Ah autumn – the leaves are falling, we’re pulling our favourite jackets back out of our wardrobes and of course, settling for someone who isn’t actually that great because colder months, right?
Sorry everyone – according to popular dating app, Bumble, we’ve officially hit the start of Cuffing Season, the time of year where single people couple up with short-term partners for cosiness and comfort(s) to get them through the colder and lonelier months of the year.
Sound familiar? Well, in case you want to feel even more personally attacked, Bumble’s Sex and Relationships Expert, Dr Caroline West, has outlined three of the most common situationships that you’ve probably already been in and how to navigate them better as Cuffing Season kicks off this year.
The Safety Net Situationship
With many of us feeling the heat to ‘couple up’ during Cuffing Season, it can be easy to reigniting familiar, and comfortable, old flames rather than trying to find someone new to date. This can be particularly common when we head home for the holidays and bump into previous partners.
However, this isn’t always a good idea. According to Dr West, “Although this is a situationship that can happen during Cuffing Season and beyond, Bumble’s recent app data shows that over half (58%) of single people are more open to who they date beyond their usual ‘type’ - meaning there is a desire for more exploratory dating.
“There’s no need to fall back on your ‘safety net’, just because it’s Cuffing Season. It can be empowering to use this time to prioritise yourself, so consider taking yourself on some solo dates as a treat.”
The Promising Situationship
“Dating someone during colder months can be fun as there are lots of natural, romantic moments to meet up with your date - from Halloween parties to Bonfire Night - meaning more opportunity to cosy up and get to know them better. Spending quality time together doing activities is a great way to build a solid foundation for long-term relationships,” says Dr West.
Yup, although many of us don’t start our situationships thinking it’s going to be long term, sometimes it just ends up that way! As the dating expert advises, it’s important to remember that just because a relationship started in Cuffing Season, doesn’t mean it needs to end in it too.
She adds: “If you feel your emotions spilling over into the full 365 days of the year, then it’s time to put your cards on the table and be upfront with the person you’re dating.
“Bumble data shows that I think being honest and upfront is the most important thing in a relationship for 84% of singles, so the standard has been set.”
The Shielding Situationship
Ah societal pressure to couple up, how you plague us.
“Bumble’s research shows that during the festive season, more than 1 in 3 (38%) Gen Z and millennials say that friends and family have made them feel bad for not bringing a significant other to events,” explains Dr West.
This pressure can lead to people entering a situationship just so they don’t feel embarrassed in front of family or friends, otherwise known as ‘shielding’ according to Bumble.
Dr West’s advice? “Take your time. Simply let your family or friends know that you are intentionally dating, taking your time to find someone that aligns with your values rather than rushing into a relationship.”