Holiday season is basically here and it looks like the last glimpse of the warmth of the fall sun is gone for good, so that can only mean one thing: “cuffing season” has officially arrived. By definition (the Urban Dictionary’s to be exact), cuffing season is when “people who would normally rather be single or promiscuous find themselves, along with the rest of the world, desiring to be tied down by a serious relationship.” Already feeling anxious about it? We get it.

It’s easy to get caught up after a Netflix and Chill moment, you know, snuggles in his oversized cologne lingering hoodie and the ultimate intimate playlist, but don’t worry, we’re here to help you save face come the return of the spring if Sir Cuffs-a-lot suddenly ghosts with no explanation.

Here is the definitive guide, the bae-sics if you will, on how to not get caught up during cuffing season!

1. Don’t go overboard on overnights

Yes, having someone to hold you tight and keep you toasty and warm during the winter midnight hours are your goals but limiting your cuffing is a really good idea. Keep your nights by each other’s side to a two night maximum. In case your cold weather mate is only temporary, you don’t want to get too comfortable with the idea of him in your bed every night. The less you see of him, the better off you’ll be emotionally. 

2. No new friends

If you haven’t met his homies, keep it that way. Nothing is more dangerous than falling for his friends too. During cuffing season, draw your line in the sand—or leaves and snow—when it comes to dipping in the friend zone. Getting caught in the friend trap will only leave your boundaries screwed up come spring. If you and your chosen cuffing mate run in similar friend circles, limit interactions with the group.

3. Let him carry some of the load

Don’t put on the girlfriend hat for what may be a casual fling. Just a reminder, you may not be in a longterm committed relationship. Don’t think that you’re the one who has to make sure the mood is always right. He can cook the dinner or place the takeout order. He can host you some nights too and he can most certainly pick what comes next in the Netflix queue.

4. Be on the same page

By now, the two of you have made it through recruitment season, and now the hard part awaits you–the cold nights and warm beds. Periodically check in with each other to make sure both of you are still on one accord about what will happen once the cold weather subsides. Are you both all in? Or just here for the season?

5. Beware of sharing too many feelings

Always remember that a seasonal cuddle buddy may not be there when the weather breaks, so share your innermost feelings with caution. If you must vent, consider calling up a close friend instead. The minute you start to feeling yourself catching the slightest feelings for your cuffing cohort, fall back and evaluate where you both stand. If you need to, call a flag on the play and spend a few days on the bench. A lot can come from clearing your head and bed of your guy until you’re ready to get back in the game.

6. Wrap it up

When it comes to cuffing season coitus, safe sex is the best sex. Unplanned pregnancies or incurable STDs don’t have to be part of the equation. It’s better to err on the side of caution when it comes to your mental, physical, emotional and sexual health with someone you may not see in your longterm future. Even if you’re keeping the possibility of having something more with him open, always remember to keep the condoms close. 

Have any cuffing season horror stories? We’re listening. Share them below!

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