When the sun sets at 4 p.m. and you can't even run to grab your mail without wearing nine layers — it can be hard to keep it #goodvibesonly in the peak of winter, even if your New Year's Resolution was to have a positive attitude. If you can sense a pretty notable difference in your mood, activity level, or even appetite in the in winter, it's natural to wonder, how does cold weather affect your love life? From wanting to go out less to never wanting to take your sweats off, there are many signs the cold may be affecting your love life, regardless of your romantic status.
"Each year during the winter season millions of Americans experience the winter blues or winter “blahs" — feelings of irritability, sadness, lack of energy, lack of motivation and general feeling of slowness, Dr. Joshua Klapow, Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist and Host of 'The Kurre and Klapow Show,' tells Elite Daily. "They can have a significant impact on your love life, your libido, your overall desire to be intimate physically as well as emotionally."
According to Dr. Klapow and other experts, the winter blues can hit singles and couples a like, and can come in many forms.
The lack of sunlight can get you down.
"When it gets dark and dreary out, some people are more susceptible to feeling lonely," Silva says. "It is mostly due to the biological effects of a lack of sunlight." Silva suggests Vitamin D. "Lack of sunlight results in the body requiring some Vitamin D and studies have shown that a deficiency or insufficiency can impair mood and life outlook," Silva says. "You can get Vitamin D through light therapy, outdoors, a supplement, or through eating Vitamin D rich foods."
If you're feeling too tired to have date night with your longtime boo, or too sleepy to check out '90s night with a Tinder date, you may be seriously missing the sun. If you're feeling down and lonely and it's too cold to be outside, try having a Piña colada night with your date or watching both Fyre documentaries in a row to bring the sunshine to your door.
Hibernation mode may make date nights a little dull.
Spending a night in with boo can be an intimate and cozy way to connect. But if you've starting feeling a little restless with every night being movie night, the cold weather may be to blame.
"It is important to recognize when a cozy routine becomes a rut," Shula Melamed, MA, MPH, and well-being coach tells Elite Daily. "You might settle for a less than thrilling relationship because you want to be snuggled down during 'cuffing season.’"
If you're feeling like staying in is making your love life a little less exciting than you like it to be, Melamed suggests finding ways to make staying in sexy, like listening to records, having candlelit dinners, trying new things in the bedroom, or talking about things you don't usually get to.
You can start to feel lonely even when you're not alone.
Dr. Klapow attests that winter time can make you feel lonely, even when you're not alone.
"For much the prevailing desire is to do nothing, not engage, not expend too much energy. It can mean watching Netflix with a loved one vs. going hiking — but it can also mean not feeling like being with a loved one and wanting to watch Netflix alone," Dr. Klapow says.
Even if you have a boo, the cold weather can make you feel isolated or less excited to be with people. Dr. Klapow encourages readers to be checking in with their sleep, metabolism, and making sure they're getting outside time whenever they can.
"Engaging in activities that are more activating (i.e. Exercise, outdoor, outside of the home) and taking care of sleep should help you feel like you are back into the dating game with enough motivation to last till spring," Dr. Klapow says.
You may get into a cold-induced routine.
If the winter time means waking up when it's dark then sitting in class or at work until it's dark again and coming home exhausted and dreary — it's easy to get stuck in a routine. If you find yourself doing the same things everyday, sometimes romance gets shifted to the back burner.
"Feeling low energy and not being motivated to engage in healthy or active behaviors could create a cycle where you feel crappy because you are not doing the things that make you feel good and you are not doing the things that make you feel good because you feel crappy," Melamed says.
If you find yourself skipping yoga class every week because it's too cold to walk there, you may feel some winter cycles starting to sink in. Silva suggests combating the winter blues with supportive friends and family.
"Surround yourself with friends and family that are positive thinkers and emotionally independent. They can act as a support network or an alternative solution to being isolated when you begin to see shifts in your mood," Silva says.
Scheduling a weekly dinner with pals or a running rock climbing date with boo at the local gym can be a great way to get out of a cold weather-induced funk.
If you've been going out less or feeling less connected to your loved ones, never fear — the cold weather could be the culprit. Try talking to friends and family, scheduling some fun date nights that go beyond the couch, or checking in with your sleep and eating cycles. Although it may not always feel like it, winter will end. Staying strong and supportive should last through every season.