Cuffing Season: Should We Stay Single?

        Florence Keck

With ‘Cuffing Season’ having just arrived, Florence Keck discusses whether it is really that important or whether we should be comfortable in being single?

Although generally seen as a gimmick-y term, I always found ‘cuffing season’ a problematic description. To cuff another person is a method used to quite literally force freedom away from them, and is this what being with a significant other should be? When we look at it in the literal sense of the word ‘cuff’, the appeal of an entire season being dedicated to it seems far less appealing than the liberating ‘single life’.

Throw a significant other into the mix and suddenly the vision shatters into pieces

Glamourised by endless media, the single life screams excitement, unpredictability, and most importantly: freedom. Being a fresher myself, the idea of freedom is one which I, and most students like me, value to an great extent. The shackles of a past reputation dissipate and with no parents to answer to, we can do whatever we want. But throw a significant other into the mix and suddenly the vision shatters into pieces. As nights out in clubs become nights in on Facetime, you start to wonder if everyone was right all along in saying that these are the years to stay single. Sow your wild oats even. And I also agree to an extent, but the alluring picture of winter nights wrapped up with your partner is one that even the most cynical of hearts can be drawn to. 

But while elements of it can be true, it is also just a picture.   

A picture that people seem to care more about making appear perfect, rather than working on developing deeply, and here lies the biggest problem with the concept of ‘cuffing season’. Craving a temporary fix to appease our seasonal sadness means that we’re willing to overlook the reality of our situations. Red flags are made pink by the snow and suddenly we’re willing to compromise our standards for the sake of having someone to take to Winter Wonderland. 

To be single is not to be lonely

It’s easy to notice that we’ve lost sight of what true substance is within a relationship. Couples are splashed across our For You pages, drowning us in the idea that “if he doesn’t do X, is he even your boyfriend?” or “if she’s doing Y, she’s for the streets don’t wife her”. It feels like an impossible task to satisfy the demands of the ‘perfect relationship’ – whatever that means.  

But we’d be lying if we said there wasn’t something nice about being “cuffed”. The comfort you feel knowing you have a level of consistency in your life, a solid, dependable constant that provides you with feelings of being needed, isn’t exactly unpleasant. It boils down to our most primal instinct of finding companionship. But is companionship worth having if the relationship you have with yourself is not already the most solid, dependable one? 

To be in a relationship does not mean to be tied down

In the same way being cuffed is glorified, being single is vilified. And sadly, this mentality is not only inaccurate, but incredibly unhealthy. To be single is not to be lonely. And to be in a relationship does not mean to be tied down. 

Whatever you want to do, don’t let the seasons decide. 

Florence Keck

Featured image courtesy of Engin Akyurt via Unsplash. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image.

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