NYC Dating: A guide to Cuffing Season

NYC Dating: A guide to Cuffing Season

Summer is over and we all need to pull our turtlenecks over our heads.

Cuffing season is on.
Cuffing season is on. Photo Credit: Getty Images; El Museo del Barrio; Nina Duncan

Summer is over and we all need to pull our turtlenecks over our heads and accept that the superior season is upon us. I’m of course talking about fall, but there’s another season that we need to talk about, Cuffing Season.

Admittedly, I only first heard of cuffing season a month ago. My initial reaction was wondering whether this was a kinky sort of thing. You know, something that I should avoid typing into Google while at work.

So, in the comfort of my own home I turned to our trustworthy sources at Urban Dictionary who define cuffing season as the months during fall and winter when people who would normally rather be single or promiscuous find themselves wanting to be “cuffed” or tied down by a serious relationship.

The basic concept makes sense to me. As you already know, I’m a fan of  summer flings, so it only seems natural to settle down for a bit after three months of “promiscuous” behavior. A girl can only make out with so many guys on a Brooklyn stoop at 3 a.m. for so long!*

Even so, I knew there must be a downside to participatingin cuffing season because nothing can be entirely good, she thought to herself somberly while looking out the rain soaked bus window.

Anyway, I decided to channel my inner Rory Gilmore and make a pro-con list focused on partaking in the season we call cuffing.


Pro: Your dating activity will see a much-needed uptick

The “much-needed” part was selfishly directed right at myself. In the weeks leading up to November some guys will wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat as they come to the realization that they don’t want to spend the holiday months alone. As a result, they’ll begin to put forth a conscious effort to find that special someone. That means, lucky for you, your social calendar just got a bit more exciting. Unless it was already fun and exciting, then good for you, I guess.


Con: Your past will suddenly creep up on you 

Emphasis on creep. Along with the perfectly nice gentlemen asking you to dinner you might also receive a few of those, “Hey there, long time no talk :)” texts from ghosts of dating past. My advice, approach with extreme caution. Not matter the time of year, getting a text like, “Hey stranger,” from an ex is cause for suspicious, but even more so during cuffing season.


Pro: Your heating bill will thank you

Forget spending $49.99 on a heating blanket that will most likely short circuit and set your apartment on fire. Your new S/O will be your personal space heater during those unbearably cold nights. And yes, heat can mean sex too. We’re all adults here.

Con: Heating blankets are actually amazing

You should still buy one. 


Pro: Finally appease your family  

Holidays are best spent with family except when your family won’t stop asking (read: interrogating) why you haven’t settled down. A S/O during these upcoming months is your answer to avoiding those pestering questions during Christmas dinner. And maybe, just maybe, it will also be the proof you need to prove to your family once and for all that you are capable of being in a committed and healthy relationship.


Con:pFamily interrogations – Part II

Surprise! The interrogating will never end. Questions about why you’re not in a relationship will be replaced by even more questions that pry into your love life. Even worse, these much too personal questions will be hurdled at you while you’re trying to enjoy an oven roasted turkey and cranberry sauce.

What’s he like? Where did you meet? How much does he make? Are you two…uh, being safe? Is this a seriously thing? When can we meet him? Have you heard of Tinder? Why didn’t you invite him to Christmas dinner? What’s wrong with him? There’s something wrong with him, isn’t there? Kelly, when’s the last time you got a haircut?


Pro: Couples Halloween costumes!!

Con: Couples Halloween Costumes.


If you choose to settle down during this so-called cuffing season, treat it like a real relationship and not as just another item on your to-do list that you feel obligated to check off.


Take winter coats out of storage – check.
Buy new boots – check.
Lock down a girlfriend – check.
Consume something pumpkin spiced – check.
Be completely devoid of compassion and instead turn into utter scum – check and check!


* There’s actually no limit to how many guys a girl can make out with on a Brooklyn stoop at 3 a.m.  

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