“Don’t you just love New York in the fall?” Tom Hanks asked Meg Ryan in the romantic comedy classic You’ve Got Mail. Fall is a time to settle down after the business of summer, enjoy the simplicities of coffee and coffee house music, and to take time to get your life back together now that you’re not inundated with wedding invites. Fall, they say, is the perfect time to fall in love.
“Cuffing Season” has been popularized over the last few years – it’s defined as the following:
During the fall and winter months people who would normally rather be single or promiscuous find themselves, along with the rest of the world, desiring to be “cuffed” or tied down by a serious relationship. The cold weather and prolonged indoor activity causes singles to become lonely and desperate to be cuffed.
Yes, I just used a definition from MTV.com.
But more importantly, the act of “cuffing” is a trend that can’t be ignored. With every one of your single friends that you see getting lured into a relationship, the pressure will build more and more for you to become one of them. There’s no lonely like the lonely of watching reruns alone on a Sunday night when all your friends are with their boyfriends or girlfriends, so the reasons that fall is the perfect season to fall in love need to be prevalent in your mind.
If you’ve ever been “in love” (whatever the fuck that means), you know it’s less about finding someone that compliments you and more about masking your imperfections long enough to convince them that it makes sense for them to spend the rest of their life with you. Layering is a key part of what I like to call “The Process.”
When you’re draped in a flannel shirt, the layer of vodka-sodas and champagne from wedding season manages to disappear. When you put a scarf around your neck, the second chin that began to appear after a Labor Day of drinking becomes added next support rather than something you have to smile differently to hide. And as fall begins to turn into winter, you only add more layers to the equation thus allowing yourself to let more and more go of your general health. It’s beautiful.
“Yes, I’d love that over-sugared pumpkin-flavored beer,” you tell the brewery bartender. “Wow, these donut holes pair well with this spiked cider.”
The more you’re forced to engage in conversation with someone, the more apt you are to fall out of love. Part of having a strong personality is that you have to hate everyone else’s personality, and it’s a well-known fact that the better you get to know someone, the more you hate that someone.
Between getting butt-deep on a couch to watch a football game or spending your entire Saturday at a tailgate filled with shitty keg beer, you simply don’t have enough time to spend with that special someone to realize how much you actually hate them. When summer finally arrives, you’re already in the “I’ve dated this person so long that dumping them will just be a hassle at this point” stage, and boom, you’re together forever.
Hand-in-hand with football is the hungover downtime that’s required when you have a “I want to kill myself”-style hangover. With the chill of autumn lingering in the air, coffee runs become more and more daunting. Surge pricing sets in at an early time on Favor and Postmates. And you need more passwords that you can split with your counterpart. Traveling weekend after weekend to go to one of your alma mater’s football games adds up, so what better way to celebrate having someone to consistently sleep with than by sharing his mom’s Netflix and HBO Go passwords with them?
One of the main reasons you need a significant other is for Instagram likes. It’s scientifically proven that you get more likes when you post a photo of yourself with someone you’re romantically involved with. Your friends like it because they’re amazed you actually found someone, and their friends are obligated to like it so they don’t get an angry text message asking, “Why didn’t you like x’s photo?” Once you go Instagram official with someone, the likes flock like salmon of Capistrano.
When you’ve finally reached peak likes, you’re now allowed to get creative with the person who you’ve convinced that you’re dateable. You constantly have an on-hand photographer, and because you already posted a photo of your boots on top of leaves last fall, you can now post a photo of yourself deep in the middle of a pumpkin patch. Variety is the pumpkin spice of life, and you can only reap the benefits if you’re enabled by your significant other.
Plus, you’ve been looking to use the phrase “this one” referring to someone for the last year. The time is now.
Besides having to purchase gifts for people you hate, the worst part of the holidays is conversing with your family. With families comes a constant pressure to “advance” your life by finding a loved one. Your uncle will stop thinking you’re gay and your aunt will stop pestering you to get a girlfriend. It’s a win-win situation, and if you drink enough at Thanksgiving dinner, you won’t even care that they’re asking if the crab apple of your eye is “the one” or not.
And if you delay making things “official” and allude to having someone “in the picture” until just before Christmas, the amount of money you’re forced to spend on a gift dwindles with each passing day. If you ask to be exclusive on Christmas Day, that gift becomes you and you’re able to use the cash from your aunts and uncles to celebrate once you’re back in the same place and the holidays are over.
Just make sure you start working out once spring comes along because wearing a cowl neck sweater in May is an awful look. .
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