Single During Cuffing Season? Here's Why That's A Good Thing

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In general, I prefer to limit social situations in which I might be forced to spend time with persons I don’t know very well. Committed relationships tend to offer a certain ease and comfort that’s only heightened around the holidays, so why would anyone choose to be single then? TBH, it's not bad to be single during cuffing season.  

That’s exactly where I’ve found myself this year and, although the timing was less of a strategic choice than a happenstance, I’m not phased by my singlehood. In fact, I’ve decided that cuffing season might be the best time of year to be single.

Officially, cuffing season happens annually from the tail end of fall and lasts through the winter. If you’re lucky enough to experience actual seasons where you live (I'm not), cuffing season basically coincides with the colder months of each year. The most obvious correlation is that when it’s cold outside, you want to snuggle up under the covers with a hot beverage and a hotter beau, which brings me to the second temporal gauge that marks cuffing season: the holidays.

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Everyone wants to buy into the magic of the holidays.

I love the holidays. I unapologetically blast Britney Spears' "My Only Wish (This Year)" from every mobile device I own the second the clock strikes 12:01 a.m. on Nov. 1. And, contrary to popular belief, I think the holidays are the perfect time to be single.

Holiday events are just really fancy, booze-filled occasions ripe with first-date opportunities. Ice skating, Christmas shows, office parties — you name it. These events are pre-planned, leaving you merely with the task of asking someone out. I’ll take a holiday party over a summer picnic in the park any day. There are no bugs, the weather is cooler (goodbye stress sweat!), and everyone is automatically much happier.

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You would have to try really hard to have a miserable time at one of these events because, the truth is, everyone wants to buy into the magic of the holidays. Everyone wants to have the perfect New York City date at the Rockefeller Center with a total stranger, like Sarah and Jonathan did in Serendipity. Everyone wants a story like that, even if it doesn’t have an ending like that one did. Riddle me this: if the holiday season is the most romantic time of the year, why would I want to be in a committed relationship going in rather than leave myself open to the most screen-worthy meet-cute of my life? I would not.

Being open to casual dates during cuffing season is actually genius. Relationship expert Jonathan Bennett says that most people find themselves in cuffing-season relationships so they don’t have to face the holidays alone. But what if you could take on the holidays with as many equally socially deprived singles as you’d like? The office party eggnog isn’t the only thing spiked this season; mandatory social engagements and testosterone levels peak around the holidays, too. Coincidence? I think not. Instead of taking this as a sign to get into a relationship, use the magic of cuffing season — I mean the holidays — to meet new people and have a great, non-committal time.

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Get dressed up, drink festive cocktails and go on countless dates with the perfect seasonal backdrop.

If you're worried about being the only single person in your friend group during cuffing season, don't be. Statistically speaking, you're not alone; most people turn to dating apps like Tinder in early January. In fact, peak season for online dating runs from Christmas to just before Valentine’s Day, online dating expert Julie Spira says. Whether it’s a New Year's resolution to find love or the sting of a post-holiday breakup, more and more singles are open to meeting new people just as quickly as they turn the first page on the new year's calendar.

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Still not convinced? Consider that experts warn that cuffing season relationships don’t always last and, without the universally cheerful soundtrack of sleigh bells, they’re usually not that great anyway. It’s probably better to date casually during cuffing season than to settle down in the wrong relationship for the wrong reasons. The idea behind cuffing season places immense social pressure on us to find The One to binge-watch Freeform’s 25 Days of Christmas with — even if we realize on day 26 that we actually have very little in common with that person. Bennett says, "The benefits of getting together with someone during cuffing season are that you’ll have someone to be with during the winter months and that you won’t have to deal with the isolation many people feel. But if you’re only getting into it to avoid loneliness or to fit in with others, that’s not a good sign for the future success of that relationship."

Instead of committing to three months of being cooped up inside with little to no communication with the outside world, you should think of cuffing season as a time to get dressed up, drink festive cocktails and go on countless dates with the perfect seasonal backdrop. It’s what Serendipity's Sarah and Jonathan would have wanted and I, for one, am wholly committed to living my life like it’s set in a rom-com.

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Check out the entire Gen Why series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.

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