Daily 49er

‘Tis the season to settle down and cover up

As prolonged indoor winter activities increase, single people long for a partner.

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‘Tis the season to settle down and cover up

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Caitlyn Mendoza, Staff Writer

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As the trees shed their muddy green leaves for vibrant red and deep orange ones, there’s a silent longing that fills the hearts of single people during autumn and winter.

For within these two seasons lies another — cuffing season.

As reported in a Huffington Post article titled, “8 Sleeping Devices For Anyone Flying Solo During Cuffing Season” by Chanel Perks, “Unlike the warm months when people engage in “summer flings,” cuffing season is when people get serious about their partners and basically hibernate with them all winter long. Think of it as a prime Netflix and chill period.”

Cuffing season is that time of year that hordes of social media users have deemed the ideal time to find the perfect partner. Suddenly the dating scene becomes some sort of competitive relationship Olympics — where finding your significant other is crucial business.

According to an article in Vogue magazine titled, “Does cuffing season really exist” by Patricia Garcia, single folk should have locked down their partners long before Thanksgiving: “locking down your beau before Thanksgiving means you can have your pumpkin pie—and extra turkey leg, too—and not have to worry about scrambling to find your New Year’s Eve date.”

Seems like the kind of unrealistic challenge that’ll drive single people’s anxiety levels to an all-time high.

Yet, I believe being in a relationship during this season isn’t a necessity or even essential to having a great December. Being single during this time is more than OK — it’s completely normal.

I’m convinced something as common as being single is unfortunately stigmatized in our society.

Cuffing season isn’t a sudden change in the amount of “love” in the air, but rather a societal confession and emotional expansion of a year-round longing within single people, whether consciously or subconsciously.

Blame it on the cool breezes or the widespread public displays of affection between couples seen during the holiday season, but the person who was once very intent on remaining happily untethered now carries a fiery desire to be in a serious relationship. 

This phenomenon is actually disappointing because, like I mentioned earlier, there is nothing wrong with spending the holiday season with family, friends or even on your own. Trust me, you’ll survive.

Moreover, staying single can actually help you become a better person. According to a New York Times article titled, “America: Single, and Loving It,” in which NYU Sociology professor Eric Klinenberg is interviewed, “I believe that there are certain things you can only learn about yourself if you’re living intimately with another person. But you could also say the same of living alone.”

Therefore, there’s nothing wrong with not having a love interest to take you out on cute walks through beautifully decorated neighborhoods for the holidays — you can do that with friends, a pet or  – get this – alone. Yes, discovering new places is something you can do alone, no humanoid needed.

I’m sure many single folk, particularly college students, have had to defend their “single” status ardently from pesky family members who consistently ask questions along the lines of, “So, anyone new in your life?”

It’s rather depressing — and may seem like you’re admitting defeat — when you respond with, “No, not yet.”

I’ve known several people who have been so desperate for a relationship during this cuffing season that they dove into a relationship with the first person who swiped right on their Tinder profile.

More specifically, to see so many intelligent women — not only my girlfriends — putting up with toxic relationships just so they can feel some sort-of validation from men who frankly do not deserve them is painful to witness.

It’s a frightening phenomenon, one where people constantly fall into a deep pit of depression due to not being in a relationship. Relationships shouldn’t define you — your accomplishments and ambition should. 

People are both valuable while in a relationship and while being out of one.

Cuffing season gives single people the perfect excuse to acknowledge that, “Hey, being single sucks, maybe it’s time to have someone — anybody — around.”

However, I will admit — witnessing so many people, some who were rather promiscuous during the summer, suddenly change into loyal romance-enthusiasts is impressive, but still mostly bizarre. 

This season of “cuffing” brings a great truth to light: a lot of people want to love and be loved — which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Don’t forget though — your happiness shouldn’t depend on whether you find your significant other or not.

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