Cuffing Season

How to Make It Last Past Cuffing Season

Well, Valentine’s Day is over. With that comes the official end of the year’s best season for cuddles.

No, I’m not talking about winter–we’ve still got a bit more of that to go.

The season I’m referring to is the most infamous season in the dating calendar. And, that is none other than cuffing season.

What is cuffing season?

Young or old, big or small, cuffing season affects us all.

winter changing to summerJust preceding “spring flings” and “single girl/guy summer,” cuffing season refers to a period of time where single people switch gears into relationship mode. Single people actively seek out partnerships as a way to pass through the fall and winter months.

The season generally lasts from October, when the weather begins to dip in temperature, to March, when things start to heat up again.

And, just like the season comes and goes, by the time Valentine’s Day wraps up and the infatuation wanes, cuffed-up couples tend to go their separate ways.

But, not always.

If you’re lucky, sometimes you can cuff yourself a keeper during cuffing season. When you find someone special, it’s important to strengthen your relationship so that it lasts the test of time.

While cuffing season might be coming to a close, it doesn’t mean your relationship has to end, too. Here are our top three tips for helping your new relationship last!

Don’t rush things

sign post representing the ways to get through cuffing seasonDespite what The Beatles have to say about it, for a relationship to pass the test of time, love is not all we need.

While it’s true that love is the foundation of a good relationship-–love can be fickle. Just one accidental peek at your partner picking their nose like an adult toddler and you might begin to question everything.

Love, or at least what feels like love, can happen fast. But, true, lasting, love comes with time.

It is also important to recognize that “love” is only one component of a larger whole because it requires other ingredients to be solid and healthy.

Couples that last the longest attribute their success to qualities like respect, romance, and regular quality time as being the foundation of their longevity.

So, if it’s been a few months and neither you nor your partner has confessed your undying love for each other—don’t worry. In the early stages of a relationship, it’s more important to notice qualities that can foster love in the long run.

Instead of focusing on blurting out those three little words ASAP, make sure your partner shows signs that they can handle your love in the long run. Someone that consistently treats you with respect, patience, and kindness is someone who is capable of sustaining a loving relationship, even in stormy weather.

Actions speak louder than words. If your partner is treating you with love and respect, that’s their way of saying “I love you” without words (for now).

Make time for romance

Couples who couldn’t make it past cuffing season often cite a lack of romance, as the reason for their split. If you’re noticing the spark begin to dwindle between you and your partner, it might be time to rev up the romance in your relationship.

However, amongst the hustle and bustle of daily life, that’s easier said than done. It can be easy to get caught up in the same old routine. But, becoming a creature of habit can be a bit of a turn off.

If you want to keep the romance alive in your relationship, it’s important to maintain a balance of both physical and emotional intimacy. Stealing kisses throughout the day, giving massages after a long day of work, or buying a new set of lingerie for yourself or your partner are surefire ways to dial up the heat.

However, keeping the romance alive within your relationship goes beyond the bedroom. Lasting romance thrives on building deep, emotional intimacy between you and your partner.

Even if your schedules are hectic, try to carve out some quality time for the two of you. One of the best ways for you to connect is through regular and meaningful communication.

Couples who dedicate part of their day towards connecting with their partner are more likely to go the distance. Whether that means eating breakfast together before work, or going for a stroll around the neighborhood after dinner, your partner is sure to appreciate the quality time.

If you want your relationship to withstand the test of time, it’s important to take some time for romance.

Communicate openly

Couple talking after cuffing seasonWhile each couple is unique, when it comes to disagreements, it usually boils down to one common culprit. A lack of communication is one of the most common causes for failed relationships.

There’s nothing more heartbreaking than being unable to open up with the person who matters most to you. But, when you’re unable to express your feelings from the heart, seeing matters eye to eye seems impossible.

In order to maintain open and honest communication with your partner, it’s important to be truthful to one another.

Even in the early stages of a relationship, it’s important to set a precedent of honesty (without oversharing, of course). Opening up about yourself and sharing your feelings lets your partner know it’s safe for them to do the same.

While some privacy is important in a relationship, secrets often lead to hurt feelings and mistrust. Sharing your private thoughts and feelings with your partner is a great way to build trust and make the relationship stronger.

If you’re unable to trust your partner with your innermost feelings, it will be difficult for you to communicate–especially when problems arise.

Even when emotions are high, try to speak to your partner with love, patience and respect. Remember that it’s you two against the problem–not each other.

Relationships that last the longest are when the partners understand that being happy is better than being right. Learn how to make decisions with your partner, even if it goes against what you think is best.

For a relationship to make it past cuffing season, being willing to compromise is key.

Even more important?

Being able to say “I’m sorry.”

No matter how great you or your partner are, nobody is perfect. At some point or another, someone will make a mistake. When that happens, try to avoid stubbornness. Being quick to apologize–and actually meaning it–will help your relationship overcome the blunders.

Going the distance

couple laughing after cuffing seasonWith these tips in mind, you and your partner are sure to make it past cuffing season stronger than ever. As the weather gets warmer outside, let the love for you and your partner heat up, too!

Above all, remember to treat your partner with the same level of affection as when cuffing season began. Make them a priority in your life, even when your schedules get hectic.

Want more love and relationship tips?

From cuffing season to single summers, The Setup offers personalized dating coaching for every time of the year. Get expert tips on how to make your relationship last by joining The Setup today!

Couple on Date Making Bad First Impressions

#CouplesGoals - Bad First Impressions

Do you ever wonder why we celebrate relationships in literature like Romeo and Juliet despite their bad first impressions, heinous miscommunication, tragic endings, and/or obvious character flaws?

In our #CouplesGoals series, we will examine some of those (in)famous love stories and dissect the ins and outs of those fictional relationships that society has put on a pedestal.

Is accidental double suicide really the ideal romance? I think we can do better as a culture, don’t you?

Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorite works of classic literature. Not just for the complex web of interpersonal relations, which we will dive into momentarily, but for the continuous lesson of bad first impressions.

Like most writers, I’m an introvert. I listen more than I speak, and I’m cursed with what has lovingly been coined Resting Bitch Face, or RBF in polite company. Many of my friendships began with them saying, “I thought you were mean the first time I met you.”

Nope, that’s just the way my face looks.

So, as someone who often feels like I don’t always make the best initial impression, I can’t get enough of a novel that proves all the characters’ gut-instinct wrong.

Spoiler Alert—I don’t know if this needs to be said for a book that is nearly 225 years old, but just in case. 

Bad First Impressions

When Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy first met, neither one of them liked the other. He basically called her ugly, and she kind of chewed him out in public. By the end, not only are they married, but they are Jane Austen’s version of #couplegoals. 

Alternatively, when Elizabeth meets Mr. Wickham, she’s smitten. We later learn the truth of his money-grabbing background which involved seducing young girls. In fact, he performs his bait and switch routine on Elizabeth’s youngest sister, Lydia. The two end up married in order to protect the family’s reputation. 

After observing his best friend, Mr. Bingley, dance and converse with Elizabeth’s older sister, Jane, Mr. Darcy came to the conclusion that they weren’t a good match. He was so sure of his bad first impression that he basically tells Mr. Bingley, she's just not that into you, and they break up

Clearly Mr. Darcy wasn’t a trained Matchmaker, because as it turns out, Jane is very much into Mr. Bingley. She’s just not into PDA in a time where showing too much ankle would get you slut-shamed. Go figure. 

Austen illustrates false positive and negative first impressions to show how one’s intuition can’t always be trusted.

Dating is a process of gathering information about the other person. You keep learning new things about them until you decide if you want to commit to a relationship with them or not. If you learn new information that negates everything you thought you knew about that person, don’t ignore it. Dig deeper lest you fall into the trap of an imposter.

Rank the Relationship

Elizabeth Bennet & Mr. Darcy: 8/10

I see why they are the novel’s main couple. Their love story includes a decent amount of drama, secrets, and Shakespearean misunderstandings. In the end they overcome their initial bad impressions of one another.

Mr. Darcy falls for Elizabeth despite their socioeconomic differences and his lack of attraction to her. Elizabeth forgives him for meddling in her sister’s affairs after he takes actions to correct his mistakes.

These are key takeaways in our line of business. This is why we always advise a minimum of three dates. Physical attraction and chemistry often grow over time, but so many people write a good match off simply because there weren’t fireworks on the first date.

They’re not a perfect match, but they choose to practice loving one another and that’s what keeps a relationship strong. They accept each other’s flaws, and encourage one another to do better and make things right whenever possible.

Jane Bennet & Mr. Bingley: 10/10

This is my favorite couple, although I must admit, an entire book on their story would be quite boring to read. They’re both shy and a bit reserved, but they click and they work well as a team. If everyone would have just left them alone, they would have been married much earlier and it would have saved a lot of heartache. 

Lydia Bennet & Mr. Wickham: 4/10

Lydia is the youngest of the five sisters. She and Mr. Wickham run off together after he makes her his latest love scam victim. Before rumors and shame overtake the family, Mr. Darcy intervenes again, this time for the better. He pays off Mr. Wickham’s debts, and convinces him to marry Lydia. Their passion burns hot and fast. Those fires rarely last long.

Mr. & Mrs. Bennet: 1/10

Full disclosure—Mrs. Bennet is my least favorite character. Neither of them are shy about announcing to their own daughters which is their favorite child. Maybe that was common practice of the time, but it’s terrible parenting either way you spin it.

Mrs. Bennet is overly dramatic and constantly nagging everyone in sight or playing the victim. Mr. Bennet mocks her to her face and verbally abuses the whole family. Elizabeth says at one point that she couldn’t possibly have a favorable view of marriage after watching her parents’ union her entire life.