THE temperatures are definitely cooling down, and many people are enjoying the mild weather and the promise of the festive season. One should also prepare for the likelihood of suitors, exes, and random individuals looking for a fling. It's a phenomenon known in the West as “cuffing season”, and immortalised in song by American rapper Fabolous. In essence, cuffing season is the period when cooler temperatures encourage people to start looking for someone they can snuggle up with. At this time, people who would usually rather be single or promiscuous find themselves desiring to be “cuffed” or tied down by a serious relationship — some also desiring the gifts and trinkets that come with the season of giving.
But though this has been labelled a millennial phenomenon, some have argued that this need to be “cuffed” is based on an instinct for humans to mate during this season – and this is inherently evidenced scientifically, as the highest birth rates are recorded nine months later, averaging the months of August and September. Doctors locally call it the 'crop season' for hospital deliveries, as babies are born in record numbers after couples simply get caught up with the love and warmth that come with the season.
Dr Scott Carroll, a physician and psychiatrist in Albuquerque, USA, told Medical Daily that “psychologically, we are primed to seek mates in the winter. We also associate the winter holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas) with family and partners, so we feel particularly lonely, on top of our evolutionary drive to seek connection in the winter.”
Sex therapist Dr Sidney McGill said that decreasing light, temperature and the colour green can affect our behaviour.
“A decline of these factors in our environment may very well expose our psyche to the urgent emotional and relational needs that we successfully avoided throughout summer,” he said.
Below are his recommendations on how to not fall prey to the cuffing season:
1. Get in touch with yourself
2. Read self-help books.
3. Accept your negative feelings.
4. Attempt to fix relationships, admitting your part in their deterioration.
5. Learn mindfulness and meditation practices.
6. Practice self-compassion — you'll survive your perceived loneliness.
7. Have more meaningful communication with people you value and care about.
8. Attend social events that you enjoy. Being single does not mean that you should not go out.
9. Explore your spirituality in greater depth.
10. Do not drop your hobbies. A hobby is a good way to occupy your time. If your favourite hobby is an outdoor activity that cannot be done in the cold period, find something interesting that you can do while staying indoors.