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Wellness > Sex + Relationships

5 Ways to Deal With Cuffing Season When You’re Single AF

As single women, all year long we’re bombarded by messages that we need to be in a relationship. We see friends’ photos with their SOs, rom-coms that always end in a big romantic gesture, and even articles on websites on how to land that perfect guy. But during the holidays, the feelings of wanting to be in a relationship intensify: you watch Hallmark holiday movies about love, you see couple-y activities like ice skating and cookie baking, you even just the desire to cuddle with someone while drinking hot cocoa in front of a roaring fire. These are the things we single girls yearn for during the holiday season. Don’t pretend you don’t. It’s just that time of year. That’s right: It’s cuffing season.

According to Urban Dictionary, cuffing season is defined as follows:

“During the Fall and Winter months, people who would normally rather be single or promiscuous find themselves along with the rest of the world desiring to be ‘Cuffed’ or tied down by a serious relationship. The cold weather and prolonged indoor activity cause singles to become lonely and desperate to be cuffed.”

Though you aren’t in that relationship you may want, you can still totally enjoy the holidays as a single gal. Here’s how to deal with cuffing season as a strong, independent woman.

Still do all of those couple-y things

Just because you aren’t part of a couple doesn’t mean you can’t still do “couple-y” things. You can totally still go ice skating with your friends or bake Christmas cookies with your mom or have a snowball fight with your siblings. These are all things you used to enjoy doing as a kid without an SO, so why do you need one to do them now?

Cristina Lup, a senior at Marist College, says that “during the holidays is the worst time to be flying solo. Especially if you were in a relationship this time last year, going to holiday parties and avoiding the relationship topic with relatives can be a real bummer.”

Don’t be afraid to do things on your own, including the couple-y things we mentioned before. The holiday season is such a social time full of family gatherings and parties and other get-togethers, so it’s important to take some time for yourself. Who doesn’t love a little alone time every once in a while? Have a movie night on your own—hot chocolate necessary, fireplace optional.


The holidays are a time to be thankful and celebrate giving. Sure, it’s fun to receive presents and eat big, fancy meals and do all of these winter things. But the real importance of the holidays is being thankful for what you have and giving, both to family and friends and to those who are less fortunate than yourself.

Look at you! You’re in college getting an amazing education among other brilliant minds, and you’re surrounded by people who care about you. Others aren’t so lucky. Take some time this holiday season to give back to your community and to help those who won’t have as great of a holiday season as you.

Whether you serve meals at a shelter or donate toys and clothes to a drive for children, take some time to be thankful and give back.

Spend time with your family

Love and family: Isn’t that what the holidays are truly about? When the time comes, you’ll be in a wonderful relationship for the holidays. But once that happens, you won’t be able to focus completely on your time with your family. Right now is the time to do that.

Being away at school, you realize just how much you love and miss and need your family in your life. Holiday break is a time when you can go home and catch up with Mom and Dad and your siblings. You can have game nights like you used to when you were young. You can watch your favorite holiday movies and specials together. You can decorate the tree and have snowball fights and go ice skating together.

Lupo says, “My advice would be to remember that the holidays are about family. Focus on being home with your loved ones, and the people who are there with you, rather than thinking about the ones who are not.”

Now is the time to enjoy the holiday season with your family. You don’t have many years left of month-long breaks at home, so make the most of that time you have now.

Related: 16 Things Only Girls Who Don’t Know Why They’re Single Understand

Spend your time the way you want to

As single ladies, we all know we have a kind of freedom girls in relationships don’t have. We’re free to use our time however we want to. There’s no need to worry about texting your guy back or going out on date night or even just sitting together and doing homework. Nope, you’re free to choose how you spend your time.

Do you want to read or sleep or watch TV or bake (and eat whatever you make, obviously) this November and December away? By all means, do it, GF! If you don’t want to do all of those couple-y things we mentioned before, you don’t need to feel obligated to do so.

So this holiday season, spend your time how you want. If you want to spend your Thanksgiving and winter breaks binge-watching One Tree Hill for the fifth time, go for it!

Enjoy your holidays as a single girl…they probably won’t last forever

Just enjoy the time you have left as a single person this holiday season. It most likely won’t last forever. You may be longing for a relationship now, but someday you might look back and appreciate the Thanksgiving and Christmases and Hanukkahs and Kwanzas you spent as a single gal.

And look at all of the positives of being single this holiday season! You don’t have to spend money on a gift for your SO. You get to spend all of your holidays with your family; no alternating holidays or splitting time for you just yet. Being single really is a blessing, so embrace it while it lasts.

What even is cuffing season? It’s this made-up notion that we have to be in a relationship, especially around the holidays. Single girls are portrayed as sad and lonely and desperate in all of the Hallmark holiday movies. But we’re not! We’re strong and independent and perfectly happy spending the holidays without a plus one.

Sarah Nelson is senior at the University of Iowa pursuing a Journalism major, English minor, and Fundraising and Philanthropy Communication Certificate. When she's not binge-watching One Tree Hill or Jane the Virgin on Netflix (again), she's is probably rereading the Harry Potter series or writing for her blog, SarahNdipity. With an addiction to books and coffee, Sarah hopes to take the world by storm as a book editor. Or social media marketer. Or blogger. (She hasn't quite made up her mind yet, but that's okay because who says you have to be just one thing?)