Fall is finally upon us! From the cool, crisp air to the pumpkin spice lattes, there’s something about this time of year that makes you want to cuddle up with a warm body and ignore every red flag that’s hurled your way in hopes of finding that special someone with whom to mildly enjoy cliche fall activities. It’s cuffing season.
During this fifth season of the year, desperation is at an all time high. People are getting into relationships left and right, regardless of if they’re ready or not. It certainly isn’t healthy, but what are you supposed to do, carve pumpkins alone? Cuffing season will make you do wild things with your crush, like giving up an entire Saturday to drive six hours round trip to an apple picking farm or join a fantasy football league when you honestly don’t understand why “holding” is a bad thing because it sounds so romantic.
Every testimony from a happy couple says the same thing about finding your soulmate. “It happens when you stop looking and start focusing on yourself.” Cool, but who knows what that means? Sure, it sounds like a great idea. You’re going to take a month off the hunt and realize how freeing it is to be concerned with you and only you? Just bask in how awesome it feels to meditate and brunch with your friends again! Then one day, you’ll accidentally spill your whole cart in the grocery store.
As you frantically gather your produce, a perfectly fit, absolutely breathtaking, 6’3” man with black hair and crystal blue eyes reaches for the avocados at the same time you do. Your eyes meet, your hands touch, and he says something funny like, “holy guacamole!” Before you know it, you’ve spent three amazing years together and he’s proposing to you on his yacht!
In reality, you’re sitting in a lukewarm tub with a half-dissolved bath bomb, a headache from the five different scented candles you lit for ambiance (your Instagram story), and a solid red wine buzz, all while balls deep in the tagged pictures of the last guy who ghosted you. Forget him. The barbeque he went to in 2014 looked lame and you don’t need to date anymore bori… ahhh shit, spilled the wine. Swoosh it around, it’s fine. Antioxidants are good for your skin.
The annoying thing about self care is just that – the care of yourself. What works for one person may not work for another. I was chatting with a coworker about finding more activities that I enjoyed doing alone and she recommended I try puzzles. She said it was a relaxing way to spend a night in by myself.
Wrong. I have never felt more anxiety. Staring at 1,000 jumbled pieces, back at the picture on the box, back at the pieces thinking, “why are they all green and how the fuck does this make a forest?” I was genuinely upset with her for suggesting something so aggravating. However, I failed to understand that she and I are different people with separate backgrounds, experiences, and goals. I needed to find things more up my alley. This translated to multiple Groupon massages, half assed at-home yoga sessions, and hikes before realizing that occupying my time while staying physically active was only half the battle.
The other, far less fun half, was the emotional work – looking deep into my insecurities and figuring out why they exist in the first place. Why am I constantly comparing my body to other women? Is this something that came from cheerleading or following so many “models” on social media? Journaling really helps me to analyze why certain situations make me react the way they do and come up with healthier ways to handle things. So when I’m feeling fat and gross, I make a list of what I’ve accomplished to remind myself that I’m a badass! So what if my belly button looks like a frowny face?
Putting yourself first and being in touch with the real you gives you a clearer vision on what you need out of a partner. Knowing exactly what you want and being self sufficient are sexy qualities. It’s not that journaling automatically makes you more attractive to potential mates. It’s the confidence you exude once you are fully comfortable with who you are that makes you irresistible. That’s why this fall, I challenge all the singles who are genuinely looking for a real connection to put dating on the back burner, and go cuff yourself.