Cuffing season can be really challenging because it's that time of year when the weather gets colder and people get cozier with each other. That being said, it's OK if you don't couple up with someone even though it's super common to do so between the months of September through January. And if you've never had good luck during cuffing season, don't worry — you're not alone.
I talked to three dating experts, and they all shared how important it is to be single and find fulfillment on your own. Even if you feel pressure to couple up right now, these experts stress that it's OK to focus your energy on other areas of your life. And, in doing so, you can set yourself up for happier and healthier future relationships.
"It is 100 times better to be single than to be with someone who is not well suited for you. Plus, if you feel lonely when you are single, being in the wrong relationship is way lonelier," says Trina Leckie, breakup coach and host of the podcast breakup BOOST. She explains that it is much better to be patient, positive, and focus on being the best version of yourself until the right person comes along.
"Relationships are a bonus. They aren't meant to sustain happiness, and they certainly aren't meant to fill in any holes," says Kali Rodgers, founder of the life coaching site Blush. "That being said, it is completely normal, and even instinctual, to want to be in a relationship." Rodgers also adds that the more time you spend with yourself, the more you will come to understand what you're looking for in a partner. You will also be able to discern if a potential partner is right for you, rather than forming a relationship with someone simply out of the desire to be in a couple.
Melissa Diamond, host of the dating podcast He Said What, also adds that it's very common for people to be sad about being single and that it's a natural emotional response. "Having countless bad dates can make you bitter, but you cannot allow that define how you view being single," she says. Instead of framing your single life in direct comparison to your bad dating experiences, consider shifting your outlook slightly.
Diamond explains that there are so many ways to find fulfillment and feel enough on your own. These forms of fulfillment could include hobbies, friends, diving head first into your work or your passions. According to Diamond, if you look at being single as an opportunity to put yourself and your growth first, you are bound to realize that "the one" you've been searching for is actually you.
There's also a ton of benefits to being single, according to these experts. Leckie recommends that you focus on the things you've always wanted to accomplish and make a plan for meeting those goals. For instance, creating a vision board or plan for certain goals you want to accomplish could take up the brain space usually occupied by feeling sad about being single. There's no limit to what you could try out in the coming months. Doing so is bound to leave you feeling more fulfilled and whole than continually spinning your wheels when it comes to dating frustration.
This isn't to say that you aren't allowed to feel sad about being single or frustrated about how challenging dating can be, because these feelings are valid and normal. However, you can be both sad and make plans to fill your life full of love and happiness in different ways. According to Leckie, being single can be freeing when you consider you only answer to yourself and what you need.
At the end of the day, these experts stress that it's OK to be single right now even if everyone seems to be coupling up. Take advantage of this time to become the person you've always wanted to be. And who knows? You may even find what you were looking for in yourself, after all.