Dear Culture

Cuffing Season

Episode 94

Cuffing season is here, fam! This week on the Dear Culture podcast, our hosts theGrio‘s Social Media Director Shana Pinnock and theGrio‘s Managing Editor of Politics and Washington Correspondent Gerren Keith Gaynor dive deep into all the do’s and dont’s of holiday dating and finding companionship in the time of COVID-19.

The phrase first popped up on Urban Dictionary back in 2011, according to Refinery29, and while there’s some disagreement on all the rules of cuffing season, Forty-one percent of millennials say cuffing season starts sometime in October and ends sometime around March.

But what makes a good cuff? Who should you be cuffing? And when is it time to call it quits?

Portrait of young afro couple cooking together and using mobile phone in the kitchen at home. Relationship, cook and lifestyle concept. (Photo: Adobe Stock)

For Gaynor, a part-time lover during cuffing season is eligible for a more permanent position given the right chemistry, connection and communication.

“I would be cuffing you in the winter months to potentially date you longer in the future if things work out,” said Gaynor. “Basically, I’m looking for the same qualities I would normally look for in a relationship. Just be chill and just be fun and just know how to take the proper cues. Because if you can do that, then maybe we can have a future.” 

However, most cuffing season agreements include an understanding of that the relationship is in fact temporary. Pinnock says setting clear boundaries from the very beginning can help (maybe) detour some heartbreak when it’s time to say goodbye to your winter bae. 

Black couple lying on bed together
(Photo: Adobe Stock)

“You do need to set boundaries and make sure that they are clear on the boundaries,” said Pinnock. “Be very, very careful and set your intentions and stay true to those intentions. And I think again, it’s the ability to be completely transparent, just like within yourself. Yes. With the other person as well, but definitely within yourself. If you find yourself catching feelings, you need to cut it off because that wasn’t your intention.” 

Tune into the Dear Culture podcast to hear the entire spicy conversation, including Shana and Gerren’s top cuffing season rule to live by! 

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