If you’re in a relationship, or live in some annoying paradise where it’s always summer, you may not be familiar with “cuffing season,” the hot new trend from four or five years ago in which singles are pressured into metaphorically handcuffing — “cuffing” — themselves to another desperate single during the long winter months.
This is more of a temporary contract than an actual relationship; a cuddle pact of convenience that ends the minute spring begins. When two people agree to spend the winter together in a cuffing arrangement, they are basically agreeing to three things: 1) sharing warmth, 2) hanging out in ugly-but-comfortable clothes without harshly judging each other’s carb-heavy eating habits, terrible binge-watching tastes, or breath, and 3) heavy petting, occasionally (second base, at the very least).
The people you date during “cuffing season” aren’t Mr. or Mrs. Right. They’re more like Mr. or Mrs. Good Enough. Personally, I think “cuffing season” should just be called “snowgoggling.”
It’s like the movie, The Shining, only instead of a family being driven mad by ghosts during a blizzard, it’s two lonely people in sweatpants being driven mad by too much Netflix during a blizzard.
And once autumn hits, for the past four or five years, the internet reliably grinds out dozens of articles with headlines like “It’s Not Too Late to Get A Date For Cuffing Season” or “How To Find A Partner For Cuffing Season” or “If You Can’t Find Someone, Anyone, To Hang Out With You During The Entire Winter, You Are A Loser.” Sometimes the internet is the most important communication system in human history and sometimes it’s just a goblin that climbs on your back and whispers, “You’re not good enough.”
Yeah, you’re good enough.
So I’m going to go ahead and cancel “cuffing season.” As an internet hack writer, I’m automatically granted that authority.
If you don’t have anyone to “cuff” with, don’t worry about it. I don’t think you should settle for settling down with a fellow non-attached humanoid just because no one will let a four- or five-year-old trend die. Uncuff yourself from manipulative clickbait articles demanding you hook up with that friend of a friend who, your friend says, is “not bad.” Instead, embrace this slightly less manipulative clickbait article you’re reading that just wants you to be happy. I won’t stop anybody from crediting me with inventing “uncuffing season.” There are worst things than being single when it’s freezing outside — and being trapped with someone you only kind of, sort of, like is one of those things.
Being “single” does not mean “I am worthless.” Don’t fall for that claptrap. (When I get worked up I use words that a 19th-century English banker might use to discuss the empire’s fortunes.) “Single” means “I am a mighty warrior who enjoys affordable leisurewear.” The constant, frantic swiping would stop, briefly, if every single person realized there is a difference between loneliness and solitude. Solitude is a party for one very important person. It’s knowing that home is where the heart is. And your single beating heart is home.
There are also practical reasons not to share your personal cabin fever with someone you wouldn’t share a summertime hammock with. Being “uncuffed” means more meatloaf for you.
— Oh, I got ahead of myself! The best thing to make during a snowstorm is meatloaf, unless you’re vegan. If you’re vegan, roast a metric sh*t ton of potatoes. Then stream all of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. —
Remember that human touch is overrated unless the human touching you is the human you really, really, really want touching you.
For those of us who aren’t single, the winter is about one thing, and one thing only, and that’s suffering. The brutal cold, the cruel winds, the dry skin. And I like to suffer alone. I am sure this is an opinion 100 percent of people reading this will agree with. I am good at suffering.
Yes, I am in a relationship. Yes, we share a blanket on the couch while being alone, together. Enjoying solitude with another person is the true secret to a successful relationship. We don’t even really care when the other showers. Gross? Yes. But it’s how we make things work. Two glittering parties of one linked by a rope bridge. And, then, every so often, I turn to her and complain about how I’m suffering and she complains back. And that, friends, is bliss. And, so, my partner and I will be spending this winter gently ignoring each other because we are each other’s humans.
Enjoy the deep freeze, single people. Swipe if you must. Conditionally cohabitate if you feel like it. Cuff or uncuff. Be happy. Just know that second base is best during the springtime, when love blooms.