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Wellness > Sex + Relationships

Surviving Cuffing Season for the Uncuffed

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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UC Berkeley chapter.

Ah, fall, the season that brings us pumpkin-spice-flavored everything, an excuse to roll out of bed and throw on the coziest clothes we own and, undeniably, the best holidays. However, all these lovely things come at a price — the emergence of cuffing season. In fact, as I am writing this, sipping on my pumpkin coffee at my favorite cafe, a couple has decided they need to stop right in front of me to share a long smooch. Well, shoutout to you two for giving me the creative inspiration to write this, and for making me no longer want to sit outside. Here are a few ways to survive the next few months packed with third-wheeling, excessive PDA and any event/venue filled to the brim with swarms of couples.

1)  Bring the friend who just got out of a relationship with you everywhere you go.

As other people in your friend group may fall victim to the strong pulls of cuffing season, remember that one friend who is always immune. Whether it be because of a recent breakup, or that person is anti-relationship, or anything, this person is your go-to for all ventures during this season. I mean, who else will make cynical comments, as well as the occasional gagging noise, at the couple staring deeply into each others eyes??

2) Remember that you’re avoiding the post-season decoupling

Your friend may claim there actually is something genuine going on, but science points to the polar opposite. According to psychologist and social worker Dr. Danielle Forshee, people often feel more lonely and bored during the colder months, due to the brain producing more melatonin, a hormone that makes you tired, and less serotonin, a neurotransmitter that makes people feel happy, leading to an increase in cuffing. Then, as temperatures start to warm up and the brain produces more serotonin and less melatonin, people begin to feel they no longer need a significant other to feel happier. This time is often referred to as “uncuffing season,” and occurs around the spring and summer months. Facebook data even backs this phenomenon with a 2010 analysis that found the use of “breakup” took a sharp increase in people’s statuses in the months leading to spring break.

a man and a woman sit on a park bench looking frustrated
Vera Arsic | Pexels

3) Turn it into a game

Whoever spots the most cuffing season couples first, buys the other person a coffee beverage of their choice. You can even create a spinoff of the popular game that began in the 60s, Punch Buggy, but only giving a light punch to your friend and saying “punch couple-y!” when there’s PDA around. These sound silly, but hopefully they serve as a fun and light reminder to yourself that just because you don’t have a significant other during this season, it by no way means you should be hiding in your room and facing the cuffing season blues, which leads me to my next point.

4) Don’t avoid it!

The fall and winter seasons are jam-packed with so many seasonal activities, like ice skating and going to look at enchanting light decorations, and it really would be a shame to miss out. Whether you’re considering skipping a family dinner that you know will include an interrogation on past or current romantic involvements, or you feel odd going to traditionally couple-y places, I encourage you to embrace it. If needed, give yourself and even others a reminder that just because other people you know are in relationships right now, it may not be the best thing for you in this point of your life. Whether you’re too busy or just got out of something, even if you’re just not interested, try not to skip out on the things you enjoy, and feel free to do so with Lizzo playing on full blast.

5) Invest in yourself

However, if you feel you do need that space away from all the romance this season brings, have a night-in. Whether you want to invite your closest friends and enjoy a movie marathon, or just bundle yourself in a blanket and read a good book, do whatever feels right. Overall, just use this time to invest in yourself. This could mean going to the gym more consistently or finally learning how to master a new mouth-watering recipe, just think of all the time you have to gain new skills and achieve goals without having to commit a significant portion of it to someone else.

6) Look into dating apps

If you do want to take part in cuffing season, but don’t have any potential relationships you want to pursue, put yourself out there! With the plethora of dating apps available today, one of the easiest ways to meet people is through apps like Tinder, Bumble and Hinge. According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, more than 49.7 million people have tried online dating and one in five relationships begin online, so online dating may make the perfect way to find your cuffing season bae.