Whether we like it or not, cuffing season has been thrust upon us once again. The phenomenon gained traction alongside the rise of online dating and describes people’s tendencies to start a relationship once temperatures begin to fall. Under the guise of cozy sweaters, pumpkin spice beverages and Tim Burton films, the little trickster sneaks in to terrorize happily single people everywhere.
Story by Reilly Lawrence
During no other season are people so suddenly and acutely unhappy with their status of singledom. Maybe it’s the knowledge that the opportunity for a sexy summer fling has passed, or perhaps the anxiety of going back home for the holidays only to be bombarded by questions from relatives about the current state of our relationship status instills more fear in the hearts of students than impending midterms. All of a sudden, after months of working, studying and living our best life, we are supposed to have yet another facet of our being entirely figured out for no other reason than to impress someone else? I think not.
This holiday season, ORANGE Magazine suggests a different approach: cuff yourself. Yes, I realize that this may induce some exaggerated eye rolls, but hear me out. Sleeves! Pants! Ears! Accessories! The possibilities are endless. Whenever you feel the need to prowl the weekend nightlife for potential cuffing partners or re-download a certain dating app you already rolled the dice with more times than you’re willing to admit, consider liberating your phone from that negative presence and cuff yourself instead.
As bizarre as loving your whole, single self may seem, it’s actually an entirely fabulous way to arm ourselves against the shame society seeks to impose on us and fire back with confidence. Our success in terms of the status of our romantic relationship (or lack thereof) should never define who we are. No one should have to feel like their life is missing something when it’s not, unfulfilled when it’s full or embarrassing when it’s actually awesome. And when given looks of pity from certain members of your friend group, retaliate through stylistic expression and show Nancy how you like the cuffs in your life: fashion-forward and free of of patriarchal expectations. Because the types of cuffs we’re into can keep you warmer than any than any partner could.
The anxiety to metaphorically handcuff yourself to someone else can feel forced, unsatisfying and constricting when it doesn’t come organically. So why subject yourself to it when it is so much more satisfying to focus that wasted energy inward where it can be appreciated? I would take high fashion over being ghosted by some rando any day of the week.