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Say No To Cuffing Season: Reflections From a Single College Student

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

This year, I’m sitting out on cuffing season. Here’s why.

At Six Flags’s “Fright Fest” last month, I caught the “I want a boyfriend” bug. Though I enjoyed the night with a group of girl friends, watching couples on dates made me want the same for myself. There was something in the amusement park air that night that made me crave a relationship. I returned to campus and began to notice love everywhere. From romantic walks through campus to dinner dates in the dining hall, love hung in the air, and it made me jealous.

Over the past few weeks, I felt the symptoms of this bug, as did many of my friends. As the air turned colder, complaints about being single amid “cuffing season” sprinkled their way into dinner table conversations and walks to class. Accordingly, I felt myself fixating on the idea of falling in love as the leaves turned brown. Following a difficult breakup the year prior, this was the first time in a while I found myself focusing on the idea of relationship. In a typical day, there’s a million things running through my mind: school, extracurriculars, friends and family. A relationship never made the list until now.

At first, it was fun to entertain the thought of a relationship. There’s something especially romantic about love in the colder months: couples Halloween costumes, fall baking dates, holiday movie nights. The list goes on.

But after a while, cuffing season began to take its toll. The longer I fixated on the idea of a relationship, the more I began to struggle with self-love. I quickly fell into the trap of believing that being alone made me incomplete, and I hate that. It’s exactly why I’m saying no to cuffing season. As heartwarming as fall dates are, we are equipped with everything we need to love ourselves the same way a significant other would. By craving a relationship, it’s easy to neglect the self-love practices that make us whole on our own. This cuffing season, I’m committing the energy that I would pour in to entering and maintaining a relationship towards myself.

Something I found myself craving often in my “I want a boyfriend” era was cute fall dates. In the spirit of being our own significant others this fall, let’s take ourselves on dates. In college, it’s so easy to spend every waking hour with other people. Living in a house with many of my close friends, I’m rarely left alone with myself. There’s something special about taking yourself on a solo adventure. In my opinion, it’s the best practice of self-love; it takes confidence to be alone in a public setting with nothing but your own presence to enjoy. Go on a long walk to your favorite coffee shop and spend an hour away from your phone. Explore a used book or thrift store for an afternoon. Grab all your favorite snacks for a cozy holiday movie night. If you envision a cute fall date and find yourself wanting that with someone else, do it by yourself. Whatever you do, be sure to be kind to yourself and take time to appreciate your presence.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying no to relationships. I love love. But I have moved past the yearning for a relationship that so often accompanies the holiday season. When we fall into the trap of seeking relationships to make ourselves feel whole, we risk depending on others for things we can find within ourselves. Whether we’re single, in a relationship or anywhere in between, we’re loving ourselves first this fall.

Preeta Kamat

Northwestern '24

Preeta is a sophomore from Rochester, Michigan studying Neuroscience and Global Health Studies in the seven year med program. When she's not working on school, you can find her on coffee runs, exploring campus with friends, baking, or watching reality TV.
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