Despite the fact that there’s a high of 92 today in DC, it is the first day of fall. And with the crunchy leaves and pumpkin spice lattes comes another important marker of the changing weather: cuffing season.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with cuffing season (aka the above 30s and the happily partnered): according to Urban Dictionary, Cuffing Season is defined as: “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 causes singles to become lonely and desperate to be cuffed.”
Some may say that cuffing season is a myth, it’s simply the result of summer flings becoming permanent. However, I think it is simply human nature. There’s something about the first bite of fall weather that makes the effort of going to a bar to meet someone new simply not worth it. Fall is also rife with activities that are meant for the coupled: apple picking, pumpkin picking, ABC’s Halloween countdown thing that none of us have access to because who has cable anymore, hiking to see the foliage because that’s what grownups do, etc. Sure, you can do those things with your friends, but if they have SOs? You’re SOL.
Cuffing season is brutal. It is a dog-eat-dog gladiator special, but never fear. I, your Lizzo worshipping, somewhat cynical, eternally single, Fairy Godmother has come to the rescue with some ESSENTIAL tips on surviving this difficult time. Please note that this advice is really only valid for the ladies, enbys and gays. Results not guaranteed for cis men. My thoughts and prayers are with you though.
1. Don’t settle for the first viable option, but you might have to settle
Let’s be real, we’re on a time crunch here. The prices of apples have already dropped in stores, it’s prime apple picking time. You need to have someone viable locked down in time to a couple’s costume for Halloween. WHO is going to be the Jim to your Pam? (Obviously, this is the only couple’s costume Chad from Tinder is willing to participate in.) However, do not hitch your wagon to the first dude to come along because it’s going to be the middle of Thanksgiving dinner and you suddenly find out that he thinks Medicare for all “is ridiculous” and that the Iraq war was “smart foreign policy.”
2. Diversify your portfolio:
Like that finance bro Brad who keeps replying to your Instagram stories would say, you gotta diversify that portfolio. Just like I definitely encourage stocks over bonds for us 401k newbies (please do not blame me if you gamble away your retirement money), dating requires risky bets. Firstly, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. By that I mean, don’t just stick to boring old Tinder. There’s Bumble! Hinge! OkCupid! Maybe go out on a limb and try Farmer’s Only! To get the best fish possible, you have to cast a wide net. As Jesus said, “Follow these tips, and I will make you fishers of men.”
The other way you can broaden your horizons is to try dating outside your type. Are you a serial monogamist who dates blondes who love sweater-vests? Ezra, the polyamarous urban farmer who lives in a co-op with 9 other men who all only use natural deodorant might be for you. Do you always go for the leather jacket wearing, cigarette smoking, artsy softboi? Put down the David Foster Wallace and try out William James Wallace III. He has an Amex Black card, a trust fund, and a completely out of touch perspective on social issues!
3. Keep the Hot Girl energy.
While Hot Girl Summer hath come to a bitter end, you can still keep that same energy in the fall. You are gorgeous, you are brilliant, you are deeply empathetic, an excellent friend, and have the best sense of personal style.
Dating men can wear a bit on the self-worth, but remember, the only people whose opinion of you matters is the gaggle of drunk girls in the bar bathroom complimenting the heck out of you. No one else.
Just because you’re deigning to temporarily tie yourself to a mere male mortal does not make you any less of a goddess. Know your worth.
4. Don’t fear the alternative.
Is it the end of the world if you strike out this cuffing season? Absolutely not. You just bought yourself a one-way ticket into cozy solo autumnal fun. Cuddling? Who needs it when you have a heated, weighted blanket. Romance? What is more romantic than a family size box of Easy Mac and a one person viewing of Hocus Pocus?
If you’re single there’s no one that can judge you about the fact that you bought 5 Pumpkin Spice cold brews this week.
5. Have fun and be safe.
In all of your autumn activities (*wink wink*), safety should come first. Men are out here using body wash, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, hair gel 9 in one products. Verify their definition of “clean.” Tell someone where you’re going, always have a first date in a public spot, and definitely stalk their Facebook/Instagram/LinkedIn first.
Whether you’re staying single and making an attempt at monogamy, the most important thing to remember is to enjoy yourself. Human connection is the spice of life but also if you are a person who dating a cis man you most likely should dump him. It’s what Megan (thee Stallion) would want.