It’s that time of the year again – Cuffing season.
Days get shorter, nights get colder, arms get lonelier and predators are in a feeding frenzy.
As the festive, holiday and party season now begins, many singles dread the prospect of spending the Autumn and Winter months alone – again!
It seems that everyone is coupled up and has a significant other with whom to spend those special festive moments, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year.
Feeling terribly inadequate and dreading the questions at family events as to why you are STILL single, the weight of the loneliness can be almost unbearable.
You hit the dating websites and other dating events in the hope of finding a significant other, in the hope of getting cuffed for the season.
And this is one of the worst decisions you could make.
Dating when you are lonely is a huge NO-NO.
Dating when you are lonely is akin to going grocery shopping when you are hungry.
The chances are that you’ll make poor choices and get junk food or something completely unhealthy for you, or you’ll end up leaving the store with something you do not really need.
Some of the disadvantages of searching for a significant other during this period include:
- Making terrible decisions and dating someone who you wouldn’t normally date,
- Being a target of predators, who can sense your loneliness and desperation,
- Overlooking, justifying, defending or explaining away any red flags
- Falling for someone who is dating you simply because they are lonely, and when that feeling of loneliness passes, they break up with you, leaving you distraught.
- Getting into a “relationship” that does not last beyond January, which is when the majority of relationships that were formed during Cuffing season generally fall apart.
A relationship is NOT a hobby or a past time, and it is certainly not something that you get into to stave off loneliness or boredom.
In fact, having someone start dating you when they are lonely or boredom is INSULTING, to say the least.
Many people have attested that they had the most successful relationships with the love of their life, whom they met when they were not looking.
When I met my husband, I was in a good place in my life and was definitely not looking for a relationship.
You see, when you date or meet a significant other at a period in your life where you do not necessarily NEED a relationship, you are less likely to make poor decisions or put up with bad and problematic behaviour, out of boredom, loneliness and desperation.
A relationship should be the icing on the cake of your life, it should not be the whole cake.
You should have other areas of your life sorted BEFORE choosing to get into a relationship, otherwise, you will subconsciously make that relationship the sole focus of your life and that sort of pressure on a relationship can destroy it.
In addition, when you have the main areas of your life sorted, i.e. you have a job, you have a roof over your head, you have a social life, then a predator will not be able to use any of these against.
They will not be able to bait you with the promise of their company, financial support etc in order to lure you in, isolate your from your friends, family or support network and then when they have you, they begin to abuse you and slowly withdraw all that they have promised.
Having a good social life is a huge deterrent to predators.
It is harder to pry a prey away if it is part of a flock than if it was a lone sheep.
Experiencing one failed relationship after the other can have a detrimental effect on our physical and mental health, as well as our psychological well-being, leaving us feeling more lonelier than ever, as well as increasing disappointed and jaded.
This, in turn, makes us prime targets for predators, who will use, abuse and then discard us, fuelling this never-ending spiral downwards.
So what can you do to avoid loneliness and fill your time during this period?
- Get involved in community or church social events
- Indulge yourself in your hobbies
- Join a social group that is in line with your hobbies ie if you enjoy singing, join a choir; enjoy reading, join a book club and so on
- Stay away from dating websites, apps and events.
- Get together with your friends or work colleagues and organise a few events together
- Volunteer. Lots of homeless shelters, old people’s homes and soup kitchens get very busy at this time of the year. Connecting with people this way does fulfill the need for human connection.
- Hang out with your friends or work colleagues during New Year or Christmas festivities, if you have no family or if your family are toxic
- Visit Christmas markets, either solo or with friends.
- Buy yourself a gift for Christmas
- Stay home and treat yourself to Autumnal and Winter cuisine
- Cuddle up at home with a comfortable blanket, some hot chocolate and a stash of your favourite books or movies.
- Romantic movies can exacerbate the feelings of loneliness, so go for comedy instead
- Adopt a pet, whether it’s a kitten, puppy or even goldfish
- Treat yourself to a large cuddly soft toy and cuddle up with it.
- Don’t have someone or family to celebrate the holidays? Celebrate with yourself! Get yourself a card. Cook that Thanksgiving or Christmas feast, or order take-out. Pig out! It IS the holidays, after all.
- Learn something new, whether it is a new course, hobby or skill.
- Make the holiday season all about you. Treat yourself
- Remind yourself that the festive season can sometimes be overly hyped. It is a period when emotions run high and many of those loved-up couples or cosy families could well be having major arguments, behind those picture-perfect smiles.
And whatever you do, stay away from any exes and dead-end relationships or friendships that have a tendency to resurrect at this time, feeding on your loneliness and using it as an excuse to reconnect in order to use and abuse you some more.
Also avoid all dating websites, apps and events and do not date anyone new during this period.
This is prime time for predators and the last thing you want is to be used and abused.
Mary, Cause of our Joy, pray for us!
ad Jesum per Mariam