The end of daylight saving time isn’t just bringing darker days; it also has officially kicked off “cuffing season,” the time of year when singles get into temporary relationships during the cold months.
Using data from its annual Singles in America survey, dating app Match compiled a list of which U.S. cities have the best and worst cuffing seasons, based on a city’s interest in casual dating, as well as whether people in that city are having a lot of, or a little, sex.
Chicago ranks fourth on the list of top 10 cities having the most sex and looking to casually date, thus making it one of the best places to be cuffed during the fall and winter months.
Indianapolis took the No. 1 spot, while San Diego and Denver came in second and third, respectively. Memphis rounded out the top five, and Columbus, Ohio, also represented the Midwest on the list, in the eighth spot.
More than 5,000 singles throughout the United States were surveyed for the Singles in America survey, and the people varied in age, ethnicity, income and backgrounds.
Chicago matchmaker Stef Safran, founder of Stef and the City, says Chicago likely placed high on the list because it’s a large city with a lot of options that people want to explore.
“The pressure is off on getting married at a younger age than a smaller city would have,” Safran said. “A lot of people find, especially if they move here, that they may want to explore and see options.”
Safran also thinks dating apps have made it easier for people to have more sex, she said. “It’s not so hard,” she said of finding hookups within apps. “Uou can do it without anyone knowing.”
According to the survey, 26% of the participants said they believed a relationship was exclusive when it wasn’t. There are a few significant factors that can play into someone being in a cuffing season relationship, Safran said, like a major age difference, location or career obligations.
A telling sign is if the person you’re dating isn’t talking about introductions to meaningful people in his or her life and just keeps you separate, explained Safran.
“Maybe you go and do things for the holidays,” she said, “but it’s not with his friends and not with his family, and there’s no discussion about taking things to the next level of seriousness.”
Safran urges singles to give any relationship three months, which is the length of the cuffing season, she said, and doesn’t think being in a relationship this time of year should get a bad reputation.
“People have to understand that every relationship is not meant to be serious and go to the next level, that’s why we date,” Safran said. “It’s OK to have an exclusive dating situation that lasts through the winter.”
However, she doesn’t suggest getting into a relationship solely for the sake of cuffing season.
“If a person knows off the bat they’re not intending to stay with a person, then don’t continue down the path,” she said. “Be fair and don’t lead someone on.”