With the turn of the seasons into colder weather, we begin to think about cuffing season: a time when people start to pair together for relationships that last approximately four months. Everyone talks about it as if it is a natural occurrence, a feature in a nature documentary voiced by some British actor. But we have all been fooled.

We’ve all been sold the warm, fuzzy-feelings around cuffing season. It’s convenient to have someone to cuddle with during the colder months. You have someone to introduce to your family to and who can share the same awkward looks at family dinners. You have someone who will give you a gift you might actually like on Christmas, and someone to kiss on New Years Day

But all these glossy ideas fail to recognize the truth. In the end, flying solo into the winter months is the best way to go.

To begin with, you don’t have to buy another present for someone. Much like Valentine’s, cuffing season is a marketing scheme. Oh, you need matching sweaters? More air flights to spend the holidays at both yours and your partner’s family? You have to buy gifts for their parents and siblings, too? It comes down to the fact that it is expensive to be in a relationship, especially during the holiday season when prices for gifts and flights are hiked up. If it only lasting four months, you might as well call it fast-fashion and keep the budget to discount prices.

Secondly, for all the hype about cuddling in the cold, you don’t have to share your blanket if you are single. This is an easier way to stay warm without having to deal with arguments over the thermostat. This goes for sharing anything really. You don’t have to share your hot chocolate, you don’t have to share Santa’s cookies, and more than anything else, you don’t have to share your time with family. 

Too often families get into argument and fights over where the young couple is spending their holidays. Thanksgiving at your family’s place and then Christmas at your partner’sbut now someone is feeling hurt and upset.

You’re lucky if your families are in the same town or region, but add in flights or travel costs for any out-of-state location, and it’s starting to get expensive to compromise with everyone.

And what happens if you’re with a completely different partner the next time cuffing season rolls around? Your parents might just be making snarky comments about how you’ll be spending another holiday with a family that you’ll never see again. 

Next, showing up proudly single to your family dinners can be a statement in and of itself. Laugh off the aunts and uncles who keep nagging you about when you’ll bring a “nice [person] home to meet the family.”

Keep that head high, and drive the fear of the family dying out a little deeper into their hearts. 

In my own family, I like to rub in the fact that I have no intention of starting a family with a “nice Chinese boy” as my grandfather insists. Instead, my goal when I roll up to these large family dinners is to be the cool, single aunt who has wild stories about places I’ve traveled and lived, unencumbered by a relationship.

It entices my young nieces and nephews to be more like me, so that maybe someday, they too will be proudly single to the shock and fear of their parents. 

Lastly, if you really want to be in a relationship, don’t cut yourself short by settling for something formed in the desperation of cuffing season.

Those relationships, more than often, tend to drop off around Valentines and you deserve to have someone that sticks around longer than the marketing scheme.

If Walmart shows more interest in your relationship than your partner, that’s not it, sis. 

Besides, heading back home as a single pringle is really the only way to be the main character in a Hallmark Christmas movie special.

Maybe you will meet a new baker in your hometown, or reconnect with a long-lost love, or fall in love with a ghost in a haunted housebut you need to be single for that to happen.

And we all know, you deserve to be the main character. 

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  • Helena Ong

    Helena Ong is a freelance writer and journalist from San Francisco, California. In the past, she's worked at San Francisco Public Press, World Policy Journal, and NBC4 Los Angeles. She graduated from Pomona College, where she served as Production Editor for her college newspaper, The Student Life.