The sun is beginning to sit higher in the sky for longer, the birds chirp a little bit louder and boys are wearing their pants shorter. All of this signifies the coming of spring. Even with the Boston spring still feeling a lot like winter, the seasons are still changing.
But in the world of dating, where I live, breathe and study, this season has a different name: uncuffing season. If you weren’t aware of it already by the appearance of the Snapchat filter, uncuffing season has officially started. But what does that mean?
The relationship year is divided into two different seasons — cuffing season and uncuffing season. They divide up the calendar year into two different parts — namely a time dedicated to being single and a time dedicated to not being single.
Cuffing season is described as a period of time where singles link up in search of warmth, stability and a cuddle partner. It usually begins in late October or early November depending on what the weather is like in your region and the availability of others.
But uncuffing season is the exact opposite.
It is a period of time where the relationships around you seem to dissolve, and more single friends emerge like budding flowers. Uncuffing season is when relationships break up because the weather gets nicer, and there is a feeling in the warm weather that makes you want to date other people or take time for yourself.
In a time where many are facing graduation and the end of the school semester, uncuffing season is a very common thing for freshmen and seniors. There is a feeling of things ending that adds an extra layer to the uncertainty surrounding the season. Couples either break up or stay together but there is an added element of pressure when it comes to deciding whether or not to stay together past the last month of the semester. They go home, they move to different cities or they drift apart.
Conversely, they also stay together. The first time I experienced cuffing season was my freshman year when the relationship that I was in ended because we would both be going home — and there was little reason to keep it going.
Although it wasn’t an official “uncuff” based on the circumstances, I understood why we wouldn’t stay together. There are uncertainties that surround relationships in general, and the added pressure of both the timing of school and the semester ending don’t bode well for relationships. All of these things align with the uncuffing timeline.
This is not to say that every relationship will be ending this uncuffing season, and they will start again in cuffing season. It’s been very interesting to follow the chatter surrounding these seasons because there has been an uptick in who uses this language. Relationships end all the time, just as relationships start all the time. They don’t have to follow a specific schedule and don’t have to let the pressures of time always press down on them. To continue to be in a relationship is a choice, and it’s one worth choosing if you can continually provide the support.
Cuffing and uncuffing seasons are dating trends and patterns which means just that — they’re trends. If you’re in a relationship, you’re not obligated to break up with your significant other because your friends and random people are doing it too. If you need to end your relationship and it just happens to be uncuffing season, then you may do so.
This is all just to say that relationships should end for the right reason. If you’re breaking up with your significant other so you may regain freedom in the warm months, you probably shouldn’t have been in a relationship in the first place.
Relationships are systems of mutual love, respect and support. Wanting to be out of them to regain the taste of being single is a natural desire, but sometimes that reminds us why we like being in them. Being single, looking for people to link up with and dealing with terrible pickup lines are for a different time. To be in a relationship is a choice. Cuffing season, uncuffing season — neither one of them should dictate how you date.