Cuffing season is upon us and is why winter is the worst time to start dating

Winter is coming

Cuffing season
(Image credit: Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock)

Winter is coming

So, let us start by saying that no, 'cuffing' isn't some kinky BDSM move that involves handcuffs, or even shirt cuffs. Cuffing season is a term which was coined in 2011 to describe the cold months of the year when commitment-phobes and the usually-single among us decide they're ready to be tied down... but only for the drab period of autumn and winter.

Online dating app Hinge found that 15% of men and 5% of women are more likely to be swiping away on Tinder on the hunt for love around wintertime. Yes, apparently when the weather's cold and you're too cheap to crank up the heating to a comfortable degree, it's much easier to cosy up to someone on the sofa who will then be your big spoon in bed. At this point, it's economical.

But it can be an even more confusing time to date than ever because 'cuffers' (those doing the cuffing) come across as completely legit. They'll hold your hand across the dinner table while gazing lovingly into your eyes. They'll kiss your forehead in that I'm-completely-besotted-with-you kind of way and they might even bring you to their festive parties because a plus-one never hurts. But sometimes, this is all part of a play. A giant ruse. A deception, if you will. This is 'cuffing season'.

And let's talk about the fact that no one really wants to go out in winter. It's cold, it's wet, it's windy and all we want to do is Netflix and chill. There really isn't a better time to be in a relationship and people's dating habits reflect that because, to put it bluntly, it's a lot easier and more convenient to invest in dating during this time.

It's not all unromantic, though. Just because someone is more likely to look for a partner during the colder months, that doesn't necessarily mean that they just want you for that time period (which is from November to March, just FYI, though if you want a head start in finding your cuffing partner, the pre-season search begins in September.) Your new-found love could still outlast the season.

So, to survive it, you need to be aware of it, especially when exes are involved. Yes, you know the ones who suddenly come out of hiding and spontaneously suggest a catch-up? They're probably not still vying for the relationship that once was. They're probably just cold and lonely.

Even though the term 'cuffing season' was only officially coined several years ago, it's been happening for generations. (It's why so many people have end of year birthdays, you see.)

So if you do meet someone new in the colder months, it's always worth considering whether you're a long term option... or just a handy bed warmer.

Another day, another upbeat dating trend - you're welcome!

Delphine Chui