OPINION: Cuffing season is here, but don’t sweat if you’re single

'Cuffing season' is a time of year where people tend to couple up and get into relationships to combat loneliness and show off for Instagram. But singles shouldn't sweat if they're without a boo.

Graphic by Kelly Kiernan

'Cuffing season' is a time of year where people tend to couple up and get into relationships to combat loneliness and show off for Instagram. But singles shouldn't sweat if they're without a boo. Graphic by Kelly Kiernan

Ashton Byers

October brings with it a chill in the air, as coffee shops fill up with patrons eager to devour the latest holiday-themed drinks. Also, the eager desire to mingle peaks every single’s mind because October means cuffing season is now upon us. 

Cuffing season, according to Psychology Today, occurs between October and March and “refers to a specific time of year when people become extremely motivated to get “coupled up.”’

But, if you find yourself single during cuffing season, don’t stress.

According to the theory of Psychology Today, “As the temperature drops, the number of couples rises.”

As a college student, many of us are all too familiar with this phenomenon. As a 29-year-old college student with two children, priorities change as my past self fades out of focus. I let go of illusions of what my life should have been and now embrace it for what it is.

Let me take you back to 10 years ago when I was a young, hopeful 19-year-old. After a brief stint at a community college I joined the military, fresh-faced and eager to establish some autonomy out on my own. My first base was overseas, in England. 

England is where the term “cuffing season” manifested for me, simply because I was a hopeless romantic looking to find love in all the wrong places. The culture in England was quite different from America. London was full of energy, as the locals would gather at either the pubs or clubs. 

I was out on my own for the first time, living in Europe in the military. Aside from the bouts of homesickness, when I wasn’t working, I was out mingling with the rest of my co-workers and the locals. I was living in the dorms like college, only we not only lived together, we worked together too. 

The military is a very tight-knit community, we felt like we were all each other had. As a young airman in the Air Force, I began to lose myself. Not just in the dating scene, but in the military as well, losing my sense of identity. I had been replaced by a robot they had wanted me to be, which left me conflicted. 

I felt conflicted in ways in which I couldn’t voice, ways I felt were out of my control. Dating was naturally an escape for me, only I felt nothing. Years of feeling numb and losing control of a life I felt was no longer mine, I chalked it up to needing something more stable stateside. 

After two years of dating, flings and short-term relationships, I left England to come back to the states, which brought me to California. I was 21-years-old when I got married, fallen in love with the idea of love but truly having no clue what love was. I had my son at 22, and a year later I was divorced. 

Marriage in the military often ended in divorce because it was something people did and dropped like a bad habit. Military personnel getting married for the wrong reasons paired with the stress of the military made for a deadly combination. 

Two years following my divorce, I met another man and had my daughter. Looking back, I see how the cycle repeated itself. I was searching for love in all the wrong places, and my daughter was conceived during cuffing season. 

Fast forward to the present. I am a college senior at Sacramento State, with two beautiful children. Becoming a parent changes you, becoming a single parent defines you. 

I am now on a mission of self-love. I don’t seek out affection from others like I once did (although it does sometimes get lonely especially during cuffing season). I find love in my children, but more importantly, in myself. 

As a veteran going back to school, I rediscovered my love for writing and focused on my passion for journalism. I set goals for personal growth, and I now see my life headed in a new direction. Being single, while lonely at times, isn’t always a bad thing. 

If you find yourself single during cuffing season, don’t stress. Use this time to discover who you are as a person, practicing self-love. 

But if you do find yourself single and ready to mingle, you can chalk it up to cuffing season!