Student Life

It’s cuffing season: Is getting into a relationship really the best way to survive the cold?

It’s over a month into second semester, and everybody knows what that means: “Cuffing season” has been in full swing for a while now. That time of the year when singles are more inclined to dive into comforting, albeit often temporary, relationships to keep warm during the cold months is alive and well at McGill.

The term “cuffing season” comes from the older concept of “hunter-gatherer seasons,” during which individuals would pair up during the colder months to increase their chances of survival and ability to reproduce. In fact, more babies are born in late summer, which would indicate an increase in sexual activity during the beginning of cuffing season, in October and November, when the weather begins to get colder. The term was perhaps officially coined in rapper Fabolous’ song, “Cuffin’ Season”, popularizing the term in 2014. 

For many, cuffing season is always at the top of their mind, as the colder it gets, the more they long for someone to be there to warm them up. However, for others, the concept of cuffing season is unfamiliar and confusing. Scott Nevison, U3 Arts, is an Australian exchange student who, before arriving at McGill, had never been exposed to cuffing culture. Australia’s temperature tends to stay above zero degrees, so the need for a relationship during some seasons over others does not exist.

“Seeing as it’s so bleak going outside, I guess it’s pragmatic,” Nevison said. “I can see the value in being cuffed during the winter here because people tend to socialize by drinking, and in the winter, people tend to drink all the time, which is exhaustive because this weather is so draining, it’s always dark and cold [….In the] summer I wouldn’t want to be cuffed because there’s a lot to do. Festivals, day drinking, day events, parties. It seems almost more responsible to keep yourself tamed and cuffed during winter.”

For those hoping to get cuffed, this is an exciting time of the year. In the midst of winter, a cuff may serve as a nice excuse to stay in, drink some hot chocolate, and Netflix and chill. A currently-cuffed student, Gabrielle Martin, U3 Management, has enjoyed the perks of her relationship status this winter season.

“In the winter it’s so nice because you can just cuddle up with them and get some warmth,” Martin said.

While this may sound like the best solution to a frigid winter, Martin believes that one doesn’t need to be in a relationship to stay warm this winter.

“[Cuffing season] is overrated,” Martin said. “The best part of cuffing is cuddling and you can do that with friends or family.”

So, if cuddling is the only benefit to being cuffed during cuffing season, it’s easy to grab a friend or a pet instead, and avoid the FOMO of having a wintertime cuff. But for those who find little satisfaction in cuddling, like Martin Mei, U3 Management, this time is better spent in other ways.

“There’s just so much else in life that I can do with my time, such as work, save money, build up my resume, or build up connections for a kick-start on my professional career,” Mei justified. “I’d rather spend time seeing more people than spending all of my free time with one person.”

Additionally, being cuffed during cuffing season makes it easy to end up isolating oneself from Montreal’s winter social life. When there’s a warm bed and warm body to keep you company during the cold, the appeal of spending time with friends and going out is reduced. To Felix Larouche, U3 Science, this is one major flaw to the season.

“Cuffing season limits opportunities to go out and meet new people,” Larouche said. “I prefer not being cuffed, because one of my friends is cuffed and he doesn’t seem to do anything fun anymore. He tends to now spend most of his time with his cuff. He’s not for the boys.

If students are feeling cold and lonely during these snowy months, they should try taking a page out of Mei’s book and keeping extra busy by spending time with friends and focusing on work. Soon enough, once the weather finally warms up, cuffing season won’t even be a flicker of a thought and un-cuffed students will be glad they don’t have to suffer through the infamous “What are we?” talk.

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