• Selena Frongillo

'Tis the (Cuffing) Season

Updated: Jan 21


couple holding hands at a table

It's almost December, which means decking out our houses with holiday decorations, eating our body weight in baked goods, and binging Hallmark movies on repeat. Ho Ho Ho, holly & jolly, and all that other good stuff. But for those of you who don't know - it's also cuffing season.

If you're not a millennial or Gen Z-er, let me break this down for you. Cuffing season is the time of year (usually beginning around October and lasting through the new year) where those who are single become frantic to find a significant other. It's science - in the summer, we feel good about being alone (mostly). We're vacationing, beaching, soaking up the sun poolside - basking in all of that feel-good vitamin D and in no way shape or form feeling the pressures of needing a man (or woman). But once mid-fall hits, we are slapped in the face with the reality that we have to face our families for the holidays for - ANOTHER - year alone.

We all know how this goes. Aunt Barbara asks for the 18th time how it could be possible that you're still single. Grams asks if you've met anyone new lately and warns she's not getting any younger. Uncle John fist bumps you and praises your choice to steer clear of men on the count that he will kick any guy's ass.

We love going through this year after year, don't we? The nagging, the questioning, the people that make us feel as though we aren't good enough alone. And that is how cuffing season was born - we feel the need to have someone, even if it's just for these family gatherings.

But, if we're being honest, it's not just about our families. We want someone during this time of year because the holiday season encourages love and togetherness. I mean, we can only watch so many Hallmark movies before we admit that we want that cheesy gross movie kind of love we pretend to roll our eyes at. It's wired in us - we want a partner. And it's only emphasized in the winter when (in New England, at least) it is ice cold out, and you just want to stay in and snuggle up with someone.

But, if you thought landing a relationship before was hard, let's try in a pandemic…how the heck are we supposed to meet anyone, Aunt Barbara? I'm trying here, Grams! COVID has made those of us who are single turn more and more to dating apps and virtual dates. While this has allowed for "easier" dating, in a sense (not having to leave your house, choose an outfit, stress about who will pay, etc.), it is still extremely difficult to cultivate meaningful connections digitally.

So, yes, we'd love to cuff someone, tie them down, put a ring on it (okay, maybe not yet) - but, especially this year, there are many limiting factors. That's not to say you can't meet the love of your life on Hinge tomorrow, and have him/her meet Uncle John over zoom (probably in their best interest anyways), but with all things considered, we need to lower the pressure on ourselves.

Many of us are constantly on the hunt, always on the lookout, rarely appreciative of our present situation - even if that means we're alone. So this holiday season, maybe take a step back, put Aunt Barbara, Grams, and Uncle John in their place, and assure them that you're happy as hell all on your own. And even if you're not, (fake it 'til you make it) and remind yourself that life is ever-changing and you have no idea what's coming around the next corner.

So cuffed or not, happy holidays and enjoy this time with loved ones or - dare I say it - alone! Thanks for reading, and I'll see you in my next post!

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