Bae’d up: ’tis the season for cuffing


Two feet of snow lies on the ground on a Tuesday afternoon. You’re bored and lonely, and an email just confirmed class is cancelled. The left side of your bed is unoccupied and cool. Your heart begins to sink until you realize cuffing season has begun.

Fabulous rapped about it. MTV and Glamour magazine have written guides for surviving it. Urban Dictionary even defined it: magazine have written guides for surviving it. Urban Dictionary even defined it: Glamour magazine have written guides for surviving it. Urban Dictionary even defined it:

“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.”

Although others believe there is a science to cuffing season, there is more social evidence than scientific proof to support the cuffing phenomenon.

“There’s not a science to it. It’s strictly based off of people being lonely,” senior biology major Lauren Brown said. “The only thing that may be scientific to it is hormones.”

Professor of Sociology Timothy Buzzell provides an alternative explanation of cuffing season.

“There is research that shows people during the holidays seek out relationships, and that is actually connected to loneliness,” Buzzell said.

Instead of the cold weather prompting relationships, Buzzell said the cause may be the holidays surrounding the last months of the year, which happen to be colder.

“You want someone to go with to the parties, to take home at Thanksgiving or to be with on Christmas and New Year’s Eve,” Buzzell said. “The holidays mean more intimate interaction with people, and you are constantly reminded that you’re not in a relationship.”

Online dating websites, such as eHarmony, often see increased registration around this time of year, and there are also more relationship status updates on Facebook.

“Even my friends recently have been talking about how they want boyfriends because of the weather and winter activities such as formals,” sophomore Brittney Diehm said.

As cuffing season begins, usually in mid-October, people begin recruiting possible players.

“When someone comes your way and they have potential to share something great with you, that’s how cuffing season happens,” freshman Brooke McMillin said.

When October ends, cuts are made and by November a cuffing buddy is often chosen.

“Every year around this time that happens,” McMillin said. “It’s cuddle weather and people are looking for that big bear to love and kiss on.”

Senior Antonio Adgers believes cuffing season is the time to get more serious, and if you already have someone on your radar, the season makes the process easier, but if your radar is empty, the season adds to the pressure of becoming ‘bae’d up.’”

For those who are uncertain or are not looking for a relationship, the chilly weather may change their perspective. Before students start taking the steps to be cuffed, though, there are pros and cons to consider.

Junior Mike Igwe began dating his girlfriend during the colder weather and is experiencing the benefits of cuffing season.

“I knew what I wanted and I searched around, but nothing was right because of what we already had made sense,” Igwe said. “As far as the cons, when you see others together it makes you want something as well, and so it’s hard to not feel that pressure, especially during the colder months.”

Typically cuffing season ends before Valentine’s Day or at the end of February. Those who are cuffed in the winter sometimes go back to being single so they can mingle for the spring and summer months.

Freshman Steven Kurczewsti estimates that “65 percent of people break up and probably never talk to that person again.”

So there’s no guarantee of cuffing season producing lasting results.

“If it works, it works, and if it doesn’t work, you’re back to playing the field,” McMillin said. “Hopefully no one’s feelings get hurt, but it’s like playing a game. You just never know what’s going to happen.”

By spring the trees will be turning back green and the opposite sex will be showing more skin, but until then: ‘Tis the season for cuffing.