School has started, we got our first taste of cooler temperatures, formals will be happening, and tailgates will start before you know it.
These all factor into the innate need to cuff someone by October so you can participate in cute, romantic fall activities and snuggle with someone as it gets colder out, but then drop them as next semester starts because, "new year, new me" and it's time to focus on yourself and cut off loose ends, right?
I started a "friends with benefits" with a boy last cuffing season — because no one wants to get into an actual relationship during cuffing season — that led into a short-lived two-month relationship that was really closer to 6 if you count the months we were dating before becoming "official."
I fell in love, he was a sweet guy, I wrote a whole reflective narrative about him earlier. Good guy, still made me feel like garbage — still does, even though we're "friends?"
Eight months after the initial breakup, three months after our official closing before he moved away, I feel ready to date again, but I can't help but think it's because it's "cuffing season."
During the fall and winter months, people who would normally rather be single or promiscuous find themselves along with the rest of the world desiring to be 'cuffed' or tied down by a serious relationship (Urban Dictionary).
And I can't help but think it's also because I don't want to be alone and single, watching my Snapchat memories reminds me of when I was the "happiest I ever looked" (according to a friend), not fully moved on, but also desperately craving to replace the nostalgia this time of the year with another body and voice and love and care of someone else.
It almost feels like there's a pressure on early-twenties people to have someone during this time of year — someone to take to formals, holiday parties, family events, study dates, et cetera... just to have it look like you have your shit together.
You're in school, maybe working a job and/or internship, and you have a romantic partner, all of this for you (and your parents) to gloat about.
Everyone and their mother is on the prowl to find a partner before formal season starts, and when all your friends are getting into either real relationships or weird, exclusive but not exclusive friends-with-benefits relationships with a person they really like, it makes you feel like shit if you don't have anyone.
All your friends are too busy to hang out with you because of their partner, which just amplifies your loneliness and can feed your need —or want—of a relationship for the wrong reasons.
You shouldn't want to be in a relationship because everyone around you is. It should be something you are emotionally and mentally ready for. It shouldn't be something you want just to feel loved.
It should be something you want because you are ready to give and receive the same amount of love because you have enough love towards yourself and have some leftover, and recognize when it's not being reciprocated or if the relationship isn't equal and fair.
All-in-all, you shouldn't want to be in a relationship for the sake of saying you are in one. And that's something I've been struggling with since school has picked back up for me.
Since school has started, I've been on the hunt for a new partner in my life. I thought I found one, we went on multiple dates, but I felt like I was forcing myself to be romantic with a friend when it really just wasn't there.
I finally found a boy that I was interested in for the first time since my last boyfriend, the first boy to make me smile at my phone when his name popped up, but he can't even give me the time of day to respond. (As of writing this article, he hasn't opened the last snap that I sent 15 hours ago.)
So, I give up and move on.
My male friends always joke and say I could easily find someone if I didn't have standards — I could get a ring within a day of driving through a military base. But that's the thing, I want to be in a relationship so badly, but I'm looking out for myself. I'm vetting these people I talk to and go on dates with. Because as much as I crave to be in a relationship, I'm not about to date someone I don't have a real connection with, and force and act like there is one there.
As badly as I want to hold someone at night, I want to truly love someone more, and most often, that doesn't happen with whoever you cuff yourself to for the sake of cuffing.
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