Cuffing Season - the time of year when it is dark outside at 5 PM, Hallmark Christmas films and Harry Potter come on the TV, and there is a primal, evolutionary need to find someone to be your hot water bottle. The air is cold and bitter, much like how you feel towards all the dates that ghosted you. They said they were not ready to settle down, but they got into new a relationship a week later. Shout out to you, Dylan.
SZA has been going viral on TikTok for needing a “big boy” to keep her warm in the Autumn and Winter months. With the cost-of-living crisis, it becomes even more crucial to find someone to split the heating bill. Your ex-partner is a reliable source of body heat, and you need someone for your couple’s Halloween costume. It is a cuffing season ritual; you want a Bonnie to your Clyde, Sonny to your Cher and Gomez to your Morticia Addams. At this rate, I will take a disembodied hand-like-thing.
Halloween is the chance to impress a Tinder match with your obscure pop culture knowledge or dress up like a sexy police officer and take “cuffing” literally. I watch The Craft every year as Nancy Downs was my bisexual awakening. I chant along to the incantation, “I drink of my sisters, and I ask for the ability to love myself more and be loved by others.” The spell goes out to any indie boy who rides a skateboard, has a mullet and nose ring, plays the bass, and listens to Joy Division. Blessed be.
They can keep me warm in their baggy jeans and oversized sweaters. I will watch every Quentin Tarantino movie, look past the resemblance to Patrick Bateman in American Psycho, and deal with their questioning about how many Nirvana songs I can name. Please, just look at my Spotify playlist before you call me out on my band tee.
I will even buy them a vinyl for Christmas and bribe them with a rolled-up cig to go ice skating and the Christmas markets with me. I will put down my mulled wine and pretend to like the taste of beer. The current dating scene is a minefield. I am trying to combat my loneliness and make it to “hot girl summer” unscathed.
I know I am not alone in feeling this alone; faced with the pressure to bring a plus one to the family Christmas party to get that one opinionated auntie off your back. Your friends buy you a “grow your own boyfriend” as your secret Santa present to remind you of how single you are. You belt out Wham’s “Last Christmas” with so much pain and heartbreak, that even George Michael’s tight shorts and highlighted hair cannot cheer you up. It is easy to think that your “special” someone is not out there.
I succumb to every cliché and social norm because I just want someone waiting for me under the mistletoe. I watch Bridget Jones’s Diary over and over again, hoping to find my very own Mr Darcy. I want to wear matching PJs and fluffy socks with my partner. I want to send someone else up to the loft to get the decorations and fight off the spiders. It is supposed to feel like the “most wonderful time of the year,” but it starts to feel like the loneliest.
I relate so much to the Grinch. I catch myself smiling at their messages and scream to my friends, “HELP ME… I’m FEELING.” I pull every outfit I own out of my wardrobe and find myself wanting to cancel because nothing seems to fit right. I read every cheesy pick-up line thinking, “hate, hate, hate. Double hate. Loathe entirely.” Instead of my heart, my dress size grows three sizes after I eat a whole Camembert to myself and enough pigs-in-blankets to satisfy me until next year.
Cuffing Season means having the “what are we?” conversation when the Christmas songs are no longer on the radio and Valentine’s Day is around the corner. It will leave you questioning whether you were just lonely or actually into each other. I hope you find someone who will love you unconditionally, through every season in your life and makes you feel like it is Christmas every day.