Cuffing season confessions from real singles

New York Post 4 days ago

There’s frost on the ground, and that means one thing for NYC singles: It’s time to lock down a winter lover, and fast.

“Cuffing season is real, especially for younger people, and it starts now,” Lindsey Metselaar, host of millennial dating podcast We Met at Acme, tells The Post.

Cuffing — named, cheekily, after handcuffs — is an annual dating phenomenon that sends singles scrambling to “secure a warm body” for sex and cuddling during the colder months, says Metselaar. For some, it’s about having a boo to bring home to mom and dad for the holidays; for others, it’s about avoiding inter-borough travel for dates in crappy weather. The relationships usually last around three months, says Metselaar, and end by spring. “It’s like, ‘April Fools! It’s warm and we’re over.’ ”

The numbers bear out: Dating app Hinge tells The Post that sign-ups are 36% higher in winter, and Amy Van Doran, the matchmaker at Modern Love Club in the East Village, says the lead-up to cuffing season is her busiest time of year.

“We’re physically cold in the winter, so it’s that time to slow down,” she says. “You don’t want to be putting on your high heels and going to the club. You want to be getting delivery food.”

While Type-A daters start nailing down their cuffs in the fall, many single New Yorkers are still seeking snowbuddies.

“I’m still trying to finalize who I’m cuffing this year,” says Marie Faustin, a 29-year-old comedian who lives in Prospect Heights. It’s her first year living alone, and she’s excited to reap the advantages. “It’s going to be a proper cuffing season for me.”

Her dream cuff? Someone who’s into “cuddling and spooning,” she says, who’s down to “Netflix and chill on my couch.”

Since it’s a winter fling, they don’t have to be perfect, she adds.

“The person you’re cuffing with doesn’t ever need to meet your friends. They don’t need to be on your social media.”

She has several dates lined up for this week, and one strong contender already.

“I went on a date this past Saturday, and the guy told me he had a crush on me for the past two years,” she says. “He’s still in the running.”

So, what’s the best way to suss out a date’s cuffing potential? Metselaar suggests a wintry activity, like ice skating or watching the tree lighting at Rockefeller Center.

“It says, ‘This won’t last through the summer,’ ” she says.

Metselaar also suggests taking them “to a hearty dinner that comforts their soul — or take them in front of a fireplace, maybe a hotel lobby, and get desserts.” And when it comes to holiday gifts, she recommends keeping it low-key — “a pair of socks, or a dinner because you’re both in town.”

But as the city’s dating scene descends into cuffing madness, a few singles are holding out on polar pairings.

Laura, 29, says she was burned by cuffing season last year. “I fell victim to it,” says the Kips Bay resident, who withheld her last name for professional reasons.

“Last year, I was seeing this person, and based on where it was going, I thought [it was serious] … We got together in October, and in March he told me, ‘We don’t want the same things.’ ”

‘People will put “It’s getting cold outside” in their dating app bios.’

Looking back, the marketing executive says she should have realized what was happening. “We went out to eat, or we would get a drink and go back to his place and cook dinner … Most of our meals were ordered in. We didn’t want to get out of the apartment.”

This year, she’s got her guard up — and says wannabe cuffers are more shameless than ever.

“People will put ‘It’s getting cold outside’ in their dating app bios, or ‘cuffing-season tryouts,’ ” she says. But she’s not falling for it. “In October, men [started getting] extremely possessive. They were asking to do couple’s costumes for Halloween.”

And, in recent weeks, she says, “I’ve had two people say, right off the bat, ‘I should come over and we should cook, and we should watch movies.’ I’m like, ‘I don’t know you!’ ”

Even so, Laura understands how the weather puts the freeze on dating.

“I’ve moved my date range [on Hinge and Bumble] down to 1 mile instead of 5 or 10,” she says. “I’m not going to Brooklyn. In the summer, absolutely. But right now, absolutely not.”

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