For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about when I say cuffing season, it's basically the season during the fall and winter months where people find themselves wanting to be in a relationship or "cuffed" to someone else.
This happens half because it's so cold and you really just want to be close to the heat of another person and half because people are generally more lonely during the winter months and having a new bae can help with that.
This season usually runs from October-March and have very different rules than the usual relationship. These are some very clear Do's and Don'ts to get you through this cuffing season in one piece.
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Don't: Hold Onto Your Summer Fling
A summer fling is meant to be someone fun and crazy that you might not normally date during the rest of the year. It could be a crazy partier, someone super adventurous, or a cheesy romantic type. Whatever kind of person they are, they should remain your fun, carefree summer fling because you'll be looking for something much different come fall/winter.
Do: Pick Someone That Compliments You
Once the winter season rolls around, everyone is in hibernation mode. This means that you're going to want to get cozy, watch loads of Netflix, sports or whatever it is that you watch to make it through those harsh, cold months. If you're picking a partner for cuffing season you should make sure their TV preferences compliment yours!
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Don't: Get Attached
Tons of scientific studies have proven that cuddling releases the 'happiness hormone' oxytocin. Once this hormone is released we continue to do the thing that causes it to be released because well, it feels good and makes us happy. But you have to remember that cuffing season is usually temporary. It's pretty likely that once spring time rolls around your cuff buddy will be in the wind.
Do: Be Available
Being attentive is super important during cuffing season. There's no reason to play games and act 'unavailable' all the time. When they text you, answer! You should be available to hang out with your cuff buddy at least once per week if you want to keep them around until March.
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Don't: Post Pictures Of Them On Social Media
Sure, you've been hanging out together and doing cute, fun things every week but unless you've both discussed it and want to be on each other's social media, you probably shouldn't be adding couple pics just yet. Again, remember that this relationship is most likely going to end come spring so flaunting it might not be the best idea.
Do: Pace Yourself
Watching movies, cuddling and eating good meals together can get super addictive. But remembering to pace yourself is really important because you don't want to start thinking about a future with someone that isn't thinking the same about you. You'll end up trying to force a relationship that just won't work, so instead just enjoy the time you have together!
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Don't: Assume You're On The Same Page
You may be having tons of fun together come holiday season, but don't assume you'll be invited to any family gatherings. It's important to talk about your plans for big holidays during cuffing season like Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, etc. to make sure you're both on the same page. If one assumes that they'll be spending special holiday time together and the other doesn't, there could be big problems.
Do: Be Honest About Your Feelings
It's probably a good idea to have a talk after the 2 month mark of your cuffing relationship. It's good to communicate consistently, but 2 months is usually the time when couples can tell if feelings are developing or not. If the feelings aren't mutual it's probably a good idea to break it off now before someone gets hurt.
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Don't: Get Too Wrapped Up In The Relationship
It can be super easy to let a new romance take over your entire life. But it's important to remember that after the relationship ends, whatever you've been putting off like focusing on school, your job or your friendships, are still going to be there. Don't lose sight of your goals and plans just because you found a cuff buddy.
Do: Plan Cute Romantic Winter Dates Together
There are tons of adorable winter dates to choose from, like tobogganing, skating under twinkly lights, drinking hot cocoa in a blizzard, going on a ski getaway and so much more! Take advantage of having a new bae to do all these fun activities with.
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Don't: Start Up A Relationship If You're Not Ready
Maybe you've just gotten out of a relationship or you have a naturally trusting personality, it's always good to take a minute to make sure you're ready to take on another person's emotions before you jump right into a relationship. Even if cuffing season is meant to be casual and fun, we all know relationships aren't usually as simple as that.
Do: Get A Netflix Account
Most people have a Netflix account these days, but if you don't your 100% going to need one for cuffing season. Most winter nights will be spent indoors, streaming your next binge-worthy Netflix series, featuring bae and all the snacks.
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Don't: Talk About Serious Feelings
It's definitely a good idea to talk about your boundaries and if either of you are developing feelings, but past that you should avoid talking about serious emotions. Don't cuddle up with bae and get into how terrible your last relationship ended but how about you are now with them. Talking like this won't help the relationship end smoothly in the spring.
Do: Cuff Responsibly
Cuddling up with bae on those long winter nights is obviously going to lead to some sexy times, but as we all know, if you're having sex you need to be responsible. Do everything you can to stay safe so you don't end up in an awkward position at the end.
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Don't: Text Your Ex If You Can't Find Anyone
If you've been looking for a cuff buddy but can't seem to find someone suitable, DON'T text your ex under any circumstances! Exes are exes for a reason and no good can come from you two trying it one more time.
Do: Open Yourself Up To Someone New
If you swiped right with a Tinder/Bumble match and actually enjoyed your first date, start the cuffing process! If you know that there's no way this guy could be 'the one' then there's no pressure to have a little fun with a brand new guy this winter.
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Don't: Get So Attached You Lose Touch With Your Friends
It's really common for girls to start new relationships and get lost in the romance and fun of having someone new in their lives that they kind of forget about their BFFs. Don't do this during cuffing season!! You know that this relationship is going to end come spring and when it does you'll have pushed away all your friends and have no one left to hang out with. Keep your friends close because they're the ones that will last forever.
Do: Be Prepared To Put In Some Work
Cuffing season isn't all Netflix and chilling, so be prepared to actually put some effort in. It's more than just a booty call so take them out for dinner, on romantic winter dates, surprise them with their favourite chocolates and just be generally awesome and they'll stick around for the entire season.
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Don't: Go All Out For A Christmas Present
If you decided to participate in cuffing season, once the holidays roll around you'll reach that awkward moment where you question what you'll have to get them for a gift. If you do decide to get them a gift, make sure it's something small, inexpensive and don't put too much thought into it.
Do: Enjoy Yourself!
At the end of the day (or the cuffing season) what really matters is that you met someone new and had a ton of fun with them. Don't take the relationship too seriously and you'll accomplish this no problem!