Cuffing season: Is it worth it to pair up?

By in Opinions
There are pros and cons to shackin’ up.

Cuffing season — the annual period during autumn and winter when everyone is trying to tie themselves into a relationship until spring — pairs the cold, dreary weather with prolonged indoor activity, resulting in many lonely singles who are desperate for a monogamous partner.

According to a poll conducted in 2015 by the dating app Hinge, men are 15 per cent more likely to be actively looking for a relationship during the winter and women are five per cent more likely. Is all that searching worth it, though? Relationships might not seem as fun and exciting as being single — so will you stay actually cuffed when the snow melts?

I’ve been in a relationship for almost three years, and this will be my third winter season with my serious boyfriend. Though many cuffing season relationships end shortly after Valentine’s day — after you get a nice box of chocolates or a bottle of wine, of course. I have found that the benefits of being in a committed long-term relationship can greatly outweigh the benefits of being single, especially during the winter months.

While there are obvious benefits of being in a relationship — like companionship, affection and support — there are also a few cuffing-season-specific benefits that are often overlooked. For example, Oscar-movie season conveniently begins around the same time as cuffing season, so you’ll have someone to see all of this year’s best movies with.

You also won’t have to worry about shaving, so you’ll stay nice and toasty during those cold winter nights. You’ll get someone to cuddle with on a regular basis, to bring you Starbucks holiday drinks after class and to enjoy regular Netflix-and-chill sessions with.

As a student, however, maintaining a relationship during the school year isn’t always easy. With midterms characterizing the transition from autumn to winter, and final projects and exams dominating the weeks before the holiday season, it can be hard to keep your relationship alive. Here are some tips to help you keep your fire burning through the cold months.

Study together — it’s easy to blow off your significant other because you have homework to do, or because you need to study for your exams, but having another person in the room can help keep you on track.

Studying together doesn’t need to involve holding hands while simultaneously highlighting your notes or attempting to quiz each other during sex — which, for the record, doesn’t work very well. Simply sitting across from one another and expressing silent support can be a way to keep your relationship healthy.

Find a stress reliever that you both enjoy. Joining a gym together or trying a new sport will keep you active and help you both relieve some stress. Exploring coffee shops around the city to find the perfect late-night-studying atmosphere can be surprisingly romantic! Even something as simple as playing a board game at your kitchen table can help sustain your relationship.

Be honest, open and understanding. Being in a committed relationship means recognizing when you, or your partner, need some space. Don’t be afraid to tell your partner that you need a couple of days alone to recuperate from a stressful paper or that you need some extra love and support after a hard exam. Let them know what you are feeling, why you’re feeling that way and how they can help.

A partner who really cares about you will respect these wishes and do the best they can to make you feel better. While this respect may be difficult, this is what will separate the relationships that last from the relationships that end, come springtime.

Sydney Boulton

Photo: David Hartman