Walking through Kroger, it’s impossible not to notice the holiday aisle that is lined wall to wall with pink and red hearts and obnoxiously large stuffed bears stacked on the shelves. With the Valentine’s Day aisle of the grocery store in full swing, the season of love is truly upon us.
“Cuffing season” is far from a new phenomena. It has swept college campuses for generations and social media in recent years. With cold weather comes warm hearts, so lovers “cuff” themselves to one another in an attempt to find a snuggle buddy to get each other through the chilly months.
According to Urban Dictionary’s top result: “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.”
In short, getting cuffed is a fun and effective way to make it through the winter with a bit of joy and excitement, rather than lying in wait of warmer months.
First-year Hannah Matthews has been dating sophomore football player Michael Bonds since late-October. The two have been together for just over three months now and are confident that they will stay that way for seasons to come.
“I definitely did not plan on getting cuffed just for the sake of it,” Matthews said. “We just really hit it off and it honestly had nothing to do with relationship season coming up. I really never even thought about it like that but it has been nice having someone around for the holidays.”
However, some don’t think about the season of love as series of glorious social events, instead experiencing a strong sense of FOMO, or fear of missing out.
“There’s just a lot of couple opportunities during the holiday season, but I was alone and single so I couldn’t participate in any of them,” said Zoe Bishop, a first-year on the softball team.
Being single during a time where couples seem to be everywhere, doing lovey activities together like kissing under the mistletoe, posting “thankful for u ;)” Thanksgiving photos all over Instagram, enjoying midnight New Years Eve kisses, and of course, participating in the love fest extravaganza that is Valentine’s day, can lead people to feel alone. However, many of the things that seem to be catered toward pairs can be just as fun with a group of friends. Ice skating, Friends-givings, secret Santa and New Years Eve parties await those who choose friends over feelings.
“It kind of sucked not having a girlfriend over winter break because I didn’t have as much going on,” said first-year Thomas Garvey. “When I was at school, I was glad I didn’t have a girlfriend because I got to spend all my time with my friends and just do stuff with them.”
With Ariana Grande pledging to stay single for all of 2019 and producing hits on just how freeing it is to be independent, there seems to be less pressure to couple up, and it can be more appealing to those like Garvey to make more time for friends.
Still, those in relationships love to embrace the spirit of it.
“I would like to give a shoutout to my squishy (Matthews) for making me feel warm and awesome, even when the weather is cold and shitty,” said Bonds.
Valentine’s Day signals the end of cuffing season. As temperatures rise, more and more couples turn in their cuffs for cut-offs, bringing cuffing season to a close just in time to embrace the fearless attitude of “thank u, next.”