Cuffing season and country life dating

Wednesday, October 20th, 2021

Autumn sees the start of cuffing season, where singles up their online dating game in pursuit of casual companionship to cosy up with until Spring.

Autumn is well and truly here, and a season of apple dipping, hot chocolate sharing, dog walking, ‘boxset binging under the duvet’ dates is upon us as the darker evenings draw in – or so we are led to believe.

Outside, it’s just as mushy. Even the leaves are falling for someone.

But with the romance of it all, comes the start of cuffing season; a 5-month long season in which singles typically up their online dating efforts, each looking to unearth semi-serious, short-term partners to cosy up with until life bounces back in spring and things are reconsidered again.

‘Where do I see this going long term”? is often a question asked around Valentines Day as ‘cuffed’ relationships ‘thaw out’.

A short term ‘exclusive’ relationship – high on intimacy and convenience, low on immediate emotional attachment – to help combat the bleurgh of the winter blues appeals to a lot of daters, especially when the weather, and shorter days, makes you just want to hibernate.

Cuffing may not be as rife on Muddy Matches as is it on other dating apps and websites, especially with our mud loving singles so much more adjusted to outdoor life in inclement condtions and days that start and end in the dark. However, there are signs it does occur whilst country life dating, and the everyday experiences of rural life will continue to appeal to others who will find comfort and security in the coping strategies of country folk.

We know our rural and remote members are not the sort to be swayed by the prospect of cinnamon sickly visions of kicking up leaves and endless cuddles on the sofa (not with 5am starts on the farm to consider), let alone the dreaded concept of ‘Netflix and chill’.

There is something to be said for ‘cuffing up’ with someone even temporarily, however, with a match who shares your outlook on life.

That’s not to say there’s no rural romance or long-term intention here either. Cuffing season may have pumpkin spiced, short term couples’ goals at its core but it also brings a chance to ‘try before you buy’ – so to speak – as long as both partners understand what they are getting into.

And it’s not necessarily about unearthing something new by way of a relationship either.

Cuffing season traditionally sees a rekindling of connections, with singles taking the opportunity to revisit their favourites lists, mutual matches and past messaging history to see who’s interested in bunkering down and sharing the colder evenings together.

It’s easier to reignite old sparks of interest, than to fire up something from scratch.

After all, evidence shows that loneliness and isolation becomes more rife when the temperature drops. Reduced daylight brings less motivation to explore dating opportunities offline. The get up and go to leave the comforts of central heating for a series of first dates that may go nowhere carries even less appeal than the chilly travel home, alone.

No, the idea of an ‘exclusive’ other – however significant – with whom you have mutual agreement, on hand to call upon is a lot more appealing once it becomes damp under foot.

This doesn’t mean standards drop, nor the tick boxes becomes more easily ticked. It’s also not so strongly rooted in carnal desire as you may think, though emotional investment is usually some way down the list.

Cuffing season does however refocus a priority on bonding on common ground, shared interests, and matched outlook on life – something Muddy Matches hold dear to our hearts.

Connections are formed that are less founded on good looks and the phwoar factor, and more based on strength of character and personality that can comfort, sooth and entertain.

Whilst proper intimacy and emotional bonding isn’t the immediate aim, the chance to actually chat one on one on a deeper level is far greater than on those balmy summer’s evenings socialising.

It makes casual ‘cuffed couples’ super comfortable in each other’s company – and believe it or not, that is a firm footing for any relationship, no matter how short term is was from the outset.

Whilst all that sounds a little bit disingenuous and the red flags may be appearing, don’t be alarmed. The whole concept of cuffing season is about making more effort to find a relationship, albeit for a short term, and less about frivolous flirting and online ‘fun’.

It’s a hang out, not a hook up. And those looking to ‘cuff’ are genuinely wanting to settle into a rhythm with someone on a daily basis. It’s often been seen as a ‘shortcut’ to the bread and butter bits of an every day relationship.

At Muddy Matches, we tend to see early shoots of cuffing season around now – mid October, when our great value 3-month premium subscription become a firm favourite with singles upping their game and wanting immediate response.

We also see more singles messaging, winking, and favouriting right now as they put out the feelers.

So, our advice for cuffing season is to:

  1. Be open and informed about what a casual, cuffed relationship is – – and don’t write off the idea.
  2. Be upfront where you stand on short term relationships.
  3. Be clear in your mind what you want from them.#
  4. Be mindful that cuffing can be confusing for a potential partner
  5. Set clear expectations, boundaries, and milestones for any ‘cuffed’ relationship you enter into
  6. Be understanding that cuffing might not bring emotional connection from the off.
  7. Be prepared to check and challenge your expectations, and those of the singles you match with
  8. Question yourself along the way ‘Where do I see this going long term”?
  9. Be respectful and well-mannered if you’re intended partner wants more than short term
  10. Revisit your favourites list and those you have messaged before