffers make great plans and suggest great dates but are limited in their relationship vision in the spring. Be aware if your date is focused on short term plans only. Cuffers are looking for someone to spend the holidays with and diffuse loneliness and family stress of the holidays. They are not looking for a stable, long-term committed relationship.

  5. You don’t feel secure in the relationship. A temporary relationship doesn’t make you feel secure. This sense of insecurity can begin eroding your self-worth, leaving you feeling less confident. Sometimes, even when we know a relationship is temporary, we create fantasies around it, making it seem like it’s more real than it is. It can leave you feeling resentful and bitter; if you begin feeling that way it’s important you take care of you and end the relationship.

Cuffing is an innocent dating pattern of finding someone to spend the holidays with, and it works if both partners agree. But if you want something different than your partner, it’s important you advocate for yourself. You don’t have to settle for someone else’s intentions or inability to commit, but you do have to know yourself, what you want. Walk away if cuffing season leaves you feeling as though you’re merely someone’s holiday muse. -Mary Jo Rapini


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