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Image / Editorial

Did you know we are in peak cuffing season? Christmas is the optimum time to cuff a cuffee


by Louise Bruton
13th Dec 2018
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When the internet started throwing the term cuffing season around, I thought “Oh, great. Another thing to fail at”. Just as you pull your winter jackets out around Halloween, you’re expected to find a significant other whose hand you will hold until the last snow thaws. Your hand in theirs, their cuffed sleeve rubbing up against yours, all while you count down the hours or minutes until you can rub other parts of your body up against theirs.

Editor’s note: The Urban Dictionary definition of ‘cuffing’: “During the Fall and Winter months people who would normally rather be single or promiscuous find themselves along with the rest of the world desiring to be “Cuffed” or tied down by a serious relationship. The cold weather and prolonged indoor activity causes singles to become lonely and desperate to be cuffed.”

Christmas, of course, is the optimum time to cuff a cuffee.  For presents and sex, mostly, but to also feel like the last 12-months were building up to something, like it wasn’t all a waste, and that you have something to show off to your family and friends. Wearing matching Christmas jumpers whenever you can, making sure that there’s always some sausies and black pudding in the fridge for your cosy winter breakfasts and dragging your lie-in for as long as possible on December 24th, before you have to tear yourself away, cuffs and all, to spend Christmas with your family.

Well, listen. That’s all nice in theory –  to have someone lined up for the cold months just to ditch them as the daffodils begin to bloom – but have you actually tried it out? It’s not easy. The pickings of men and women don’t get better just because there’s a change in temperature, your standards shouldn’t drop just because the days are shorter and Tinder doesn’t suddenly transform into bountiful paradise; it’s just as desolate as ever. Singlehood is often painted as a problem or a clear-cut choice in the media so to solve this problem, the solution of cuffing is provided but cuffing is lifted straight out of a fantasy. It exists in Carrie Bradshaw’s world, where you can fell in love hailing a taxi or pick up a short-time lover quicker than a common cold. 

One big Baileys-filled, ham sandwich-lined blur

To truly embrace the single status, you have to stop treating your singlehood like it’s the horse that drives the cart. You’re the goddamn horse. You hear me? You are the beautiful, goddamn horse.

The reality of being single at Christmas isn’t glamorous like Bradshaw or pitiful, like the Pigeon lady from Home Alone 2, but in the build-up to winter, inventions like cuffing season drum up the anxiety or delusion that you need someone by your side to make you feel like an accomplished modern human. Besides, we’ve all listened to enough Destiny’s Child songs to know that you shouldn’t define yourself by who you’re with, especially in a super condensed timeframe. It also encourages the idea of treating people like disposable items which is… not ideal. To make the most of being single this Christmas, don’t set an expiry date on human interactions but more importantly, don’t set a timer for yourself. Being single shouldn’t be spent on high alert for a potential shift, nor should it be about chugging a bottle of pinot grigio alone in your pyjamas in the middle of the day, although, there is an allure to that. There’s a balance within those two options and that balance is freedom, my friends. Sweet, glorious freedom.

So when you’re out getting totally tinselled out of it, put your own good time at the top of your priorities.

With freedom, there is no pressure to perform and there is no judgement if you do nothing at all. With freedom, you don’t have to follow a set of rules or feel like you’re failing if you don’t follow them precisely. When it comes to shiftin’, ridin’ and datin’, everyone has a different pace, so with Christmas parties and reunions filling up the days and nights, don’t waste this time of merriment by acting like a bloodhound. Don’t let your good times be diluted by intrusive relationship questions from your distant relatives. Instead, relax and have fun. Being single during Christmas isn’t an affliction by any means but to truly embrace the single status, you have to stop treating your singlehood like it’s the horse that drives the cart. You’re the goddamn horse. You hear me? You are the beautiful, goddamn horse.

So when you’re out getting totally tinselled out of it, put your own good time at the top of your priorities. Cuffing deadlines can go to hell because as we all know the Christmas weeks melt into one, until you can’t tell your Tuesdays from your Sundays. It’s one big Baileys-filled, ham sandwich-lined blur. So this Christmas, in all of your single glory, soak up the freedom and go with the flow and if that flow leads you to the red wine stained lips of a handsome divil in the wee hours of a gaff party, then so be it! Or if your night ends in a mate’s kitchen, singing All I Want For Christmas Is You to their sleepy yet horrified dog when everyone else has gone to bed, then you’ve done very well for yourself indeed.

Wherever she is… Mariah is smiling down at you.