Cuffing season the term is given to the popular dating trend which finds singles looking to partner up in the colder months, has been growing in popularity over the last few years. In the UK this year, search volumes for the term have even increased by over 400%.
In collaboration with sex and relationship experts, Lovehoney has revealed what cuffing season entails and the psychological truth behind our winter relationship desires. And by surveying adults across the UK, the sex toy brand has uncovered how the nation’s relationship status preferences change during various times of the year.
Cuffing season defined by sex & relationship experts
Sexpert Annabelle Knight states: ‘Cuffing season rolls around every year, always around the same time – when the clocks go back, the nights draw in and the weather outside gets colder. During this time, people, usually those who wouldn’t normally be looking to get into a relationship, find someone and commit to them. These relationships are usually short-term and come to an end once springtime rolls around the following year.’
Psychology behind our desires for a relationship in the winter
Registered BPS psychologist Lilly Sabir describes a pressure during this time of year to be in a relationship for the holidays, likely driven by social pressures.
It is well known from psychology and human behaviour that the different seasons can impact our moods. ‘The lack of sunlight, colder temperatures and the tendency to hibernate can lead us to want more human contact as we are not outside triggering our Vitamin D levels which can lead to a dip in our moods’, states Lilly.
As temperatures improve, the need for a partner naturally decreases. Lilly adds: ‘We can feed our hormonal serotonin and dopamine oxytocin levels by being out in the sun and meeting up with others, regulating our moods better through external environmental stimuli.’
76% of Brits admit they want to be cuffed this winter
Lovehoney’s survey revealed that three in four Brits (76%) admit to preferring to be in a relationship during the colder months of the year. Results showed that the younger you are, the happier you are to be single throughout winter, as 34% of 18–24-year-olds compared to 21% of 45–54 prefer to embrace single life during winter.
It will come as no surprise that Valentine’s Day is when most Brits want to be cuffed, with 77% preferring to be in a relationship over being single. Christmas is the second most popular time when British singles are looking for a partner to cosy up with on the sofa, watch holiday films, and exchange gifts.
Cuffing season capitals
The top 5 cuffing season capitals of the UK
Wanting a relationship in winter
Sheffield was revealed as the city with the most citizens seeking winter romances as just 15% said they would like to be single during the colder months, meaning nearly 9 in 10 people want to be coupled up. Edinburgh follows closely behind, with 84% of residents agreeing.
On the other hand, the citizens of Leeds are happy to be single and free this winter as the survey showed 32% prefer to be single during winter, closely followed by Manchester and Brighton. As large party cities, residents may have less time to date and explore relationships due to their fun activities.