image of couple in winter to symbolize cuffing season

We’re deep in the heart of winter here in the US, and with cold weather comes an increased drive toward the warmth of coupling. If you tend to feel more amorous in the colder months, you’re not imagining it. Cuffing season is an actual thing- and behind it, we see biology, romantic ideals, and social pressure working together as the engine that pushes it along.


Biology of Cuffing Season


At the heart of cuffing season, we have biology. A decrease in daylight reduces our serotonin, and guess what can give us a boost? That’s right – snuggling, cuddling, and getting cozy with a favorite person. While it doesn’t take cold weather to ignite our drive for human touch, the winter does make getting close quite attractive. 


In addition to seeking that serotonin boost, we’re naturally hardwired to hunker down in the cold, dark season of winter. As social animals with a natural drive to procreate, it makes sense that we would be interested in hunkering down with a mate. They can help keep us warm, help us survive the cold and dark, and, if we’re interested, we have the option to satisfy sexual drive and the need to procreate.


Romantic Ideals


While the biological drive to boost our serotonin, survive, and possibly procreate offer a body-based explanation of cuffing season, romantic ideals definitely play a part as well. Every year, we’re shown the ideal of the magic romance of winter. 


Hallmark movies, commercials, music, and other forms of media portray established couples as happy and connected, new romance as exciting and magical, and the winter blues warded off by love and the promise of connection. It almost seems as though the message is: if we want to have a warm holiday and experience the magic of the season, it might best be done with a significant other. 


Social Pressure 


From the romantic ideals comes social pressure from our friends, family, and even our workplaces. Whether it’s our friends trying to set us up with someone for the holiday party, our aunt’s well-intended, yet inappropriate, prodding as to when we’re going to get married, or even the work party that encourages a significant other as a “plus one,” the romantic ideals of the season are pushed forward through social pressure.


Winter essentially brings the perfect trifecta that pushes us toward coupling up in the winter months – biology, ideals, and social pressure. It can certainly feel like a lot, and almost like it’s something we have to do, however, in the winter, as in every other season, we have a choice in how we move forward. And with all choices, a little understanding of what we’re dealing with can go a long way.


May you find warmth and comfort this winter, whether you are coupled up, get coupled up, or fly solo. As always, if you’d like to explore how this topic shows up in your life, a relationship coach may be able to help. Please don’t hesitate to reach out.