Is Your Relationship For Real or Is It Just Cuffing Season?

Originally posted on Brides

We’re right in the middle of it — cuffing season. What is cuffing season, you ask? Well, if you’re not familiar, it’s a winter phenomenon. As soon as the weather gets cold and the days get shorter, many people start to pair up. And though they may be coupling off, a lot of these relationships have no chance of making it into spring. Because cuffing season isn’t about longevity. It’s just about having someone to snuggle up and stay warm with because, let’s be honest, January is tough.

In fact, dating app Hinge found in the winter men were 15 percent more likely to be actively looking for a relationship then they normally were — and women were 5 percent more likely. In the summer, men dipped down to 11 percent less likely than normal to be looking for a relationship — and women were 5 percent less likely as well. We all just want to be loved — but just for winter, apparently.

But as the worst of winter finally starts to creep by and spring is starting to be a light at the end of the tunnel, you may be wondering about your relationship. If you paired up in the fall or early winter, it’s time to think about whether it’s just a cuffing season relationship, or if it could go the distance. Now, maybe it started out as a bit lackluster, maybe you were just both looking for someone to hang out with through the winter, but that doesn’t mean it can’t turn into something else. Cuffing relationships can grow into something more. Here’s what you need to look out for.

How Do You Spend Time Together?

OK, unless you’re an avid skier or Olympics fiend, winter is not going to be your season. It’s totally normal to spend a bit more time just watching Netflix and staying as warm as possible. But is that all your relationship is? Because that sounds like a cuffing season relationship. “Cuffing season has always been seen as the time of year when single people search for someone whom they claim as a temporary significant other with no intention of making the relationship a long-term one,” dating expert Thomas Edwards tells Elite Daily. And nothing says temporary like just watching TV and cuddling in silence. But if you do a lot of relaxing and you also do more — like trying new activities, spending time with your friends, even taking some time away together — that’s a relationship that may be able to go the distance.

Has The Relationship Changed At All?

Winter is a long time. If you get together in October or November, you could be together be together for a solid five months before we start to see spring — that’s a pretty significant relationship. “At the end of the day, a quality relationship is what most people want, and cuffing season can be a time when one can surprisingly show up,” Edwards says. So look and see if your relationship has grown at all over that time, like would expect a normal relationship to. Are you getting to know each other more, spending more time together — become more involved in each other’s lives? Do you feel more attached? If you’re still just meeting up twice a week to watch TV and haven’t learned anything about each other, it’s probably just a cuffing season relationship.

Do You Want It To Be More?

Finally, be honest with yourself — what do you really want out of this relationship? It’s easy to convince yourself that it’s going great, especially because in a lot of cuffing season relationships there won’t be a lot of disagreement or fighting — but there won’t be a lot of effort, either. I mean, how much can you fight when you spend most of your time on a couch? Look at the person and the relationship and decide if it’s the kind of relationship you would even want to be in for the long term. That should tell you whether it was just meant for winter or if it could be the real deal.

The truth is, there’s nothing wrong with being in a cuffing season relationship. If you’re not feeling like your best self in winter, then it’s probably not the right time to be out there looking for a serious relationship. It’s completely OK to just want something for now — as long as you know that’s what it is. So look at the relationship, look at how you spend time together, and, most importantly, look at what you want. That will tell you what kind of relationship it should be. And if it was just for cuffing season, let it be that.