#bumble | #tinder | #pof What is it and how to survive it

It’s cuffing season plus trying to find a lockdown boyfriend

You go through the same routine every year: You live your best hot girl summer and love the single life, but then the nights start to get dark and the air gets cold. You no longer have tinnies in the park to distract you. Your entire Insta feed is suddenly full of couples. You frantically scroll through your exes, trying to decide which would be the least tragic one for you to get back with. This inevitably fails, so you re-download Tinder for the 500th time. You are well and truly in the murky depths of cuffing season.

This year, however, everything’s different. The whole WORLD is different, so of course cuffing season’s changed. It’s been replaced by something far, far worse: Coving season.

Cast your mind back to a million years ago, in March when every person on the planet was frantically trying to get themselves a lockdown boyfriend. Combine that with cuffing season, which we’d normally be coming up to this time of year anyway, and you get coving season – “like cuffing season on speed”, says Cosmopolitan.

The Tab spoke to relationship expert Dr Elesha Vooght at Kandid. She said: “Cuffing is now a well established phenomenon. As the winter months draw in, the days are shorter and darker. This leads us to having naturally lower moods due to the lack of natural light. The cold weather settles us almost into a hibernation mode. This paired with holidays and cutesy couple activities (anyone else relieved that Winter Wonderland is cancelled?), the need to have someone to snuggle with becomes overwhelming.

“Now add a global pandemic to this. Covid has been a time of heightened anxiety and social separation for all of us. As we hurtle towards a likely second lockdown, we understand the rules around ‘bubbles’ better, as well as knowing how lonely it could be last time. By establishing a relationship now, you know that you have a cosy pre-vetted buddy to see out the long dark night.”

‘Lockdown means Tinder is about as interesting as it gets’

For many of us, coving season has already begun. Lily, along with the rest of her housemates, downloaded Tinder this weekend, and Lily has “already exhausted it.

“We’re all matching with the same people, and I’ve already gone through everyone in my area and it’s told me to go on global.”

They’re at uni in Durham, one of the many places across the UK that’s back in a local lockdown – and they’re already sick of it. Lily told The Tab: “We’re bored, some have broken up with boyfriends, we all just want a shag tbh and maybe even a boyf in time for winter. Local lockdown means going on Tinder is about as interesting as it gets, and the only way to see other people.

“I definitely wouldn’t be on Tinder so much if there wasn’t lockdown, I hate Tinder and much prefer meeting people organically – if only the bars and clubs were open!”

Sanjana has also just redownloaded Tinder. She’s been single for a year and a half, and says she’s “a very relationship type person” so would probably be looking for a boyfriend now anyway – but says coving season has spurred her on. She says: “Lockdown is so boring, so anything to make it entertaining.”

Emily is recently single, and is getting back on Tinder this week – “and maybe Bumble as well”. Last time Emily was on a dating app was during lockdown, when she was living alone in her uni house for a couple of months and so downloaded Bumble. She told The Tab: “It’s nice to have someone in winter, but particularly with lockdown. Just to make life somewhat interesting.”

Here’s how to survive coving season:

The chaos of trying to find a lockdown boyfriend earlier this year was bad enough, even without the added pressure of cuffing season – so how can we make sure we survive it? Dr Elesha told The Tab even though it’s coving season, we should still make sure we don’t settle with anyone just for the sake of it.

She said: “Coving season will be a tough one for all singletons. My biggest advice is that no snuggle buddy is worth compromising who you are for. Do not ignore red flags, such as low key misogynistic comments, because that behaviour will get worse with time. Especially if you are trapped in a small space!

“It is better to style this out alone, or better, bubble up with a good friend and an excellent vibrator. You don’t need a sexual partner to be valued.”

Related stories recommended by this writer:

• What is wokefishing and how do I know if it’s happened to me?

• I went official with my boyfriend in lockdown before we had even met

• I got bored in quarantine so I phoned all my exes and asked them what went wrong




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