The earliest recorded print uses of cuffing season date from college newspapers in 2011, with cuff preceding that as a verb with origins in African-American vernacular as something close in meaning to hook up. The term saw significant use as college jargon before ever seeing print; its use in the title of a 2013 song by the rapper Fabolous might have helped to introduce the phrase to the public at large.
It's almost October and you know what that means -- happy cuffing season, everyone! We did some digging around to find out whether or not cuffing season is a real phenomenon, and here's what we found...
In other words, cuffing season is that time of year when it's too cold to go out, it's too cold to meet new people, it's too cold to do anything but lounge in bed binge-watching Netflix -- and having a hottie to cuddle with just makes \"Breaking Bad\" even better.
\"[Cuffing season] has happened in our evolutionary history every time the days get darker,\" said Dr. Wendy Walsh, a clinical psychologist who specializes in the psychology of love, sex and gender roles. \"We're walking around in DNA that's hundred of thousands of years old. In our anthropological past, there was less food and resources [available], and hunter-gatherers' survival happened better if you were in a pack, if you were coupled up ... [This] increased survival of any offspring that came out of it.\"
There's plenty of data that roughly correlate with cuffing season. Dr. Walsh told us that most babies are born in July and August, which means that these couples are getting their groove on during the fall and winter. In 2013, December was the most popular month for getting engaged. And according to the online dating website Zoosk, New York City residents send 56% more messages and view 38% more profiles when it's snowing outside. None of these statistics definitively prove or disprove the existence of a cuffing season, of course, but they do suggest that the weather influences people's dating behavior.
There's no precise answer to this. Cuffing season is typically in full effect by the end of December -- probably because of those social pressures I just mentioned -- and goes until March-ish. The internet is home to many different cuffing season calendars, all with different cutoff dates. This one is particularly fun because it compares cuffing to sports:
But the truth is, there's no set start or end dates for cuffing season. A lot of it depends on the weather. If it's 80 degrees out on November 1st and everyone's still running around outside, there's not much motivation to stay indoors and snuggle.
Isadora Alman, a psychotherapist and sexologist based in California, hasn't heard of cuffing season in her work. She believes that the dating behavior of kids on the West Coast is dictated by their school calendar.
\"It's really important to always be honest about your intentions,\" Steinberg told us. \"You don't want your cuffing partner to be under the impression that this is going somewhere seriously if you're not [thinking that way] because (1) It's not nice and (2) It's going to set you up for drama. Be open and let the other person know you're looking at this relationship as a temporary enjoyable relationship, not misleading them.\"
Dr. Walsh explained a common post-cuffing situation to us. \"Because we are in a high supply sexual economy where there is an oversupply of successful young women and an undersupply of successful young men -- and women have a fertility window that men, frankly, don't -- you will see that women become more invested in their relationships and more focused on commitment than men,\" she said.
Similarly, some people can't help but get sucked into cuffing season. These individuals probably aren't specifically looking for a cuffing partner or a serious relationship -- it just happens when they're not thinking too hard about it.
\"I think [cuffing season] is subconscious. I've never had anyone say to me, 'I want a cuffing relationship this winter,'\" Steinberg told us. \"I think you never really know how a relationship is going to evolve ... You can have whatever intentions you want, but the reality is you won't know what it's like to be a relationship with this person until you're in a relationship with them.\"
Days are getting shorter and seasonal affective disorder rates are rising which can only mean one thing: we are deep in the heart of cuffing season. With the holiday season being one of the most stressful times of year for 88% of Americans per OnePoll, it's no surprise that people don't want to face cold months and family gatherings alone.
Cuffing season isn't just a thing for single people, either. A study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships found the holiday season can be a proving ground for people already in serious relationships.
Just because you're part of an established couple doesn't mean the holiday season is any less stressful than if you were single. Dr. Donna T. Novak, Psy.D., a licensed psychologist in Simi Valley, CA, told People that how connected and supported someone feels by their partner has a major impact on how they view the relationship once the holidays are over.
In 2015, the dating app Hinge polled 1,000 active users and found that men are 15 percent more likely to be looking for a relationship in the winter over any other season, whereas women are 5 percent more interested in a more committed relationship during those months. 781b155fdc