How to Survive Cuffing Season When You’re Single AF
Ah, cuffing season — that magical time of year when everyone seems to have a cutie on lockdown. The air is crisp and the impending holiday season has practically everyone entering new relationships or shacking up with their crush. Whether you simply want someone to kiss under the mistletoe, a date for your office holiday party, or want to ring in the new year with the man or woman of your dreams, cuffing season provides the perfect opportunity for just that. Summer flings are a thing of the past, and seemingly everyone wants something a little more serious this time of year.
That is, unless, you’re single AF.
As someone who’s basically been single for the last 21 years, I have quite a bit of experience with braving the harsh winds of cuffing season. Not to be overly dramatic, but November through February 14 can be hell on Earth when you’re single. Everyone around you is thinking about gift ideas for their S/O, snuggling by fires, and making plans for their New Year’s Eve because you just have to kiss someone when the clock strikes midnight. Every holiday movie also tends to perpetuate the idea that the holidays, and winter in general, are a travesty if you don’t have someone special to spend the long winter nights with.
Even Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer has a girlfriend — an adorable doe named Clarice. A fictional reindeer couldn’t even resist the pull of cuffing season.
So, when you feel doomed to a cuffing season alone, how do you survive? How does one ignore the ever-present lovefest that is the holiday season? Moreso, how does one manage the winter months without someone to snuggle with, introduce to your parents, or make you feel less alone at any holiday gathering?
Listen up, because cuffing season doesn’t have to be miserable. In fact, cuffing season provides the perfect time for you to reconnect with the one who matters most — yourself.
Self Care Above All Else
During cuffing season and the cold winter months, self care must be prioritized above all else. Seasonal Affective Disorder affects between 4-6% of Americans, according to the American Association of Family Physician. Another 10% to 20% will experience a mild version of SAD. Taking care of your body and mental well-being is the first step to surviving cuffing season, only made worse by the fact that the weather is cold and downright nasty outside. While self care practices may not cure actual depression, they can offer some benefits should you find yourself feeling down or sad during the winter months.
Taking a hot bath, reading a great book, and nourishing your skin and body are great self-care practices that will make you feel better emotionally and physically. If you feel stuffed and bloated after a hearty Thanksgiving vacation, go on a juice cleanse. Try out some new healthy recipes. Go to Lush and buy every delicious-smelling face mask they offer. Truly indulge yourself. Cuffing season is the time to treat yourself, and make you feel like your best, most vibrant you.
Make Time for Your Friends
The holidays are the perfect time to spend time with your nearest and dearest — including your squad. Picture your perfect winter date. Is it ice skating in Central Park? Strolling through a Christmas tree farm? Knocking back mugs of delicious spiked eggnog and laughing the night away?
Good news: you can do all of those fun activities with your best friends! Though it may not be as romantic as spending time with a significant other, you may have even more fun in the end. Take the holidays as an opportunity to reconnect with old friends, have a blast, and soak up every moment. Some of my fondest memories of the holidays were made with friends, not an S/O. One way to reconnect with friends new and old is to have a holiday party. Be it a Yankee swap, ugly Christmas sweater party, or night out at a bar with holiday drink specials, the holiday season is the time to have fun with your pals — no strings attached.
Get a Head Start on New Year’s Resolutions
A new year is a new chance to start over. Why not get a head start on your New Year’s resolutions? Think about what you accomplished this year: did you start a new job? Take any risks in your love life, career, or friendships that paid off? Consider what you can do next year to be even better. New Year’s resolutions aren’t about changing yourself at your core, but rather improving aspects of your life through hard work.
Don’t focus on things that may be out of your control — like getting a boyfriend or girlfriend. Instead, think about what you want to accomplish on your own. Take your list of New Year’s resolutions and try to implement them into your life before the clock strikes midnight on January 1. Trust us, it’s not cheating as long as you stick to it in the new year, too!
Recognize Your Worth
It took a great deal of heartbreak and rejection to realize my own worth, as contradictory as that may sound. Even when you really like someone, have a lot in common with them, and even tell them how you feel, that doesn’t guarantee that it will work out in your favor. The age-old saying “it’s not you, it’s me” may sound cliche, but oftentimes it’s true. More often than not, it’s never something you did or something inherently wrong with you that will turn someone off or make them averse to dating you.
Instead, a number of things can account for why you’re single — during cuffing season or not. Whether it’s due to bad timing or a lacking dating pool, being single is nothing to be ashamed of. There’s a pot to every lid. You will find the person you are meant to be with when you are thriving. Take care of your health, rock outfits with confidence, get a new haircut, work hard in your career. These are the things that will make people — friends or potential partners — flock to you in numbers.
There’s no denying it — cuffing season can be seriously rough when you’re single. However, you can survive it by acknowledging everything else in your life that’s worth celebrating. Go out on the town with your friends, run a nice hot bath, watch Gossip Girl or Love Actually for the millionth time. Know your worth and remember to love yourself first.