As the temperature gradually descends from its 100 degree status, indoor activities become the norm for most. While indoors, those same people with nonchalant, care-free attitudes over the summer will begin to notice the lack of companionship during the holidays. Due to various family get togethers and social events over the span of Halloween until Valentine’s Day, there will be an overabundance of new couples. These new couples are the byproducts of a phenomenon known as “Cuffing Season.” “Cuffing Season” is the latest description of ultimate loneliness. It is the ultimate battle against depression and boredom for adults when alcohol and Netflix is not enough. The term “cuffing” is short for “handcuffing;” slang used to describe mates overly supervising their significant others. There has been speculation that the term, “cuffing season” comes from the internet sensation known as “Black Twitter,” the African-American influence of the popular social media network.
There have been dating survival tips for the season, budget tips, and a playlist that had to have at least one R. Kelly song present or two. Now there is a survey based on people’s knowledge on the occasion, whether or not they believe it has a purpose, and if the single people surveyed will knowingly participate in cuffing season. All participants of the survey were asked five questions:
- How would you describe cuffing season?
- Who do you think participates in this practice?
- Where/when did you first hear about it?
- Do you believe it has a purpose?
- What do you believe is the counter/answer to cuffing season?
For example, here are my answers:
* How would you describe cuffing season?
Cuffing season is the months consisting of September thru February, where new couples emerge based on loneliness. The ones that were single during spring and summer are now in relationships.
* Who do you think participates in this practice?
People that are single until they have to spend more time inside participate in Cuffing Season. Some people unhappy in relationships will even participate if they are bold enough.
* Where/when did you first hear about it? I first heard about “Cuffing Season” from single people on Twitter complaining about being lonely.
* Do you believe it has a purpose? Yes, “Cuffing Season” can have a purpose. The purpose is to defeat loneliness and boredom. It can also be good practice for people that don’t know or aren’t really sure how to function in a relationship.
* What do you believe is the counter/answer to Cuffing Season?
The only counter to “Cuffing Season” is a couple where both people are satisfied or at least a happy relationship with yourself when you are single.
The age, occupation, and relationship status of the participating individuals was taken into consideration for various reasons. Younger people are more likely to begin relationships without meaningful purposes. People with stressful and time-consuming jobs do not have time to find significant others and finally, I believe that the income of an individual determines how frequently they go out on dates; the least financially secure are more prone to invite people over to their homes to watch a movie instead of going out which is a main factor included in cuffing season.
Of the 31 participants (17 Men, 14 Women) ranging from the age of 16 to 36 (Young and Immature to Grown and Sexy, but sometimes Immature), only one person was not familiar with Cuffing Season, but they were willing to learn. 11 were in arrangements they called relationships, three were “happily” married (I guess they are happily married since they basically talked down on single people), one was engaged (congratulations), and 16 claimed to be single and dating. (Remember when you went on one date with someone in high school and then you were in a relationship with them? I guess that changes when you turn 18 and you have more options.) Surprisingly, none of the single/dating subjects admitted to plans of participating in Cuffing Season this year. 16 people with nothing else to do would not be honest with me and say that they were getting in a relationship only because of the season change. I know the season change seems very minimal but it is a true coincidence. One of the “single and dating” members has already begun to say “bae” more in their Facebook posts and changed their profile pic to a side by side pic of them and a member of the opposite sex since this survey was conducted. I’ll let you connect the dots with that one. You have my answers and insight into my feelings about the social media influenced, 21st century nickname for courting, being boo’d up, or the nonchalant answer, “doing us”, known as Cuffing Season.
We all agreed that the beginning of Cuffing Season coincided with Autumn/Fall.
The next questions had answers that were either closely similar or COMPLETELY, 180 degree turn around from what I thought. Have fun and learn from these “opinions” and true stories, I did and I want to thank everyone that participated by not printing their names.
When asked, “Who participates in Cuffing Season?”, responses varied drastically. The mature 30 year old participants credited young people as the main participants. The young people that took the survey took the time to highlight certain characteristics of their peers. From those that were unlucky in the summer and single people jealous of other’s relationships to college students and party goers/ratchets were all called out. I was surprised when one even said that Cuffing Season is for people looking for serious relationships when I believe that relationships born into Fall are best used by Spring. Ultimately, I was extremely offended by someone’s claim that mainly young Black women and men, such as myself, are the only ones doing this. Answers like “anybody” and “Men and Women are equal participants of this practice” made me the happiest and assured me that some people may actually know what they are talking about when it comes to this dating phenomenon.
When asked, “Where/when did you first hear about it?”, Four of the respondents had never heard about Cuffing Season till now. Two heard about it last year and one actually heard about it years ago. One knew about it in middle school. (Wow! I bet they thought they were grown.) One actually claims to have learn about it first in J.Cole’s song, “The Last Stretch” when he mentioned cuffing. Others have heard about it from a conversation with friends, on college and high school campuses, but the majority learned about Cuffing Season from the breeding ground of many of today’s popular slang,Facebook and Twitter. It is amazing how some incoherent thoughts and misspellings in tweets and status updates structure contemporary culture. Thankfully, some people find some form of merit to justify this made up term before people label it unnecessary.
When asked,” Do you believe it has a purpose?”, 12 people strongly disbelieved in a purpose. The remaining 19 shared various theories on Cuffing Season’s purpose. Most believed its main purpose is regular sex. Others believed that having someone in your life to occupy your time was the only purpose. There were some hopefuls that believe Cuffing Season can lead to something with substance and even life lessons.
When asked, “What do you believe is the counter/answer to Cuffing Season?”, All 31 had an answer completely different from each other, only two believe that there is no counter or answer to stop the relationship trend. Time was the main subject in most answers; There should be time put into a serious or real relationship.One had the hope that the trend will eventually die off in the future, while others agreed that people should not be following the trend or pressure from couples. “Self-esteem and a hobby” and “Get a blanket instead of a mate, remain single or date casually” were my favorite pieces of advice, because they made the most sense.
The following are individuals’ description of what “Cuffing Season” is to them. All of the responses are anonymous and appreciated for this survey. Enjoy:
- 1. Cuffing Season – after a summer of flirty behavior and not wanting to be tied down, Cuffing Season rolls in with the colder weather. Nobody wants to be alone during winter for whatever reason. I guess being single in the summer and being in a relationship in the winter is just how people feel they should be.
- 2. Cuffing Season can be described as an activity that has become a trend for those wanting the perks of a relationship without the longevity.
The Realists / Pessimists
4. I describe Cuffing Season as around fall and spring where there are breakups because school is starting and school is about to get out.
- I describe Cuffing Season as the time when a guy locks down a girl for winter time.
- To me Cuffing Season is the period in which young men and women are in somewhat serious relationships.
- Cuffing Season is a season that starts in mid September right before winter where all ratchet men and women choose to settle down for all the holidays such as fair time, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day.
- 8. Cuffing Season is equivalent to being “boo’d up” if the kids still say that. Anyone in a relationship are considered “cuffed” to me.
- 9. I would describe Cuffing Season as the time of the year when everyone wants to be taken and have a boyfriend/girlfriend.
- 10. I would describe it as a natural dating phenomenon in which men and women attempt to get into a relationship, simply to avoid loneliness during the holidays. Cuffing Season is something men and women practice whether intentionally or not.
- A phrase coined by people looking to have temporary relationships for certain benefits.15. Cuffing Season is also known as caking season. When a couple decides to keep to themselves for a while. No friends, no family, no company, etc. From the months of September thru January is considered cuffing seasons. All of the important holidays are around this time, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Years. Everyone wants to cuff someone for these holidays, but you have other folks who are not in a relationship, precipitate in cuffing season a very different way.
(From: Double Groove )
12. I really think the idea of Cuffing Season is stupid! There is no purpose. Most people just want to find someone during the fall and winter which is also stupid.
- Cuffing Season is when everybody decides they want to get with someone for the months ahead. It’s mostly up until Xmas when everybody is desperately trying to date someone. Mostly teenagers and young adults see into the idea of Cuffing Season since it isn’t truly a commitment.
- 3. Cuffing Season is that time of year when it seems as if everybody gets a bf or gf for whatever reason. I don’t participate in Cuffing Season. I don’t have a season and I don’t personally know anyone who goes by this unspoken rule of having to have someone at a given time of the year.
When It’s Cold Outside,…..
1. Cuffing Season is that time of year, usually late summer or early fall, when people get in relationships and stop talking to several individuals at once.
2. Cuffing Season is when the weather change and boo event season starts, its really like about two weeks prior to the [Red River] Revel [in October in Shreveport] or more towards the [State] Fair [of Louisiana in November], it’s that season where the weather changes [and] you know it’s a necessity to have that somebody.
- 3. How would you describe cuffing season?
Particularly, the time of year that most people wish to have a significant other to cuddle up with during the cold weather for certain to come.
- Ha! Cuffing Season is during the Winter months when lonelies try to find last minute mates. I think it has something to do with hibernation…
- Can’t say it sounds bad, I mean everybody wants somebody they can chill extra close with. Truthfully, it sounds like some square sucka shit, and I don’t really speak that language, so I really can’t call it.
- Cuffing Season is the time of year when people feel like they need to be cuddled up with somebody. It’s usually in the winter months, because I guess the cold weather makes people want to be laid up next to another person. So you find someone to “cuff” and now you have a set cuddle buddy for the cold weather.7. That time of year (Fall/Winter) when single or desperate people look for a cuddle buddy to spend time with on those long nights indoors.
(From: College Magazine)
1. I would describe Cuffing Season as a time of year that two people (preferably single) get together and frequently hang or be underneath each other.
2. Period of time during the fall/winter months when lonely or lusty people seek temporary comfort &/or pleasure, often sexual, from each other’s company.
1. Cuffing season is the time of year where guys look for girls (or girls look for guys) to be in an actual serious relationship with.
- I describe it as a unique strategy to unexpectedly get caught in your feelings….because sometimes cuffing turns into much more.
Don’t know what they talking about in their answers, so I’m going to do some commentary:
1. [How would you describe Cuffing Season?] Something the internet brought to our attention & made it relevant.[Was it the internet or was it people that use the internet that did it? Another “chicken or egg first” quandary. The world may never know.]
- 2. Cuffing Season in my words is a ritual in the urban hip hop community but not limited to the rest that starts when it gets cold. When two people lay, spoon or cuddle each other or when someone is claimed and marked as territory also its held as a party every year. [I know “urban” originally described families living in big cities after moving from rural ares, but years later “urban” just became associated with African-Americans or black people. Did they really have to say “urban hip hop community” instead of just hip-hop community? Is the suburban pop community not filled with serial daters? I just thought that was weird.]
- Cuffing Season is the time of year where everybody call themselves getting into relationships cause it getting too cold to be running around being hoes.(It never too cold or too hot to be hoes, you just have to be more selective in your hoe-ing due to weather conditions. Sidenote: Hoes can’t travel over water. Think about it: The NBA’s All-Star Weekend is always hosted in continental America and attracts plenty hoes, a bounty of hoes. The NFL’s Pro-Bowl is held in Hawaii every year and gets zero coverage every year. Coincidence?)
- How would you describe cuffing season? It’s like being in high school when the Sadie Hawkins dance comes around. Everybody’s trying harder to love somebody. Then you find out half the girls in school are secretly the Feds & you got hella drugs in your locker.(S#!t gets hectic, I guess is what he was trying to say, I’ve had this for two months and I’m still scratching my head trying to decode this riddle.)
With all this said, I hope you learned something and are more prepared for the dangerous dating field in the winter months. Good Luck to all that will participate and congratulations to everyone, like myself, that will be entertained by the drastic relationship status changes to Facebook accounts. The candid Instagram pics of significant others with the caption, “Out with the bae” will be annoying but will also be interesting to see if those pics will still exist in four months. For the midnight Twitter users that reflect on their current situations while, during, or after listening to Drake, prepare yourself for what you are getting into and set out a game plan whether you want a relationship or someone to be apart of your life momentarily. Let The Games Begin!
*Please cuff responsibly. Short-T/Good Kid,Ratchet City are not responsible for any heartbreaks, headaches, or bad times Cuffing Season might bring to you. I warned you.
*Also I recommend these songs/projects for your Cuffing Season adventures, not too serious like Jason Derulo’s “Marry Me” on this playlist just some fun songs for the occasion, not funny like Rasheeda’s “Marry Me” either:
Damar Jackson – Cuffing Season EP
K.Roosevelt ft. Hit Boy – “Do Me Now”
Bei Maejor (or Maejor Ali; I dont’ like the name change, but he still got good music.) – “Mesmerized”
K.Michelle – “I Just Wanna”
Sevyn Streeter – “Sex On The Ceiling”
Jhene Aiko ft. Childish Gambino – “Bed Peace”
Childish Gambino – “3005” and “Fly”
Mack Wilds – “A New York Love Story”
Ellie Goulding – “Your Song” and “Need Your Love,” only if you’re bold enough to play this song.
Jared Evan – “State I’m In”
SZA – “Ice Moon”
Rapsody ft. Common – “Feel Like”
Chance The Rapper ft. Noname Gypsy – “Lost”
Lorde – “A World Alone” and “Buzzcut Season”
Kanye West ft. Charlie Wilson – Bound 2 (Hate the video, but love “Jerome’s In The House!”)
Regina Spektor = “The Party” and “US“
John Legend – “Made To Love” & “All Of Me“
The Neighbourhood – “Sweater Weather”
C Tha Future – Mercedes (Green Light)
If your game is smooth and you don’t need words then here are some instrumentals from the bandcamp page of Producers I Know, filled with sounds from instrumentalists that dedicated their work to one particular season that comes and goes every year leaving memories and sorrow. Oh, good times, good times.
Good Kid, Ratchet City