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Sex + Relationships

Everything About “Cuffing Season” and How To Make It Out Alive

Thanksgiving has passed and the holiday season is right around the corner, meaning this is the exact time that all past boy experiments (or just boys from your high school graduating class) hit you up with the most dreaded text: “we should hang out during break!” What does this text really mean and is it worth your time? Lord knows, but one thing we do know is that cuffing season is alive and well. 

What is cuffing season? It refers to the holiday season, lasting from Thanksgiving all the way up until February when singles feel the most pressure from their families, friends, etc. to bring their significant other home for the holidays so they partner up with one another to avoid interrogation. Although the intention is alright in trying to make yourself look like you have everything, that is specifically in your love life, together; this phenomenon is more confusing than helpful to your love life.

Related: We Need to Talk About "Talking"

The downfall of cuffing season is the evitable question mark that has to be confronted after the holidays. Since during this season singles suddenly pair up, it typically only allows couples to only experience the “honeymoon phase” of the relationship and although this may work for the initial purpose in trying to flaunt a healthy relationship, it always ends up as a surface-level connection at best, lacking accountability and honesty. 

The worst cases of cuffing are when one or both in the relationship use the other for “plating,” which is when a person settles for being in a relationship that they know most likely is not going to work out in the long run to make them look like an admirable partner for whoever is next on their radar. Cuffing, though, can be argued to be harmless by some if and when both parties know what the intention is before going into the relationship but I would argue that that is not cuffing, simply just playing the field as a single. Cuffing is different in that singles pair up together, act and pose like an actual couple to others yet are only promised to a certain time frame. Whereas if you're “talking” to someone and it just so happens to be around the holiday season, nothing or something great can result from it whereas cuffing always has the determined finish line, for one concrete reason: image. 

Related: How to Avoid Cuffing Season

In all, I understand the desire to want to take someone home for the holidays, meet your parents, do cute holiday things with and all the other fun things the wintertime has for couples but why do that when it can be done with someone that it wouldn’t have to be the last and final winter together? Someone that would want to say for all that and more, like your birthday, graduation, hell even run regular-day errands with you. “Cuffing” may work for the short term but in the long term, it just reminds you how momentary the spur of the moment connection truly was. 

As a child my grandma always told me “never water a pot without seeds in it” and looking back at her now, I know she wasn't just telling me that to not waste my time, but rather be intentional with what I'm doing with myself and where that’ll lead me in the future. So, collegiettes, use your time wisely but most importantly work for the benefit of you and if/when you attract someone doing the same, you’ll know that they’re truly worth your time.

Fiorella Izquierdo

George Mason University '23

Fiorella Izquierdo is a senior at George Mason University currently studying Communication with a concentration in Journalism and a minor in Graphic Design. She is happiest when she is has a magazine in one hand and a chai latte in the other. Music, fashion, and cooking are some of her other passions, which keeps her busy in her free time. In the future, Fiorella hopes to work as a creative director and travel the world doing what she loves!
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