Cuffing season is upon us again – here's how to make it count

‘Cuffing’ isn’t the most romantic way to put it, but after a fun, single summer, locking down a fling seems to be the trend people opt for in the cosier season.

In case you haven’t heard of it, cuffing season is when people start to get into more serious relationships, essentially tying someone down into commitment. Think handcuffs, but not the kinky kind.

After the two years we’ve had, the shift from instantly seeking out pleasure to now looking for something deeper, makes perfect sense.

So, if you’re hoping to have someone to hold hands with in front of the Christmas lights, or a special person to sip mulled wine with at the festive markets, now is the time to spruce up your dating game.

Dating app Inner Circle, found in a recent study that nearly half of their members are now looking for committed relationships. So, they predict cuffing will be even more popular this year.

Based on stats from September of last year, the app now has two thirds more active users and there’s been nearly a third of increases in phone numbers being exchanged in conversations, meaning people are taking their chats further.

Inner Circle’s CEO and founder, David Vermeulen says: ‘On Inner Circle, we’ve noticed a big spike in activity on Sunday’s between 8pm and 10pm in particular.

So for those looking to spark something new, this is the best time to make a move and take advantage of the cuffing season boom happening right now.

As great as it would be for love to come and find us, sometimes we’ve got the make the effort to make it happen.

The good news is you don’t have to do that much to get yourself out there and in with a shot of catching someone’s attention.

The app’s dating expert, Charly Lester, shares her top tips for dusting yourself off and heading back into the more serious dating world.

Freshen up your profile

Do you still have ‘it’s coming home’ somewhere in your bio?

Give it an update and show you’re active on the platform.

Charly says: ‘Cuffing season is going to be big this year. Now is the perfect time to step up your game and give your profile a makeover.

‘Try out some new snaps, make sure your pictures are clear and show off the real you.’

So that means no huge group shots you’re at the back of, sunglasses pictures, or photos only of your dog.

Fill in the blanks

Charly asks: ‘Do you have good chat?’

‘If you really want to grab someone’s attention and spark the conversation, put across your personality in your profile.

‘When crafting your bio, give people something to work with, such as what music you’re into or that new restaurant you’ve been dying to try out,’ she suggests.

Make the opening line easy, so you don’t get stuck in boring small talk.

Take a chance

Don’t be afraid to make the first move.

Charly recommends you look ‘beyond your standard type’ – who are you missing out on by not taking a chance?

To make the most of cuffing season, the key is to be openminded about who you might meet.

Get your timings right

If you only message someone at 1am on a weekend, a certain subtext is going to be taken from that.

Show your interest by texting at a less sexually and drunkenly loaded time of day.

‘Sunday has come out as the top day for landing a date, when most singles are active on the app and getting dates in the diary for the week ahead.

‘To up your chances, the best time to get online is between 8pm and 10pm. On the flip side, Friday evenings have come out bottom – as most people are out and trying to meet people IRL,’ she says.

Put your phone down

Eventually, you want to get off the app.

If you’ve hit it off with someone over text, don’t let it hang too long before you suggest an in-person date.

Charly says this is where ‘the real magic happens’, so you may as well not let the conversation die down without seizing the chance for a date.

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