“Cuffing season”: The aura of romanticism and love that simultaneously blesses and curses the air every year around the start of October to the end of February. Our minds and hearts become cognizant of this phenomenon like clockwork. The colloquial term refers to the desire we have for a partner during the cold fall and winter months for the sake of extra warmth. Yet, if we aren’t careful, cuffing season can ultimately leave our heartstrings snapped in half like an unlucky wishbone. So, whether you’re absolutely dreading the upcoming months or are wishfully idealizing what’s to come, here’s some food forthought to keep you down to earth.
- If they wanted to, they would.
If you leave your encounters with them questioning whether they actually like you or not, they most likely aren’t reciprocating – or they’re playing games. Regardless, this indicates their intentions aren’t clear. Save yourself the arduous journey of going through leaps and bounds and other rollercoasters of emotions to pursue them. You deserve someone who makes it abundantly clear of their interest in you – whether that be by texting back or actively spending time with you. And no, them liking your Instagram story means absolutely nothing. Personally speaking, I tap through those at the speed of light; a quick fumble of the fingers could result in an accidental like. Are you chasing something you can’t have because you’re afraid of the possibility of something real?
- Once you cross the boundary of friendship, you can’t go back.
While the friends to lovers trope is one that the majority of people seek, I’m here to advocate for extreme caution. The instantaneous moment you step over this thin line, you enter the unexplored gray zone: Are we more than friends? Am I imagining a more than platonic connection? Will we still be able to remain friends if it doesn’t work out? While the answers to these questions vary from case to case, I highly recommend taking it slow. If the universe believes you are both meant to be, it’ll unfold naturally – without any fuzziness. Are you bursting at the seams to take that first step? If not, I would continue to remain appreciative of this valuable person in your life (until the world’s clock informs you that the time is right for something more) but remain wary of fear holding you back.
- Love is unconditional.
If you don’t believe your romantic interest or situationship will appreciate you with every fiber of their being, even when you aren’t wearing makeup, you’re an emotional wreck or you have snot dripping down your nose from the flu, this would make that connection conditional. Think about it, the majority of us hold our loved ones dear to our hearts regardless of their flaws or mistakes. Hence, if you even feel the slightest ounce of desire to change yourself to make them “love you more,” or if you feel the need to “prove” yourself to them, you’re seeking to abide by a ridiculous set of terms and conditions. Do you have your sights set on the idea of someone that you would go as far as to lose yourself in the process of pursuing?
Love happens at the right times – don’t fret.
While many of us may have the secretive expectation that love is waiting to strike us at the most unexpected moments, this is not a healthy mindset. By having expectations – whether they be positive or negative – you’re setting yourself up for potential disappointment. Don’t place pressure on yourself to find someone on a strict timeline, especially when this societal timeline has a “one size fits all” mentality. Enjoy the era you’re in right now, specifically with the radiant souls around you who foster a lighthearted and comforting atmosphere. Are you seeking love to prove to others around you that you’re also capable of being loved?
- Prioritize your values – don’t settle.
If they neglect your emotions, consistently “forget” to ask you how you’re doing or fail to communicate how much they appreciate you – I hate to say it, but you’re settling. You have a set of values and needs that are worthy of being prioritized. Having another warm body to snuggle with during the holidays is not worth the aggravation of feeling like there’s a key foundational aspect of your relationship missing – it’ll only leave a void in your heart. What’s right isn’t always easy. Ask yourself: Are you settling for the sake of avoiding being alone?
On that note, I trust that you have the strength within you to take on “cuffing” season with an open mind and soul. Ultimately, you know what’s best for you, but just remember that there’s more to life than pursuing surface-level relationships.