Dating and Relationship Advice

Well, it’s that time of year again. The snow is falling, the lights are twinkling, and singles are rushing to pair off in hopes of having company during the holidays. That’s right, it’s cuffing season, baby!

Cuffing season has always deeply resonated with me. I mean, no one wants to watch Love Actually, the greatest movie of all time (don't @ me), in their apartment all alone. Plus, all the holiday events with relatives grilling you about your dating life? And festive activities that demand to be dates? It’s just easier to be an “us” instead of an “I” this time of year.

But this year, cuffing season might be a little different. And here's how.

Getting Cuffed Is Even Harder Now

Not only does the pandemic make it harder to find a holi-date, it also makes it that much more desirable to have a quarantine boo before we go back into lockdown. Plus, while singles were able to sneak in socially distant dates during the summer, winter’s onset has made picnics, walks and outdoor dinner dates all but impossible. Finding a new beau has become that much more challenging.

During these tough times, it's important to reflect upon the reasons you want to get cuffed in the first place. Ask yourself this: Do you actually like the person you’re seeing? Or do you just dread quarantining all alone during the holidays?

Transparency Is Key!

Honestly, if you’re cool with putting up with someone you aren’t all that jazzed about for the season, have at it! You do you, boo. Buuuuuutttt, before you start polishing your cuffs, take a moment to set some ground rules.

Have an honest conversation with your potential partner about your relationship expectations. You really don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings (or get your own feelings hurt) because you were just looking to satisfy your skin hunger. If you’re using a dating app, try being honest about what you’re looking for in your profile so there are no surprises on your end. Also, stay alert for signs that you or your partner’s wants are changing. People have been known to catch feelings when there’s mistletoe involved.

Be Safe (Covid-Safe)

Don’t forget to be upfront about COVID-19 exposure and safety expectations, too. Set rules about precautions you will both follow, including whether you will see other people. Not for jealousy’s sake, but because more partners mean a higher risk of contracting and spreading the virus.

If you haven’t found the right person yet, whether just for a festive fling or for a long-term commitment, don’t worry. You’re not alone in that, and there is no shame in the journey to find companionship or love. Yes, dating sucks. Especially right now. But that doesn’t mean you should settle for a person or a relationship that doesn’t give you what you want and deserve.  Don’t lower your standards just because your couch is better when shared, but also don’t give up.

After all, one potential silver lining of the shitshow that is 2020 is that we’ve all been forced to slow down and really think about who, and what, is important to us. Use that gift.