Cuffing season reminds us of our primal nature

Transitioning from hot girl summer to cuffing season

Cuffing season has its roots in evolution.

If summer is for casual dating, vacations with friends, relaxing, and working on yourself, fall is for settling down in a relationship. We all know what’s coming—cuffing season.

CBC defines cuffing season as a dating trend that extends from October to Valentine’s Day, a phenomenon when single individuals habitually search for a stable partner.

In the fall, cute couple activities are everywhere—apple picking, movie marathons, farmers markets, hiking, and carving pumpkins are all over Instagram feeds.

As soon as the leaves begin to change and the weather gets cooler, we start to engage in some serious love-life introspection. There’s nothing like seeing your friends wearing Halloween couple costumes to make you re-evaluate your own relationship status.

There’s something distinctively primal about cuffing season—we want a stable partner to hibernate with in the winter. While this is certainly not the most romantic perspective, when we understand the biological undertones of the phenomenon, it loses some of its power.

On a strictly evolutionary level, humans had a better chance of surviving the colder weather with a partner. In fact, research shows that both testosterone and estrogen levels increase in the winter, increasing libido and driving us to hunt for a stable partner to hunker down with for the winter.

Understanding that this ‘survival of the fittest’ trend is Darwinian in theory relieves some of the pressure settle to down this fall. As humans, we no longer necessarily need a partner in the winter to preserve our genes.

If hearing about cuffing season and watching your friends couple up stresses you out, fight the power of the trend and enjoy your independence. We can romanticize our lives at any point of the year, so who’s to say that ‘hot girl fall’ can’t be the new hot girl summer.

While there’s something to be said about manifesting a relationship into your life, rushing into a relationship based on the change of the seasons and social pressures can be dangerous. It would be the same as breaking up with someone you really like so you can have a hot girl summer.

On the other hand, if you can’t resist the lure of a snuggle-partner as the cold weather comes upon Kingston, embrace the trend: download Tinder, flirt with your cute lab partner and put yourself out there.

While Queen’s is far from renowned for its dating culture—I once heard that trying to find a relationship at Queen’s is like trying to order caviar at McDonald’s—in-person classes and increasingly large social gatherings will facilitate an environment more conducive to relationships this fall.

After a long year and a half of pandemic isolation, I anticipate that the trend will land even harder this year than before. 

At the end of the day, cuffing season is a trend based on a primal drive to mate and settle down and bolstered by social pressures. If that’s not your vibe, don’t give in to the pressure to find a significant other this fall—Amazon yourself a weighted blanket and keep yourself warm at night.

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