10 Things You Have To Do If You Aren't Cuffed This Season

10 Things You Have To Do If You Aren't Cuffed This Season

You might not have someone special to share the holidays with, but lucky you, you have complete availability and freedom to own this cuffing season alone.

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So what I'm not cuffed this season? That doesn't mean I am going to completely skip out on some of the most fun parts of the holiday's, it just means I'll need to come a little more prepared.

1. Spend some major family time 

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It's not like you have anything better to do. Odds are all of your friends are already busy with their S/O's anyway.

2. Buy yourself a hot new outfit and go out

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You may not have gotten a new beau for the holidays, but you will be getting that new leopard print shirt and fur coat you've had your eye on and put it to use for a night out.

3. Put a body pillow and a cozy blanket on your Christmas list

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I mean you're going to need something to cuddle with on chilly nights, so you may as well.

4. Read a romance novel to keep your standards high

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Pick up a Nicholas Sparks novel in your free time to remind yourself how incredibly romantic fictional men are.

5. Avoid any places that might be infested with couples

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Probably don't find yourself at any dating hub. It will not go over well for you.

6. Pick up a new hobby

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Whether that's painting, knitting or hitting the gym, make it an important factor in your life.

7. Have a Christmas movie marathon with your mom 

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This may be an activity you'd usually do with your S/O, but no shame in filling that void with your mom.

8. Don't say no, just get out of the house whenever and with whoever

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It doesn't matter if you don't know how to ice skate, get out there and bruise your knees and freeze your butt off. Just get out and be available.

9. Have a plan for when the clock strikes midnight on January first

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Maybe you have to take a 'phone call' or 'use the bathroom quick', either way you should probably avoid being caught in the middle of a make out sesh that you're not actually involved in.

10. Have a perfect line to feed your family when they continuously ask why you're still single

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"Oh yeah, I really just wanted to focus on myself this year." Even though we all know that's a lie. It's cuffing season and you have no idea why no one cuffed you.

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I'm Still Friends With My High School Besties As A Senior In College, And I'm So Thankful For That

New friends are silver but the old ones are gold.

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As you near the end of high school, it seems like everyone is telling you, "enjoy spending time with your friends now, because once you start college you'll drift apart." At the time, no one wants to believe it, but I will say there definitely is some truth in that. There were 800 people in my high school graduating class, but there's only a handful of those people who I've actually hung out with since our graduation parties. However, it's certainly not true about all friends. I'm now a senior in college, and I'm still friends with my high school best friends.

While things have definitely been different since we've been in college, our friendship hasn't changed. In high school we bonded over the French classes that we took together and our love for dance. Although we don't see each other every day in class anymore or after school at dance practice, that's only made me more appreciative of the time that we do get to spend all together. I always look forward to that time, whether it's spent going on adventures, laughing together at a coffee shop or even just sitting at home and watching a movie.

I've made a lot of amazing friends in college, but there's still something comforting about having friends who knew you as an awkward 14-year-old who you can turn to and reminisce about the past with. We may not talk to each other every day and we often go months without all three of us being together, but when we are together again we pick up right where we left off. No matter how far apart we are physically, I know they'll be there for me in an instant, whenever I need them (even if FaceTime is the best we can do).

I know I'm not the only person to stay friends with their high school best friends, but I also know that many people don't. So I'm so thankful that this friendship has continued on past our four years of high school. As we get ready to head into the next chapter of our lives in a few months, a lot is going to change all over again. I don't know if we'll ever live out our high school dream of living together in the city or even when the next time we'll all be living in the same state will be, but our friendship has made it this far and I know it won't end here.

Caitlin and Andrea, thanks for sticking by my side for the past four years. Here's to all the memories we have yet to make together.

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Reflections On A High School Relationship, 5 Years Later

I started dating a close friend in my sophomore year of high school. We had no idea where we'd be now.

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I've been seeing this post on Twitter lately that's got me thinking. It's since been deleted, but this is what it read:

"It's college app season and I'd like to remind all my senior girls to NOT make any school decisions revolving around your boyfriend. To be honest y'all will probably break up a few months in, so just save yourself the hurt and regret of sacrificing your education for a boy who doesn't shower enough."

It's an important thing to remember, and I definitely agree...with the first part. High school seniors, please don't make decisions about your future for anyone but yourself!

But at the same time, a major pet peeve of mine is telling people in a relationship, no matter their age, that their happiness won't last.

It may be realistic, but that doesn't mean it needs to be said. It happens. But that doesn't mean it will.

In fact, my relationship started in high school. My boyfriend and I were both 15 when we started dating as sophomores. We were overwhelmed, gifted, and busy, not only with surviving adolescence but with the passions we found within our extracurriculars. I did orchestra and speech and debate. He was also involved in speech and debate, but his commitment to JROTC dominated a significant portion of his time.

We'd been friends since he moved to my school district in seventh grade. In the three years before we started dating, our friend groups at adjacent lunch tables hung out. In one-on-one conversations, we supported each other through crushes gone awry and exchanged puns. When we started dating, we worried about that friendship changing.

I'll be honest with you, it wasn't always easy.

15 is complicated, regardless of what's happening in your social life. I had severe anxiety and an undiagnosed eating disorder, both of which impacted me to the point where I could, at times, barely function. I was so afraid of conflict that I would instinctively cry whenever I could tell someone was angry. He had depression and an extreme temper. The combination of my resistance to conflict and the temper he was still learning to control was one of our biggest issues. It made every minor fight escalate to an unnecessary extreme.

But here's the really special part (in my biased opinion) about our relationship:

We stuck it out.

We were both so damn stubborn and we cared about each other so much that we never gave up on each other. No matter what, we always talked it out. It might have taken a few hours or a few days, but once his anger subsided and I stopped crying, we could have an honest, productive conversation.

Over time, those conversations became even more groundbreaking. He learned better tactics to deal with feelings of anger and how to avoid directing those feelings at people. I learned it was possible to be angry without it being a disaster or the end of a relationship. He encouraged me to stand up for myself, showing me it was okay to defend myself and call someone out when they'd hurt me. Slowly, I gained the confidence to actually do just that.

As we approached our graduation in June 2016, I was nervous. At that point, we had gotten to a stable place in our relationship. I was still enjoying my high school experience. I didn't want anything to change. I was especially afraid knowing James had enlisted in the military and would be leaving for training over the summer. I knew I would miss him, and I was afraid that our relationship wouldn't survive the distance or the change. What if he came back from boot camp and hated me?

Society is so focused on what could go wrong with a high school relationship that it never occurred to me how much could go right.

I thought graduating and being apart would destroy us, but it was after leaving high school that we really started to grow.

I wrote him every day while he was in training. I texted his mom all the time to freak out and commiserate. I moved into college and wrote to him about my new friends, my new job, and how college was actually sort of okay. I checked the mailbox in my dorm lobby so often, people probably thought there was something wrong with me. Whenever there was a letter in there, I often cried on the elevator ride upstairs.

I traveled with his family to his graduation from boot camp, and riding home with him awkwardly sleeping on me in the backseat was all the reassurance I needed that training didn't talk him out of caring for me.

Later that year, I traveled across the country to watch him graduate from his final set of training, then he came home for good as a military reservist. At the end of my freshman year, he came home, met my friends, and we announced our engagement.

During the year that followed, he became close with all of my college friends. He's supported me through three jobs, insane semester work-loads, the beginning of eating disorder treatment, and my transition to life with anxiety medication. I've helped to keep him sane during two part-time jobs he hated and cheered for him when he got the full-time job he loves. I went to the Marine Corps Ball with him, and he sat in the front row when I gave my TedTalk. And, whenever possible, we both go back to chaperone Speech & Debate trips: him as an alumnus and older sibling, and myself as an alumnus and assistant coach.

On January 20th, 2019, my fiancé and I celebrate our fifth anniversary. We have been engaged since December 29th, 2016, and there's no wedding date, but we're planning to move in together soon. We're putting together a really awesome apartment near my school, potentially with some of our close friends as roommates.

I am so grateful every day that the two of us were determined, stubborn, and caring enough to fight for this relationship. We have come so far.

Of course, not everyone will be so lucky, which is why that Tweet's advice is so important. Let yourself grow as an individual in the environment that best suits you and your future. James and I both made decisions based on our own goals and dreams, but we were also able to stay together. And that's why all of this advice is important too.

Above all, talk things out.

Be kind to each other. Support each other on your individual journeys to success. Don't lose sight of why you love this person in the first place. Enjoy growing together, and appreciate the benefits of the conflicts you've worked through.

Not every relationship will survive, and not every relationship should. But when you know, you know. So don't let the statistics and the expectations surrounding high school relationships get you down. It's possible to start and maintain a meaningful relationship at a younger age. It may not happen often, but don't be discouraged. Because it still could happen to you.

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