Despite the less than preferable temperatures, winter can be full of fun and festivities; sipping hot chocolate, curling up next to your furry friend by the fire, oversized hoodies and maybe even a ski trip. The unfortunate reality, though, is that winter can be a difficult time for singles due to “Cuffing Season”.
“Cuffing Season” is known as the colder months when new relationships begin or transform. The “cuffed” are said to find themselves with a desire for commitment even if it’s with someone who’s not their first choice.
Why is it so hard to be single during this time of year? Because we’re stuck indoors and want a warm body to be our big spoon or little spoon, depending on preference. What I’ve realized, though, is that being alone isn’t the problem — feeling lonely is — and if you’re anything like me, once you land that hottie to “Netflix and Chill” with, you’re already missing your independence.
The grass is always greener.
It’s human nature to want what we don’t have, and when we have it, it’s aight. Don’t be hard on yourself if you’re experiencing these feelings and instead, think about how the grass is greener where you water it. It’s easy to get jealous of a couple you see on Instagram with their cute photos and #alwaysandforever hashtags when you’re alone crying to Adele but, the reality is, we’re way too quick to compare ourselves to others. We hear it all the time that “people only post their happiest moments online” or “news feeds are like highlight reels” and this is actually true — we’re never seeing the whole picture. I know firsthand that it’s better to be by yourself than to be with the wrong person, even when you’re feeling like your single status is less than ideal. In my last relationship, I wasn’t alone per-se, but I felt lonely all the time. I lost myself, and that was the worst part.
It’s an inside job.
During this time of year, or anytime, how can we love ourselves to the fullest? For starters, no one can do it for you — it’s an inside job (cliché I know, but true nonetheless). Nobody can love you as deeply as you can. Loving yourself takes patience, especially if you’ve gotten into the habit of putting yourself down. It’s hard going from being miserably single to finding a healthy relationship. The key is to build yourself up, not seek external sources to fill a void. Rather than be your harshest critic, try being your own best friend! There are tons of things you can do for cheap and you’ll be happy you did (like subscribe to WIYB 😉). I remember one month I decided to cut sad love songs out of my life and listen to more uplifting, positive music. My change in mood was drastic. Self-care activities are crucial whether you’re single or not. My personal favorites are meditating and doing yoga as much as I can. I aim for daily but, when that’s not possible, I try not to berate myself. Instead of making things an obligation, see them as a gift to yourself, and be pleasantly surprised!
Small changes make a big difference.
Why be depressed about not having someone to have sex with when you can DIY? Although there’s still shame attached to female masturbation due to the patriarchal nature of society and years of conditioning women to behave like “good girls”, self-stimulation is fun and exciting and there are many ways to do it! Not only is self-pleasuring an activity you can do anytime, anywhere — it also has great physical and mental health benefits. Masturbation is a wonderful way to explore your body, satisfy your cravings safely and unlock your desires. That way, when you do hook up with someone, you’re able to make your experience more satisfying by confidently expressing your likes and needs. Not long ago, I was talking to a friend and she said she’d never had an orgasm with any guy she’d been with. Obviously a multitude of factors go into this, but the first question I asked her was, “Do you masturbate?” She replied “no” and looked at me like I was crazy. The thing is, though, while it may not be your cup of tea, it may very well be the answer you’ve been looking for.
So try this the next time you decide to spend the night in — set a mood for yourself. Create a relaxing ambiance with low lights and candles, put some slow and sensual music on, rub a fragrant body oil all over your luscious skin, turn your mind off and allow yourself to feel. Masturbating can be anything you want it to! You don’t necessarily need penetration (as goes with partnered sex) if you’re not ready or feeling it that day. You can begin simply by caressing your boobs and getting in tune with your body’s sensations. The key is to listen to what your body is telling you and trust the process. Give yourself however much time you want to sit back, chill and learn what makes you tick.
Written by WIYB featured writer, Lauren Colletti.