Stop “cuffing.” Stop it. Just don’t.

Stop it. Stop that. I hate you.

I recently came across this Vogue article, and was abruptly and unexpectedly reminded of this phenomenon we call “cuffing.” Urban Dictionary, my greatest resource in these newfangled slang-filled times, defines it as how “[d]uring the Fall and Winter months people who would normally rather be single or promiscuous find themselves along with the rest of the world desiring to be ‘Cuffed’ or tied down by a serious relationship. The cold weather and prolonged indoor activity causes singles to become lonely and desperate to be cuffed.” I find this phenomenon very sad, to say the least. I find the fact that the term “cuffing” and its definition have entered our vernacular even more depressing. Without even commenting on how many issues I have with the word “promiscuous,” I hate this definition. I hate cuffing. Cuffing goes against all of my personal beliefs.

I like to follow in the footsteps of one of my most influential mentors in that I adopt a sort of “you-do-you” mentality on the world. I’m not one to stand atop a soapbox in front of people and criticize their personal beliefs. In fact, I wouldn’t even call my disdain of cuffing a feminist belief; I think feminism is a very personal thing, and different people think about the empowerment of women in very different ways. What I do know, though, is that cuffing needs to stop.

If you’re going to settle down for a few months just because you’re sad, cold, and lonely in the sad winter weather, you should reconsider your life choices. Maybe you have Seasonal Affective Disorder. Consider investing in a heat lamp and not a boyfriend. By keeping a serious relationship just to cuddle, you are essentially using the other person as a source of warmth. That’s not very nice.

Also, why would you give up the freedom of single-dom to stay warm and comfortable for the winter? I think the appeal of a nice day in bed with some hot tea and Netflix is infinitely better than spending a day with a subpar boyfriend.

In the case that the winter weather has sparked your innate urge to get married and have children, I have some (honestly probably pretty terrible) advice: you don’t find love. Love finds you, and it probably won’t if you’re desperate as hell. Love is slow and patient. If you’re hungry for affection and on the prowl for a partner, you’ll probably run circles around love and end up never finding it.

Honestly, if you want to go cuffing, I’m not going to stop you. As they say in middle school, “this is a free country.” You’re free to do what you want. But, please. Stop cuffing. Please don’t. But, if you do, let me know how it works out for you when the snow begins to melt.