5 Rules to Live By During Cuffing Season

Nov, 13, 2022

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Winds in the east, mist coming in, Like somethin’ is brewin’ and bout to begin. / Can’t put me finger on what lies in store, / But I fear what’s to happen all happened before.

Mary Poppins

It’s about that time of year. The days are shorter, the weather is colder, and all of a sudden, you have this overwhelming urge to stay at home, cuddle under a blanket, and watch a movie.

You try to make plans with your friends but notice that they all have plans with their new partners that seemingly appear out of nowhere.

And then it dawns on you. As the temperature drops, so have your plans, and you realize that cuffing season is upon us.

Without any warning besides a drop in temperature, the coldest and loneliness months of the year have come back to make us question our relationship status and fall wardrobe.

Cuffing season is here, and if you don’t want to spend the next few months alone, I suggest you keep reading.

And if you are currently cuffed, keep reading so you know what to expect from this winter fling.

Key-Take Aways

  1. Cuffing season relationships only last about 5 months
    • These types of relationships are more situation-ships than anything. They usually don’t live to see groundhog day together and come with a pending expiration date dependent on the sun returning.
  2. Don’t get pressured into a relationship.
    • Just because it’s getting colder outside and the idea of going to holiday parties alone terrifies you doesn’t mean you should get into a relationship with just anyone. You will most likely be hooking up/hanging out with this person for a few months, so make sure you enjoy their company.
  3. There is a biological reason.
    • According to social psychologist Justin Lehmiller, there is a legitimate biological reason why people get into relationships during the colder months. This is because, in the fall, our bodies produce higher testosterone levels and lower serotonin levels. To drive up serotonin, we seek companionship, also driven by our increase in testosterone. And this is how cuffing season came to be.
  4. If you want a cuff quick, they probably won’t meet all your standards.
    • Remember how I said that most cuffing season relationships don’t usually last past 5 months? Well, this can also be due to the fact that people typically settle for whoever comes along instead of holding out for the perfect match that they are more compatible with.
  5. Your relationship can look however you want.
    • There really is no blueprint for what your cuffing season relationship will look like. It can be an exclusive relationship where y’all go on dates and have sex, or it can be casual, and y’all never leave the house. It’s whatever works for you and your cuff. So set your expectations from the beginning.

What Is Cuffing Season?

So before we get to the commandments that you need to live by, let’s get on the same page. What exactly is cuffing season?

Well, “cuffing season” literally means to be handcuffed to someone for the fall and winter seasons.

People get into relationships when the weather gets colder so they don’t have to bear the cold nights alone.

These types of relationships are short-lived and end in the spring. They can be exclusive relationships or not.

Depends on the boundaries y’all decide to set.

The Cuffing Season Schedule

Now, yes, there is a schedule, but don’t freak out! It’s not too late to be cuffed for the season.

insert cuffing season schedule

Remember, this is just a guideline, so don’t stress!

Rule #1: Get Clear About Your Expectations

Remember that you are not looking for something long-term. This is not meant to be your forever relationship, but if it turns into that, great!

Just don’t go into this type of relationship with the mentality that this is your forever partner.

Before looking at your prospects for cuffing season, get clear about what you are looking for.

Are you looking for an emotional connection, or do you just want a cuddle buddy?

What do you want the relationship to look like? Nights at home or cute activities that you can brag about on Instagram?

Do you expect good morning texts or planned dates? Or do you want it to be casual?

Moreover, get clear about how intimate you want to get with this person.

Do you want to keep it light, or do you want to know about the childhood trauma that led them to where they are now?

Once you are clear about what you want out of the relationship, then you can look at your prospects.

Doing this allows you to set…

Related Article: 9 Online Dating Safety Tips You Need to Know!

Rule #2: Boundaries, Boundaries, Boundaries

Now, this may seem exactly like the rule above but trust me, it’s not.

They go hand and hand. Once you know what you want and expect from someone, you can set boundaries.

Y’all will need to figure out what the line is between causal and serious.

cuffing season boundaries
Define the line in the relationship. Is this too intimate?

Do you want to meet each other families?

Have candle-lit dinners or have them bring you flowers?

Or will causal hang-outs and nightly hookups meet your expectations?

How long do you want the relationship to last, and do you want to put an expiration date/review date on it?

Setting your boundaries from the beginning will not only take the pressure off the relationship but prevent unrealistic expectations from being set.

Y’all will both be on the same page, and there should be no hurt feelings because, ideally, you stated what you want from them.

And when the time comes to part, it will be amicable.

Rule #3: Keep Some Standards

Please, please, please don’t rush into a relationship just because you are lonely and see everyone else coupled up.

I know it sucks, but having bad company sucks way worse.

And while your cuff won’t be your dream person and shouldn’t be, keep some standards.

Don’t throw the whole list away because it’s cold outside.

If anything, get a weighted blanket and a squishmallow. They will definitely make you feel warm and comfy.

So keep some important standards because you will have to be around this person for a few months.

Think about the most essential standards on your regular list and choose the key ones.

This could include the fact that they are funny, sociable, and respectful.

They don’t have to have much in common with you or even like the same things as you but make sure you enjoy their company.

Or at least find them attractive if y’all just want to keep the relationship contained by the four walls you call your bedroom.

Break Up GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
Be like Snooki

Rule #4: Don’t Catch Feelings

While cuffing season relationships can last past the winter blues, they usually don’t.

When searching for your cuff, remember that the connection will be more physical than anything.

cuffing season feelings
It’s easy to fall in love. Beware!

The point of cuffing season is not to spend the winter nights alone and combat the winter blues, not to find your life partner.

So keep your feelings in check.

The way you can do this is by:

  1. Revisiting expectations and boundaries. Did they state that they are not looking for a long-term relationship? If so, take that to heart, and don’t let your mind think about the what if’s.
  2. Don’t follow them on social media. Keep y’all lives separate. You don’t need to know everything about them.
  3. Watch out for the deep talks. While you and your cuddle buddy will spend long hours in bed, don’t fall into the trap of deep talks. That’s how you fall in love despite them not meeting your standards.

Now if you do find yourself falling for them, I want you to take a step back from the relationship and ask yourself if you are okay with this.

Are you okay with the fact that there is an inevitable ending where you’re heart will be broken?

Don’t hold on to the “what if” of them changing their mind.

You can also talk to your cuff and see where they stand.

Maybe they are falling for you, too, but don’t get your hopes up.

Related Article: Confessions of A Closet Romantic

Rule #5: Have A Safe Sex Strategy

Whether your cuff is just a regular hookup or an actual instagrammable relationship, you need to protect yourself.

We talked about protecting yourself emotionally, but now let’s talk about protecting yourself sexually.

You need to develop a Safe Sex Strategy whether your cuff is exclusive or hooking up with others.

Now, what is a Safe Sex Strategy?

It is a plan that you create that helps protect you from catching STDs or getting pregnant and ensures your sexual health.

So don’t rely on someone else to bring the condoms; bring your own.

Get tested regularly, and if you can get pregnant, get on birth control or religiously track your period.

Be on top of your sexual health!

The last thing you want is a baby under the Christmas tree and a forever bond with someone you can only stand to be around for a certain amount of hours.

Furthermore, where you can establish if this is an open or exclusive relationship comes in handy.

Related Article: What Is A Safe Sex Strategy & Why You Need One!

Snuggle Up!

Whether with a weighted blanket, plushie, or a cuddle buddy, it’s time to snuggle up!

The holiday season is amazing, and you deserve to enjoy it, whether with someone or not!

Remember, cuffing season is supposed to be fun, so if you find someone you want to be cuffed to for the next 5 months, let them know.

Communicate openly and establish your boundaries so y’all can have maximum fun!

Are you going to find someone this season?

Lonely Comedy GIF by CBS - Find & Share on GIPHY
It’s a great alternative to being heartbroken because you didn’t follow my rules.


  1. Cosmopolitan| What the Hell Is Cuffing Season?
  2. MindBodyGreen| Is Cuffing Season A Real Thing? 5 Things Experts Want You To Know?
  3. Women’s Health| What Is Cuffing Season & When Does It Start?
  4. Love Successfully| The Bae-sics of Cuffing Season
  5. Esquire| You’re Not Going to Die Alone. It’s Just Cuffing Season


Hi, I am Mia! I am Sex Education Enthusiast and I love bringing people the knowledge they need to make their sex lives better! I always preach that having a healthy sex life is a part of a healthy life overall.

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