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Cuffing season is back in full swing. Social media is littered with summer flings settling down together and new couples announcing their romance via cute pictures from the pumpkin patch. Everyone wants someone to bring home for Thanksgiving. Everyone wants someone to cozy up with and drink hot cocoa next to a fireplace. Couple costumes are always a hit, and it’s just something about this time of the year that makes commitment all the more alluring than in the middle of the sweet singlehood of summer.

So what about the rest of us? Or, better yet, what about the exact opposite of cuffing season? This is a giant shout out to those who just got OUT of a relationship in time for the holidays. This is for those of us living these months through the eyes of UNCUFFING season. This is the first holiday season in a while that I’m single, and I feel more liberated than ever.

 

Doing everything with my girl gang involves a lot more laughing, naturally. We can frolic on Halloween without a care in the world about a guy. We can go to apple orchards and take super cute group pictures — ones that will last so much longer than a relationship. We can go Christmas shopping for as long as we want without our boyfriend rolling his eyes at the “okay just this one last store, I swear” phrase. The squad is back and unbreakable.

I’m also free to be my own person again. Naturally, when you’re with someone long enough, you start to mimic aspects of each other’s identity. Being on my own has realigned my sense of self and core set of values. Memories with an ex sometimes tarnish its experience in hindsight. New memories that I’m creating this holiday season will forever be solely mine. No one can tarnish them because I’m the only one involved. I can walk up State Street at night with my peppermint mocha, listening to music, and romanticize that moment with myself. I can write Christmas cards to all my friends, and I can proudly cook a delicious meal all by myself to bring to Friendsgiving. I can dress super fashionable this season and feel good about the way I look without needing reassurance from a boyfriend.

I like to remember what someone wise once told me (someone wise being a meme on the internet): Sometimes when we grow, we grow apart; and the trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let the dead things go. This uncuffing season is dedicated to celebrating the beauty of our independence and the bravery behind breaking free. We won’t be single forever, so let’s enjoy it while we’re young. Let’s pop the champagne and smile at the fact we’re back in the game. While speaking of champagne, who knows what cutie we might kiss later on at midnight on New Year’s Eve… 

Former production and media intern for ESPN, Joan, 23, gained a wide variety of experience working in on-set production, event coordination, behind-the-scenes business and marketing, and brand representation. In both office and remote location settings, she's enabled herself to adapt to any environment with focus and efficiency. She graduated from University of Wisconsin in 2019, earning her B.A. in Communication Arts with a focus in Radio/TV/Film. She's demonstrated a dedicated work ethic in her various part-time bartending jobs during her college years. Proving that she can juggle multiple projects at once, Joan's experience, success and drive is sure to be an excellent relief of unusual and effective helpfulness to any prospective employer. In her free time, Joan enjoys reading books on psychology, self-improvement, and the world of the film & entertainment industry. She also enjoys writing poetry, fashion-blogging, running, singing and attending various sports events. 
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