As winter descends and gloomy, cold nights draw in, the search for a Christmas-time lover begins.
Sadly, cuffing isn’t a kinky new sex trend – although it does sound like one. Cuffing season is the term used to describe the period during autumn and winter months in which avid singletons find themselves seeking to be “cuffed” or “tied down” by a serious relationship.
It’s the one time of year when it is socially acceptable to persistently seek a stable, loving, relationship to help survive seasonal depression the winter.
With the icy winter months looming, the idea of staying in, with a warm person next to you all snuggled up starts becoming very appealing. In fact, Dating app Hinge found that men are 15% more likely to be actively looking for a relationship in winter then at any other time of year. Women were also 5% more likely to do the same.
It’s fine if both parties are looking for something short-term and can admit that they’re cuffed, but not so fine if you’re investing in someone who plans to split the second the snow melts.
What causes cuffing season?
“With the shortening days of autumn, melatonin elevates in the brain—making people more sluggish and eager to lounge at home, preferably with a sweetheart,” says Match.com’s chief scientific adviser, Dr. Helen Fisher, “Then testosterone rises in November triggering even more desire to snuggle with a lover. By then, ‘cuffing season’ is in full bloom.”
We’re instinctively want to nest in for the winter and also look ahead to the Christmas season, which is so centred around connection and togetherness.
Cuffing isn’t just another millennial dating term, though. It’s a common trend that’s been labelled “Seasonal Dating Disorder” (SDD).
Just like “ghosting” involves no supernatural apparitions; SDD is not a medically-recognised disorder, however, that doesn’t mean it is no less prevalent in society.
It’s particularly common in twenty-something daters, notes relationships psychologist, Madeleine Mason, “singles who display this type of dating pattern are unable to commit”
“They use summer fun and friends as an excuse for this pattern, but in reality it is because they are struggle to form lasting romantic bonds” she told The Independent.
However some singletons do “cuff” in the hope of landing a more permanent partner.
The holiday season is a great time for getting to know people, enjoying lots of mulled wine festive activities together, so you never know – if you get on really well, and both are looking for love then you may well be in for the long haul.
So whether it’s just for the winter months, or something more serious long-term, good luck in finding your cufflink…