What Is Cuffing Season And When Does It Start?

When the end of the year starts inching closer and temperatures begin to drop, the urge to have someone to snuggle up with in front of a fireplace has never been stronger. Hi, and welcome to cuffing season!

“Cuffing season” marks the time of year where many short-term relationships happen, usually beginning in the fall around October and ending in the spring around April—so there’s time to get “cuffed” and “uncuffed.” And while a months-long relationship with an expiration date doesn’t sound the most intriguing to some, don’t be fooled: There are actually benefits to getting cuffed. First of all, it focuses on the ~coziness~ of a relationship, says Shadeen Francis, a licensed marriage and family therapist based in Philadelphia. "While [it] might not have the same depth as a long-term relationship, some of these short-term bonds can feel really soothing and comforting," she says.

Because while spring flings are fun and all, it’s not hot 24/7 in every part of the world, leaving those who live in cold temperatures feeling a little, well, lonely. Having a cuffing partner could be the cure for those winter blues.

"When there’s not as much going on outdoors, not having to be alone indoors in those darker winter months is good for people’s mental health to not be isolated," says Dr. Holly Richmond, a certified sex therapist and author of Reclaiming Pleasure: A Sex-Positive Guide for Moving Past Sexual Trauma and Living a Passionate Life. Ahead, find out everything to know about cuffing season, including what it actually is, how to go about starting that type of relationship, and how to get “uncuffed.” And when in doubt, listen to Beyoncé…she literally told us to “cuff it!”