Valentine’s Day marks a turning point for cuffing season. But what exactly is cuffing season?
According to its first definition on Urban Dictionary in 2011, cuffing season happens when “the cold weather and prolonged indoor activity causes singles to become lonely and desperate to be cuffed.”
Yes, there’s a reason why “cuffed” sounds like the word “handcuffs.” When someone is cuffed, they’re literally “locked down” with their partner, at least for the remainder of cuffing season. Urban Dictionary says that people generally “get cuffed” around Halloween and break up a month after Valentine’s Day.
This sounds too good to be true, but this phenomenon may actually have roots in evolutionary psychology. As the YouTube channel SciShow Psych explains, “This is all a part of social thermoregulation theory. The idea is that temperature regulation is super important to animals, and one of the ways to warm up is to huddle close to others. So, given our already social nature, we may have evolved to seek out others as a way to regulate our body temperature.”
When the weather warms again, though, this desire to be warm with someone dies down, and breakup season begins.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Those that start dating during cuffing season can make their relationships last as long as they’re willing to work on it, just like Ryan Gosling explains to Rachel McAdams in The Notebook.
But don’t worry if you’re not tied down this cuffing season. Many people usually don’t cuff, and that’s okay! As a wise BuzzFeed staff member says, "I am not going to worry about it because I am single and proud of it.”