Hello and welcome back!!
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I have to talk about the idea of “cuffing” someone. Mostly because it is such an outrageous way to define a relationship and it’s become so popular and so widely used over the years that the entire winter season has also come to be known as “cuffing season”.
Cuffing Season is the time of year when people couple off to combat the cold and loneliness. When parsed down, it is simply a social construct, partly manufactured from holiday stress and partly biological, that pushes single people into relationships for the winter months.Esquire.com
I had hoped that this concept would have died down a few years ago, but it’s started to gain momentum again and I have to say no, just no.
I remember when I first heard of cuffing season, it had to be sometime in 2011 or 2012 when I was still in college. There seemed to be a frenzy beginning in October where everyone would get into relationships, and I mean really intense relationships and they would go strong for months and then right after Valentine’s Day, it would all disappear. I watched as my girlfriends proudly proclaimed “It’s #cuffingseason!” and were eventually left heartbroken and bitter come March 1st.
Back then “Cuffing” to me sounded a lot like “talking” and “kicking it” which translated to uncertainty. Why would anyone want to be handcuffed to another person? While I was in a relationship for 5 years, I must have missed the transition when romance dissolved from courting with an intention for more to confusing equivalences of “I’m not sure what we are, but we’re having sex!”
I felt like it was more than that, I could be wrong, but I feel like people in my generation are terrified of rejection and of getting emotionally hurt by unrequited love and more often than not, this fear of not getting your heart broken, devises the pain of a broken heart and a longing for a relationship that never was.
Cuffing Season seems to be an extended version of Netflix and Chill. During the colder months, people already feel more or less depressed. It’s cold, the weather is awful, the sun has all but disappeared and because the winter lines up directly into Valentine’s Day, people who aren’t in relationships feel lonely and have a very primal need to couple up. I can understand the need for warmth, and what is better than cuddling up to someone you really like to share intimacy and body heat with?
My concerns arise when the mad dash to not be alone on Valentine’s Day creates a fantasized whirlwind romance and then once they’ve survived the overly hyped up season of love, they snap back to reality and realize that they are not at all interested in monogamy and would instead prefer to enjoy the warm, fun, and sexy summer months without being “cuffed” to the old ball and chain.
The entire approach seems misleading and not to mention unhealthy. Cuffing season, much like kicking it, hanging out, talking, and all of the other verbs used to describe a relationship cause nothing but confusion for one or both parties involved.
When my girlfriends suddenly found themselves single after spending Valentine’s together, they were utterly confused. They believed that the relationship was going somewhere but soon came to the realization that because they had never had an honest conversation with their significant other about what they wanted from one another, they fell too deeply and caught feelings that ultimately weren’t shared by the other person.
I personally think that how we view relationships needs to change. There needs to be more honesty, more directness about what the expectations are and also more vulnerability to enable us to have those conversations. It is that openness that makes being in a healthy relationship so beautiful!
Of course, not all relationships that begin in October abruptly end in March. I just think that people who are less disposed to wanting a committed relationship in July and August starts to feel the pressure of Valentine’s Day and aren’t always honest about their intentions when getting into relationships. This desire to not feel lonely can lead to regret, mistrust and a continued lack of vulnerability, and the cycle continues. I think we owe it to ourselves to break out of this confusing and painful cycle.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who has a feeling on this romantic phenomenon, I would love to hear your thoughts! Do you agree or disagree? Let me know in a comment below!