“Cuffing season” is the time of year where people are more interested in coupling up with someone else. The time of year is specifically during the winter months which typically fall around October through March. Dating is such an important of life for many people, but why are people more interested in coupling up during the winter months? Interestingly enough, along with social and cultural pressures, there is some science to this phenomenon.
People are usually lonelier during the holidays. In the middle of the winter, there is several months’ worth of holidays. For most people, the holiday season is about spending time with family and friends. Whether you have people to spend time with or not, the holidays can be difficult if you are not in a relationship. While spending the holidays with loved ones can be enjoyable, some can still find it difficult if they do not have someone special to share their experiences with. It is possible to feel lonely amongst friends if you are flying solo. If you are not spending the holidays with anyone due to work, the inability to travel, or other reasons, spending the holidays alone can be difficult.
People want to have someone to tell others about. Cultural norms can inadvertently create pressure during the holiday season as well. With the Hallmark Channel cranking out movies about people falling in love under mistletoes and commercials telling you to buy their jewelry for that “special someone,” there are plenty of reminders everywhere about being in relationships. If you find yourself visiting family or friends you have not seen in a while, whether or not you are dating is a discussion that likely comes up during that time. Questions about who is dating who have become a normal part of today’s culture. Even social media can play a role in the pressure to couple up. People love to post about what they are doing and who they are with during the holidays.
People have more of desire to stay in due to cold weather. Researchers have found that this has an interesting impact on people. In colder months, people usually would rather stay indoors. It can give the appearance that there are less available people to date, so they may search more eagerly for someone to couple up with. Dating sites like Match have collected data that illustrates the increased interest in dating. Their site traffic increases during the winter months. Some researchers have also discussed the potential correlation between shorter days, high melatonin levels, and a desire to stay indoors. People are less interested in serial dating and more interested in staying in with someone else.
It may seem strange to some, but “cuffing season” has become a legitimate part of dating for single people. Whether it is the science part or the social part or a mixture of it all, there are plenty of factors that increase a person’s interest in coupling up with someone. While it is becoming a normal part of dating, it is important to understand this trend. If you are a person looking for a long-lasting relationship, it might be helpful to be cautious during “cuffing season.” Relationships that develop during this time of year can sometimes be treated like a fling. It can be helpful to understand you motivations as well as the motivations of the person you are interested in dating. Being aware of yourself and others can be vital as you navigate through “cuffing season.”
Michelle Overman is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist working as a counselor for students, faculty, and staff at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas. She works with athletes, bridging the gap between athletics and mental health at ACU. She is becoming a Certified Mental Performance Consultant in sports psychology. Michelle ran her own private practice in Austin, Texas where she worked with a diverse population, including couples and families. Michelle earned a Master’s in Marriage & Family Therapy and has been working in the field for 6 years.