By Julie Baumgarten- Fox News Magazine
Labor Day has come and gone. Sweaters come out of hibernation as the temperature starts to drop. The aroma of pumpkin spice is everywhere. And singles everywhere are looking to get “cuffed.”
While the transition from summer to fall doesn’t mean much for couples, it’s traditionally hunting season for singles. (Third wheels unite! Cuffing season is upon us!)
After three hot, half-naked summer months of socializing, singles can sometimes find themselves hungry for new companionship, and they aren’t always sure why. They long to be in a serious relationship, or “cuff’ themselves to someone, for the colder months ahead.
“Cold weather not only forces us indoors, but signifies a return to purpose,” says best-selling author and relationship expert Susan Winter. “Cooler weather sparks a greater urge to get serious, which activates the desire for meaningful partnership.”
The cool weather is just the tip of the cuffing-season iceberg; the holiday season also plays a big role.
“We celebrate one holiday per month from November (Thanksgiving) through February (Valentine’s Day),” says Laurie Davis, founder of eFlirt and author of “Love @ First Click.” “Even the biggest serial dater can tend to feel a bit lonely when there are so many holidays happening so consistently.”
So how can a lone soldier like you take advantage of the season and find someone to “Netflix and chill” with? You can start by looking in the mirror.
“Do a serious examination as far as what you’re doing to make yourself dateable,” says New York City based therapist and relationship expert Rachel Sussman. “Make sure when you’re out there and you’re dating, you’re doing it with a really good open mind — really a lot of optimism.”
You won’t meet someone if you’re not trying, either. Pull on your confidence pants and get yourself out there! Relationship expert and Dateologist® Tracey Steinberg says you should start looking in places that already track your type of mate.
“If you’d like to meet someone very active and healthy, the local gym or a health food store are great places,” Steinberg says. “If you want to meet someone kind-hearted, volunteering could be a great way to meet someone, and it will help you feel good about yourself as well.”
If you’re a little more on the shy side or just plain old lazy, online dating might be a good starting point. At eFlirt, an online dating concierge service, Davis helps singles find love in cyberspace all the time.
“All of our clients are relationship-minded, and more than 50 percent of them are in relationships after working with us,” says Davis, who also suggests using dating websites over apps.“On apps, you have such a limited amount of information about someone, and typically shorter communication too. So it’s not as clear that you’ll get along well.”
Another good offensive play is to reach out to your coupled friends. Winter says those closest to you are a great resource, so try networking through your friends of friends (and so on) until you meet someone you like.
“They’ve heard the breakup stories and can easily match your likes, dislikes and disposition to one of their newly single friends. Let them play matchmaker while you enjoy the luxury of having your own romantic casting director do the work for you,” Winter says. “There’s only one requirement on your end: Ask. Tell them you’re single and looking to meet someone new.”
If you can’t conquer cuffing season this year, don’t freak. If it’s not the right time for you, there’s always next year. Plus, you can use the off-season to work on yourself.
“Make yourself cozy until you can find someone. Go buy yourself a nice hat, or mittens and a scarf, and make yourself comfortable until the time comes where you’re ready to meet the right person,” says Sussman.
Now that you’re prepared, go out there and get cuffed! And most importantly, have fun doing it!