With the clocks going back this weekend and the nights drawing in, cuffing season is well and truly upon us. It’s a well-known fact that when the colder months set in, we automatically look for comfort – from home cooked stews and casseroles to cosy nights in – and if you’re single, that search for comfort may lead you into the arms of a partner, but for all the wrong reasons.
Cuffing refers to the idea of getting ‘handcuffed’ or tied down to one partner during the colder months, even if usually an exclusive relationship is not on their cards. While there is the possibility that your autumnal date will go the distance, if you or your potential partner are only dating to fill the void, when the warmer months roll around it is likely to spell the end of your brief romance.
So, how can you tell if your new relationship is real or just for the season?
As with any dating scenario, there are signs to look out for to help you determine whether you’ve been ‘cuffed’, for example:
- Any future plans do not extend beyond the winter months
- You are contacted out of the blue in the run up to the holiday season and this is followed up by a sense of urgency to make it official
- Dates are rare or even non-existent and they seem to prefer to spend time cosied up at home, just the two of you
- The person is emotionally unavailable, lacking in deeper conversations or desire for emotional connection
- Their dating record is full of short relationships that only last during the winter months
How do you avoid falling into the trap of cuffing season?
Communication is key
Too often when it comes to relationships, one person is more invested in the relationship than the other and this can cause major problems during cuffing season – particularly when both parties are on different pages. Once you notice those tell-tale signs that you are falling for the other person, make sure to have the chat about where you see it going. If they admit that they are not looking for something serious then don’t assume that a short fling over winter will change their mind, because the chances are you will develop strong feelings and end up getting hurt.
Take it slow
One of the biggest tell-tale signs of cuffing season is someone’s haste to get tied down and make things exclusive. Don’t let the worry of spending the upcoming holiday season alone tint your outlook on how you feel about that person and where you see the relationship going. While having someone for the winter months may seem like a good thing in the short-term (after all who hasn’t had those thoughts that it would be better to be with someone than alone), coupling up with someone who just isn’t right for you for the sake of banishing loneliness is likely to land you in a messy situation further down the line.
Set healthy boundaries
If you have found yourself in an autumn romance and it’s showing the signs of a cuffing situationship, don’t panic! Many people struggle with setting healthy boundaries, but the only person you have to answer to is you. So, if you are not on board with a short-term fling, let them know. That way, you can focus your energy on finding the relationship that you are really looking for instead of wasting your time and feelings on something that is doomed from the start.
Rely on the support of those around you
Loneliness can be hard but starting a relationship so you don’t have to be alone is even harder. Make time for your friends and family and the activities that you enjoy to ease some of that loneliness and boredom and distract you from your single status. After all, how many times have you heard people say that they found love when they stopped looking for it?
If finding someone is still high on your radar, then why not enlist the help of the professionals? By joining a dating agency, you will have access to a dedicated matchmaker who will be there to support you every step of the way and work closely with you to find that person that you have been looking for. Taking the mystery and time wasting out of dating, you can be sure that those you are introduced to are looking for that long-term, committed relationship that you have in your heart.
If you are single and looking for a way to avoid the perils of cuffing season, then get in touch with our friendly team today, where are expert matchmakers are ready to help you find a loving relationship that lasts beyond the winter.