Why "Cuffing Season" Is Actually The Best Time To Be Single

by Courteney Larocca

When we start summer flings, we know that they'll likely end come September. But now that fall is in full swing and we've figured out if those casual companionships fizzled out or flamed on, it's time to adjust to life with or without them. For those among us who are newly single, heading into the chilliest time of year solo might seem pretty lonely. But as someone who's been on her own for many seasons now, I have some great news for you: fall is the best time of year to be single.

"Fall is a wonderful time to plant ourselves, to clean up our emotional messes, reconnect with ourselves and to determine what we want to grow in future relationships," Tristan Coopersmith, licensed psychotherapist and founder of women's wellness studio Life Lab, tells Bustle.

The fall and winter might be known as "cuffing season", aka the time of year that we seek relationships for the colder months, but it's actually a great time to be by yourself. Every autumn activity can be done without a significant other — and spending time decorating pumpkins or baking apple pie with other important people in your life will prep you for the oncoming holiday season. Here are seven reasons why fall is the greatest time of year to be single:


Holidays Can Put Pressure On A Relationship

The holiday season can put strain on even the strongest relationships. "A new relationship isn't typically mature enough to talk about uncomfy topics like whether or not to invite the other to the work holiday ball or how much to spend on a gift, or to buy one at all," Coopersmith says. "So fall just makes for awkward conversations."

If you're single during fall though, you'll be able to spend time with your family and friends throughout the season and continue your usual traditions without having to worry about where a new person fits into the mix.


You Can Strengthen The Relationships You Already Have

The chillier season isn't the best time to be meeting new people, so if you're single, now is the best time to turn to your friends to fill your social calendar with autumn activities instead of any potential dates.

"Days get shorter and colder which decrease motivation to go out and meet people," Coopersmith says. "Sometimes our moods reflect the darkness and coldness of our environment, not leaving us putting our best foot forward."


It's A Time For Self-Reflection

With all this time to reflect on your relationship with yourself and what you need in any future partnerships, you'll be able to go into the new year "ready to embrace a new relationship with strength and clarity, with roots of self-love, trust and openness," Coopersmith says. That is, if you decide a new relationship is what you want. Autumn is the time to figure that out for yourself.


It's A Good Time To Focus On Work

"After the carefree nature of summer with longer days and maybe more flings, people tend to get focused... creating new goals and getting clear about what they want, which oftentimes doesn't leave much time for dating," Coopersmith says.

Even though your days of going back to school might be long over, fall remains a time to work hard after a season of spending weekends at the beach. If you're looking to advance your career or plan your future, autumn is an excellent time to do that — and being single will give you the opportunity to focus.


You'll Naturally Have More Alone Time

"Summer is very social time and you are likely around friends a lot," Kimberly Hershenson, a licensed therapist, tells Bustle. "When the fall season hits people tend to get more serious as they are back into work mode and start planning for the holidays."

This is the time of year where you'll naturally have more alone time, making it a prime time to focus on self-care and reflection.


You Can Set New Goals

"With the holidays and New Year's right around the corner, people tend to think about their future and what they want for the upcoming year," Hershenson says. "This is a good time to think about whether you want to be in a relationship and what you want for your future."

Whether your new goals are personal or professional, there's no better time to set them than in the months leading into a new year.


Cuffing Season Doesn't Equate To Lasting Relationships

It's definitely easy to get caught up in the idea of cuffing season and having someone to cuddle with during the colder months, but if you're genuinely looking for a relationship that lasts, now isn't the time to do it. According to Facebook data analyzed by journalist David McCandless, a spike in breakups starts around New Year's Day and steadily rises all the way through March. So unless you want to get caught in a breakup early next year, it's best to just enjoy this time reflecting on what you really want for yourself and any future relationships.

Cuffing season isn't everything, but learning more about yourself and what you want for your future is. With all the alone time autumn brings, it's clearly an optimal time to enjoy being on your own.