The Parthenon

LET ME BE FRANK: ON CUFFING SEASON

Franklin Norton

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Franklin Norton

Franklin Norton, Social Media Manager

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It’s the middle of September, and autumn is fast-approaching. Sweaters are being pulled out of hibernation, the warm smell of coffee fills the air and all of a sudden, it seems like everybody is in a relationship.

Welcome to Cuffing Season: that time of year where romance is in the air and nobody really knows exactly why. But it happens every single year and at around the same time. It’s a trend that so many people have noticed that it has been given a name. To be clear, I’m not saying that people don’t get into relationships at other times of the year, but it is this time of year where romance seems the most prominent—and at the same time, loneliness weighs heaviest.

Urban Dictionary defines “cuffing season” this way: “during the fall and winter months, people…. find themselves, along with the rest of the world, desiring to be ‘cuffed’ or tied down by a serious relationship.” For so long, I have wondered what it is about this time of year that seems to draw people together. Is it the cooler weather? Do people not want to be alone for the upcoming holiday season? Or is it just simply due to proximity? School starts in the fall, so maybe it’s just that people are meeting each other for the first time.

One thing I know for sure is that the autumn months are an incredibly reflective time. The days get shorter, and the weather gets colder. Our lives suddenly seem more real. We begin to wonder about our lives. Am I happy? Am I doing what I love? How are my relationships? With these questions comes an inherent fear about our futures, and we realize that at our very cores we have a longing to connect.

It is in these months that we can visibly see how our lives change with the color of the leaves. It is a time of uncertainty, and as we search for certainty, we crave to meet one of our most basic needs: to be known and loved.

It is this need that drives us in these months, as we try to navigate a season that feels darker, lonelier and more reflective. Again, while this is all speculative, it is important for us to check our motives and understand our intentions as we enter into this season. Because at the end of the day, another person will not make your life whole. Not only is that overly idealistic, but that is simply a lot of pressure to put on a romantic partner, which may just be why so many relationships just aren’t lasting.

Let’s get into relationships because we care about our partner and want to grow alongside them, rather than getting into relationships in an effort to put a Band-Aid over our own fears and uncertainties.

Franklin Norton can be contacted at [email protected]

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