Will Your Relationship Survive Cuffing Season & Make It Past Valentine's Day?

by Annie Foskett

I'm not sure that I've ever knowingly partaken in cuffing season. I don't know even know when the cuffing equinox is. This is because I'm a washed millennial, as I've mentioned before (I'm a 1988 baby!). That said, I admit that I have entered into half-relationships just before or after the holidays every year for the past three years, and none of the relationships survived the winter. It's almost Valentine's Day — do you know if your relationship will survive cuffing season? (Read this in the voice of the "Do you know where your children are?" PSAs.)

Here's the good news — well, that is, if you want your relationship to keep on surviving —you've already made it through one of the dumbest holidays of the year, New Year's Eve. If your relationship didn't succumb to the weird pressures of "are we hanging out or aren't we and what's happening!?" that happen when you are in a semblance of a relationship around the change of the calendar year, things are probably going pretty well.

But don't get too comfortable yet, because the dumber to New Year's Eve's dumb — Valentine's Day, — is just around the corner. You can't really fully skip V-Day if you've been hanging out for more than a few dates, but going out to a romantic dinner on February 14th is for real relationships only, right guys?! Single people are meant to feel shamed on that sacred day... or so the logic goes, right?

Obviously kidding. Valentine's Day is often more fun when you're single (and drunk with your friends). Still, if you just so happen to like the person you've cuffed yourself to and you'd like to continue half-dating through the big weird Hallmark holiday that is almost upon us, there's even better news: you're going to find out very soon if they too want to keep hanging out or not. If you, like me, would like to use your detective skills to preempt this reveal, here are some ways to predict if your cufflink will magically disappear by V-Day:

1. They Don't Really Text You Anymore

(Unless it's 2 A.M.) OK, so, I think you know what this means. Your cuff only wants to fork you, not go out to dinner and eat meals with a fork with you. This likely means that they will hard-pass on Valentine's Day. So ask yourself what kind of forking you want, and be very honest about it. If you like this person, you might try to lie to yourself, and assure yourself that forking in a bed is all that you really need, but being "chill" when you want something more never works out. If you're looking for a Valentine's Day date but you're barely getting responses to innocuous texts like, "How was your weekend?" it is time to move along.

2. They're A Little Bit Into Themselves

I have dated a few too many "tortured geniuses" who have a very easy time making time for things like meditation, grad school preparation, and football, but very little time to make for um, me. It doesn't matter what time of year it is, if your winter cuff-buddy is self-absorbed, there's a good chance when Valentine's Day comes, they'll have no less than three excuses why it's "not a meaningful day to spend time together, babe." And that right there is a great example of the kind of text you just leave unanswered forever.

3. They Don't Take You On Dates

Hooking up and being fork buddies is totally fine and empowering and pretty much the whole point of cuffing up. However, if you are looking for a lasting relationship and you and your cuff have never hung out outside of your respective bedrooms, try asking them out on a proper date. If they make an excuse to just "stay in and watch movies" and you want a full relationship, I'd reconsider.

If I sound like your mother, it's because I've made all of these mistakes before. To sum all of the above up, it's really important to identify whether you want your naked friend who has kept you warm through the winter months to be just that, or something more. Once you decide what you want, you can communicate clearly to your "partner" and identify if they are on the same page as you. If not, it's going to suck for a bit, but I promise that you'll move on. Plus, you'll get to have a really fun group dinner on February 14th instead of scrounging around for a condom while the The Office reruns play in the background with no roses in sight.

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