Now that it’s getting cold, it’s normal to feel a bit isolated. For many people, this is an opportunity to climb out of a dating slump and put themselves back on the market. On social media and pop culture, this is known as “cuffing season” — the time of year where everyone is looking for that ideal partner to snuggle up and watch Netflix with. However, if you’re just getting back into the dating scene, going on your first date can seem a little daunting.
What is cuffing season?
It usually begins in the late fall and ends when the weather turns warmer and people are eager to get outside. The term “cuffing” comes from the idea of been cuffed or “handcuffed” to someone. Cuffing season is when singles tend to snuggle up to one person in particular to get through the bleak cold months of the year.
Check out this step-by-step guide on how to go on a successful first date during this cuffing season.
Cuffing Season Tip 1) Get To Know Your Date
In the age of social media, people are more likely to do some research before meeting up with their date. One study found that a whopping 79% of women and 59% of men take a look at their date’s social media profiles beforehand. Though social media isn’t always a total reflection of what someone is like in person, it’s a good way to get a feel of their interests and hobbies. You should subtly weave what you have learned from social media into your conversation — just don’t be creepy about it.
Cuffing Season Tip 2) Choose The Right Location
You will want to choose a spot that’s perfect for learning more about a person. It should be quiet, scenic and have minimal distractions. Since we are living in a pandemic, you need to take some extra precautions. Choose a spot that both you and your date are comfortable with. Outdoor areas are preferable. Beaches, parks, and hiking trails are fantastic options! If your romantic prospect has a dog, you can suggest going to a park or check out one of the numerous dog friendly restaurants in Atlanta. Is your date a foodie? There are plenty of spots to grab some mouth-watering tacos. Wherever you go, bring masks and hand sanitizer. These days, things can be in flux. Check out your city’s COVID-19 guidelines prior to see what options are available. There’s a chance your date would want to have a FaceTime meeting before seeing you in person. Before logging into your virtual date, test out your camera angles and lighting — even if it isn’t in person, you should still look fantastic!
Cuffing Season Tip 3) Present Your Best Self
It’s totally normal to feel nervous. However, you should try your best to be as friendly as possible. Smile, laugh, and be charming. In addition to embracing a positive attitude, you should prioritize your personal hygiene. Let’s face it: it can be hard to put in the extra effort during a pandemic. But a little goes a long way. Make sure your hair is styled and for a few days before the date, keep up with your skincare routine. Put on your favorite outfit and maybe even a spritz of that cologne you haven’t worn in months. If you have health-related insecurities that are taking a toll on your confidence such as thinning hair or acne breakouts, you could look into getting treatment options.
Cuffing Season Tip 4) Be A Gentleman
Being your best self doesn’t just mean looking great, it also means acting great. During your date, open up doors, attentively listen to what they have to say, and walk them to their car or Uber. Keep any dirty jokes or cursing to a minimum and do not act aloof. There’s nothing ruder than someone who is always reading emails or text-messaging during a date. Unless you want to show your romantic prospect something that came up casually in conversation, do not take out your phone. A great trick is to put your phone on “airplane mode” for the duration of the date so you can minimize distractions and be as present as possible.
Cuffing Season Tip 5) Ask The Right Questions
The more you date, the more you learn about yourself. Before your date, come up with a series of questions you will want to potentially ask. These questions should be about things that are particularly important to you. Though no one will ever check all boxes, it’s a good way to start prioritizing your own needs and wants. These questions can cover everything from goals to whether or not they enjoy Parks and Recreation. It doesn’t matter if it’s serious or goofy. You just want to use this time to get to know this person better.
Cuffing Season Tip 6) Be Spontaneous and Go With The Flow
Regardless of what happens, have some fun. Don’t take everything so seriously. If your date turns out to be really rude, you don’t have to sit through an entire picnic with them. However, if they just take a while to open up, be patient and break the ice. Not all dates turn out to be a scene from a Hollywood movie. Mistakes can happen so you shouldn’t freak out. You may trip, spill some salsa on your shirt, or accidentally bring up a sore subject. Embrace the awkward moments and treat this as a big adventure.
Cuffing Season Tip 7) Get Some Rest
Since you want to be your best, most charming self for your date, you will want to get a good night’s rest. Try to get at least eight hours and avoid drinking the night before. This way, you will be talkative and energetic during your date. Exercise is great for getting rid of nerves. Maybe go for a long run in the morning!
Cuffing Season Tip 8) Follow Up
A few hours after the date, you should send a follow up text. If you had a great time, tell them that you would love to see them again and offer some plans for the future. On the other hand, if you weren’t feeling any chemistry, politely let them know you’re no longer interested. Whatever you do, you shouldn’t ghost anyone and leave them hanging — let’s be mature adults about this!