Dating used to be so simple. Boy meets girl, they both hit it off and start dating, or not.
Now that things like ghosting, slow-fading and cuffing are all the norm thanks to dating apps, finding seems more complicated than ever, and now a brand new dating term has entered the world of romance, as a direct result of the pandemic.
Unrequited love and mixed messages have always been a prominent feature of romantic tales, but the huge surge in popularity of dating apps in recent years has meant that people now have more covert and non-confrontational ways of rejecting people than ever. It's also meant that finding a date or short-term partner is usually just a few swipes away.
Not content with being the most used word of 2020, Covid-19 has also now entered the dating stratosphere, to bring us a a new dating term called 'Corona-cuffing.'
'Cuffing season is a period of time after the fun summer of love and being single, before the cold, lonely months of winter when people really want to get into a relationship, says Logan Ury, dating expert and Hinge’s Director of Relationship Science.
She explains that because they don’t want to be alone during winter, people tend to rush into relationships that aren't necessarily right for them, but thanks to the pandemic, Hinge are now seeing a lot more intentional daters on the app, who have used their time alone during lockdown to re-assess their dating habits.
'Corona-cuffing is a phenomenon where people are rushing to lock someone down in anticipation of a second wave, especially after experiencing being single during the first wave,' says Ury, but far from being put off romance at the moment, she thinks this is actually a great time to date.
'The dating pool is full of single people who are intentional, who know what they want, and who want to get into a relationship,' she says, revealing that 2 out of 3 Hinge users now say they want to change the way they date as a result of lockdown.
Since March, 45% of Hinge users have reported developing new healthy dating habits as a result of the pandemic, and Ury predicts we'll see more dates and relationships than ever this cuffing season, due to a combination of stricter rules, less ghosting and more intentional dating (whether virtual or in-person).
'There are ways for people to get into real relationships during cuffing season,' Ury insists, 'It’s all about being honest about why you’re entering the relationship, breaking up if this doesn’t feel right for you, and not just staying together because you want someone to cuddle with during winter.' Here she tells us how to tell the difference...
How to find a meaningful relationship this cuffing season:
1.Go on the second date, even if you didn’t feel that spark on the first date
Many of the best couples don’t spark on first dates as some people take longer to open up and show who they are. This is especially true right now when more daters are feeling stressed and anxious during the pandemic. Don’t let someone great pass you by just because they aren’t instantly charismatic in that first meeting.
2. Watch out for this cuffing season red flag—rushing through relationship milestones
Make sure someone is really trying to get to know you for you who are vs. just looking for someone to fill the role of a future partner. Don’t rush through relationship milestones, like becoming exclusive, before one of you is ready.
3. Be honest with yourself as you date during cuffing season
If you’re considering being exclusive with someone, take a moment to reflect on your dating journey with that person.
What are your real motivations?
Do you want to be with this person or do you just not want to be alone? Are you running to this person or away from being single?
How do you feel about this person? Can you be yourself around them?
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