What Is Cuffing Season And What Are The Rules?

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What Is Cuffing Season
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There’s something about the holiday season. Even the most cynical and determinedly single of us are crying over Christmas movies and gazing wistfully at the mistletoe. If Christmas doesn’t come in winter where you live, you’re just gazing at your giant, fluffy blanket, wishing you had someone to share it with. That’s right, folks. It’s cuffing season!

So what is cuffing season? Yes, it’s a reference to handcuffs, but it doesn’t mean you actually need to use handcuffs (unless you’re into that). Cuffing season is when people actively start seeking out short-term partnerships to pass the colder months of the year. In other words, keep out the cold by bringing in some sexy heat. It ensures you don’t feel alone both physically and mentally while having a good time in the process.

When is cuffing season? Cuffing season in the U.S. begins in October and lasts till after Valentine’s Day. But it differs across geographical regions. Cuffing season in Australia, for instance, runs from March till September, since that’s when their winter comes. Are you nodding eagerly and leaning forward, all ready to be cuffed, but wondering how? Read on.

What Is The Meaning Of Cuffing Season?

The origin of cuffing season, like so much else, came from the internet, and also from a 2013 track called ‘Cuffin’ Season’ by the rapper Fabolous. Okay, but what is cuffing season? Urban Dictionary defines cuffing season as “During the fall and winter months, people who would normally rather be single or promiscuous find themselves along with the rest of the world desiring to be “cuffed” or tied down by a serious relationship.”

Since it’s usually in the colder months of the year, depending on where you are, cuffing season activities can include all kinds of fun, from winter sports to simply being cute and stealing your cuff-man’s hoodie. And of course, couples can warm each other up in more than one way (if you know what we mean).

Maybe you’ve just been pondering on breakups and loneliness. Maybe it’s been a while since you got physically intimate with someone and you just want some good sex. The importance of sex in relationships can never be overstated, which is why it’s always a good idea to get physically intimate with your partner from time to time.

However, the idea of getting into a relationship for some months can feel selfish to many, but there’s nothing wrong with it as long as both parties are consenting. All you need to make sure of is to maintain healthy boundaries and be respectful of each other’s preferences and expectations.

Fall and winter blues can strike all of us, and it’s never a bad idea to get yourself a cuff-buddy or a cuddle-buddy during such times. Especially with occasions such as Christmas, New Year’s, and Valentine’s Day constantly shoving happy couples in your face, why not bring your own cold-weather cutie to keep you warm?

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What’s The Cuffing Season Schedule?

There’s no hard and fast timeline here, but generally, couples hook up during the cuffing season based on an understanding that their relationship is only temporary. They get together before Thanksgiving in October and generally break up by February unless they fall deeply in love in those months and decide to stay together after Valentine’s day too.

Part of the reason behind this cuffing season schedule is, of course, the cold. You want to be in proximity to another person in the winter season because of the low temperatures, cuddle with them, or have sex. And cuffing fulfills that criteria perfectly. Also, winter is generally a gloomy time. And so we tend to feel more in need of human companionship. Cuffing helps in that aspect as well.

Of course, if you’re doing cuffing season in somewhere like Australia, you’ll be getting together during a chilly March wind, maybe around Easter, and fading things out in September. Once again, the cuffing season schedule is all about the cold weather, but the length of the feelings depends on you.

What Are The Rules Of The Cuffing Season?

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Like any other hook-up, cuffing season has its own set of rules too. This is because people tend to ”cuff up” with someone they’re not very compatible with. Besides, sexual attraction doesn’t always translate to social and mental compatibility which could give rise to many issues.

Alternatively, one of them can fall in love with the other which could lead to a depressing breakup. This is why cuffing season demands its own rules, and if you’re planning to look for a temporary partner to tie down in this cuffing season, you need to follow them too. It’s important to establish healthy relationship boundaries and know exactly what you’re both getting into.

Or, your cuffing relationship can easily get complicated. And depending on the severity of the situation, it can adversely affect either or both of you. If it’s a temporary relationship, you should be mindful of the cuffing season schedule and part ways at the right time. It’s important that you take care of each other’s expectations and proceed with care. So, wondering what are the rules of cuffing season? We went ahead and did some research for you.

1. Think wisely before cuffing someone

Yes, we know the weather is cold outside and this is meant to be a short-term thing anyway. But we do urge you not to mix cuffing season and exes. We cannot begin talking about cuffing season rules without bringing this up.

Though you may want to get back with your old flames, steer clear of them. They are exes for a reason after all. Trying to get back together, even just for a few months, isn’t going to bring anything fruitful for you. It might feel like a good idea at first, but it’s not. Try to remember all the reasons you two parted ways before, and think of why this time would be any different.

Make sure to also stay away from overly emotional people. Those with too many feelings are liable to get hurt if their heartfelt declarations of love aren’t returned. Cuffing season lasts for only a few months, so should your relationship with someone. Don’t treat cuffing season as an excuse to get together with someone you’ve always loved, even if you think you’re dying of loneliness.

Do not let the cuffing season and the couples around you overpower your thoughts to an extent that you end up choosing a toxic partner or someone with deep issues. The concept of cuffing season is light as a feather, so it is always better to be cautious about the person you plan to enjoy it with. Always keep in mind the long-term consequences before doing something. You don’t want to end up committing and then having to get rid of a fake relationship.

Related Reading: 8 tips to enjoy one-night stands and have amazing sex

2. Be honest with each other and set boundaries

The need to cuddle with someone could be so desperate that you might lie about your situation to someone. Don’t do that in any situation no matter how strong the urge! It is of utmost importance that you and your partner are completely honest about each other in terms of what you’re expecting this cuffing season, things you would do together, and when you will break up. Without setting up boundaries in advance, you’re headed for an eventual disaster.

Avoid promising a long-term relationship to someone just because you want to be cuffed to someone this season. The primary concern of cuffing season is that both parties should be aware that they are being cuffed. So, even if you’ve spent two weeks or more at Switzerland’s most romantic ski lodge, gazing into each other’s eyes, be clear about expectations. Things often seem wonderful during passionate times, but the reality is always harsher.

If you fall in love with your partner in the process, come clean to them. Break it off if they do not feel the same way about you. Leading someone on or holding on to a relationship that you know is not going to last, just for temporary companionship, can prove to be very hurtful to you or your partner. Breaking it up at an earlier stage would be doing the kinder thing instead of stretching it for no reason. Make your cuffing season full of snuggling and try to avoid any signs of dishonesty.

3. Be open about your holiday plans

One of the main reasons to participate in the cuffing season is to have companionship during the romantic festivals and holidays such as Thanksgiving, New Year’s, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day. However, if you have other plans for certain holidays, clear them with your cuff buddy beforehand. This is a very important cuffing season rule. You don’t want your partner to plan some fun activity for the festivals beforehand and get disheartened later.

Or maybe you could do some cuffing season activities with your cuff-buddy and then make other plans. For example, if you’re planning to exchange Christmas gifts with your folks, but would like to spend New Year’s drinking with your cuff buddy, let them know about it. While you shouldn’t prioritize your partner above everything else, you shouldn’t also keep them completely segregated from the rest of your life. Balance is crucial.

More often than not, people tend to make all their plans involving their cuff partners. This makes for some quality time with lots of fun and romance, the best way to enjoy the festive season. Make sure to be transparent about all your festival plans to avoid any disappointments and arguments. Just because it’s temporary doesn’t mean it has to be messy.

4. Steer clear of sincere attachments

Cuffing season rules are incomplete if we do not mention this to you. It’s easy to get carried away knowing that the person you find super sexy wants you to be their cuffing partner. But it would be best if you were careful. Cuffing season is temporary and it needs to be treated that way. Don’t get so attached to your buddy that you start expecting a long-term relationship. Don’t conjure up dreams that can never be fulfilled.

Related Reading: Ambivalent Attachment Style: How Does It Harm Your Relationship

Learn to pace yourself. Cuffing season is all about good food and good wine. You might have so much fun that you might start expecting that it’ll never end. The happiness hormone or oxytocin will most likely do that to you. When you cuddle or have sex with someone, your body releases this hormone in abundant amounts. Remind yourself of your purpose of tying someone down for a few months, and stick to that purpose. Your partner will likely leave once the spring rolls in.

Similarly, don’t post their pictures on social media. For one, they’ll leave after a few months, so flaunting your cuffing partner on your social profiles might not be the best idea. Second, there are good chances that you might get validation because of your partner. This can lead to you getting attached which will only create more issues.

If you easily get attached to people, then cuffing might not be for you. You don’t want to get attached to the wrong person and later have to get rid of a fake relationship that’s run its course. It’s better to get into a full-fledged relationship where your expectations would be met better. There is no point enjoying a couple of months only to be in intense pain when it ends, just because you got too attached or expected something more.

5. Avoid conversations about serious feelings

Sure, tying someone down for a few months is exactly like being in a relationship with them, but you need to avoid talking about serious feelings and conversations like ”where do you think this is going?”. People hibernate with their cuffing buddies to share the joy of holidays and cuddle in dropping temperatures, not to talk about their exes and what their future might be like together. You should remember that there’s a difference between a conventional relationship and a cuffing arrangement.

Cuffing season gives you a no-strings-attached relationship with lots of fun and sexy moments. Try and enjoy it to the fullest while it lasts, knowing fully well it will probably end once the days grow longer and warmer. Tell them how much you enjoy their company or how their presence is comforting to you. Keep the relationship fixed in the here and now. This helps you stay in the present moment.

Participate in this joy instead of being worried about falling for them or wanting to know your future with them. Enjoy the winters with your cuffing buddy and keep it to that!

6. Plan activities with your cuff buddy

It’s 10 in the night, and it’s freezing outside. You’re lying in the bed, snuggling up to your cuff partner. What do you do? There are going to be a lot of movies that you and your buddy haven’t watched. Binge all of them on Netflix and Amazon Prime along with several bowls of popcorn, hot chocolate, canoodling, and lots of making out. If you think each other’s company would be enough for the entirety of winter, you couldn’t be more wrong.

It’s better to have some common activities planned in advance with your partner than to wonder how to pass time at the last moment. If you’re looking at cuffing season and Covid, it is wise to keep the cuff party as small as possible. Just the two of you and a giant flat-screen TV in a log cabin somewhere in the Alps. What could be better!

Related Reading: 12 Clear Signs You Are Infatuated And Not In Love

7. Have a life outside of the cuffed relationship

A cuffed relationship is exactly like a real relationship, only temporary. Do not make your cuff partner your one and only. Give yourself the liberty to make plans without them. While it’s important to spend time with them, it’s also necessary to have healthy space and boundaries. Go out with your friends, do things alone, and spend time with your family. Don’t make the seasonal love the center of your existence.

You might want to be around them all the time because you probably will not see them again once winter ends, but you need to have a life outside the cuffed relationship too. Don’t forget your friends and other acquaintances in the heady rush of having a new cuffing partner. Sure, the romance is good and the sex is excellent, but you don’t want to lose out on those you can always rely upon. Don’t forsake the permanent for the temporary.

Even if that means spending New Year’s with a group of friends instead of your cuff buddy. Always keep your school, job, and goals within sight, for those will always be long-term goals – longer than the cuffed relationship. Maintain healthy communication at the same time with your partner too. You don’t want to hurt their feelings just to have some space for yourself.

Related Reading: After The One Night Stands, She Missed Being In Love

8. Cuff with protection and responsibility

Cuff with protection and responsibility
Cuff with protection and responsibility

Let’s face it, romantic dates and nestling aren’t all that you’re going to do all these months. It’s definitely going to lead to something. It’s cold anyway, and you’re going to have some very heated moments in the bedroom. Make the most of your time and energy *wink wink*, but do it with responsibility. Imagine having to call your cuff partner in 2 months to tell them you’re pregnant. Awkward, right? You really don’t want to let your seasonal love become the parent of your child too, do you?

As they say, better safe than sorry. Use protection at all times and make sure to not get too rash and hasty in matters of passion. Try not to cuff someone in a relationship unintentionally just because of some silly mistakes. Also, if you’re looking at cuffing season in Covid times, it’s a good idea to get tested before you indulge in any touchy-feely cuffing activities. Have an amazing and sexy time together, but always use protection and make love with responsibility.

9. Enjoy yourself thoroughly

Cuffing season is all about meeting someone new and enjoying the moment. The rules might make the relationship sound restrictive, but it is really not. In the end, what is going to matter is that you had fun with a new person. So just throw any seriousness out in the cold and enjoy your cuff relationship to the fullest. Go on dates, drink hot chocolate with your partner in bed, dance under the streetlight across the corner, and have as much fun as possible!

Sure, you might be falling in love, or maybe you’ll just experience an amazing seasonal love to remember forever. Either way, there’s no reason to overthink it or wonder if it’s worth it just because it’s not going to be a forever-after love story. Take it as something new and adventurous, don’t make it more seriously than it is, redefine love if you need to, and you’ll be just fine.

Remember, love comes in all kinds of shapes and forms. The primary thing is to feel good about it and about yourself. All that matters at the end of the day is that you are honest and enjoy yourself, be it through seasonal relationships or conventional ones.

How to survive cuffing season if you’re single?

Cuffing season can get really rough if you’re single through it all. However, there is really no reason to fret. Not every single person has a cuff buddy. You may feel a little lonely around the holidays, but you can sail through it with considerable ease if you appreciate the people and things in your life. Call your parents. Maybe give them a surprise visit. Hang out with your friends and spend the holidays with them. Or volunteer somewhere.

The most important thing is to recognize your self-worth and realize that the person you’re actually meant to be with is right around the corner. It is okay to not indulge in cuffing season or have seasonal relationships. Not every path is meant to be taken by everyone. Remember, indulging in self-love is always an option.

People tend to get confused between tying someone down for a temporary relationship and friends with benefits. It is important to note that whilst both the situations are on a temporary basis, cuffing and friends with benefits are not the same. Cuffing season is all about a proper relationship – with all the talking, sex, dates, and spending time together – whereas friends with benefits is only about sex, no other strings attached.

Related Reading: More Than Friends With Benefits But Not A Relationship And I Love It

It is one thing to cuff a person for a momentary relationship to avoid loneliness during the holidays, but if you’re suffering from constant loneliness and have signs of depression because of it, you need to make the first call to a therapist. The idea of cuffing season is to have fun and it should not be confused with being a cure for loneliness and depression.

To all those motivated to partner up this cuffing season, don’t forget the rules, and don’t forget to make the most of this chilly winter with lots of romance and cuddles. Have fun and be the source of fun and laughter for someone else too! Do share with us your experiences or views on the cuffing season in the comments section below.


1. Why is cuffing season a thing?

Winter can often be a lonely time for people with changing hormones and lowering temperatures. The gloomy weather can make anyone feel lonely. With cuffing, a person can settle down with someone temporarily during the winters. With this type of seasonal dating, you don’t have to worry about commitments or responsibilities. Have some fun during the winter months and separate around the spring season.

2. How long can someone pretend in a relationship?

It depends from person to person. If your partner trusts you blindly, you can keep pretending to be in love for a long time. For some, it might get difficult to keep up the appearances. The best thing is to not pretend to be in love with someone in the first place, or to be in a relationship for other gains.

3. How long is cuffing season?

The cuffing season usually lasts around the entire winter season up till the spring. The seasonal dating period lasts anywhere between 4 to 6 months. The months can vary depending on your geographical situation, but it takes place during winter everywhere.

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