Cuffing season: Why are people more inclined to date during the winter?

As it gets colder and the holidays approach, singles enter “cuffing season.”

“Cuffing season” refers to single folks who “cuff” or become coupled up during the winter months. This seasonal trend typically begins in the fall and extends into the new year.

While the term was first defined by Urban Dictionary and largely gained traction on social media, it has become recognized widely enough to spark essays, playlists, and endless memes.

(‘Cuffing season’ was also short-listed for Collins Dictionary’s word of the year in 2017.)

But is there evidence to support cuffing season, or is it something created by the dating industry? According to relationship experts, people may be more likely to settle down in the cold.

“The desire to commit to a partner during the cooler months is reflected in online dating data,” said Jessica O’Reilly, a Toronto-based relationship expert and host of the Sex with Dr. Jess podcast.

O’Reilly points to Facebook data that showed more people were partnered up on the days around Valentine’s Day and Christmas.

She also highlights previous U.S. research that found an increase in keyword searches related to sex and “mating behaviours” in the winter months.

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