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How to Avoid the Winter Dating Blues

Don't give in to the 'cuffing' mentality—these tips will help you survive and thrive this dating season.

Winter has arrived, the cold is settling in for the long haul, and so is the ridiculous notion that we all need to find a snuggle buddy—stat—to bunker down with for the winter months.


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This fear-mongering winter phenomenon has even been dubbed “cuffing season,” the act of locking down with someone for fear of spending long, cold, winter nights alone. But ladies, do not be fooled by this scare tactic, men do not disappear in the winter—you just need to know how to find them.

There is no need to go all Survivor and grab the nearest man with a pulse. There are worse things that can happen to you in the winter than being without a man—like being stuck with one out of pure desperation because you have insanely decided to “cuff” yourself to him all winter long. One word for you: nightmare.

So gird your loins and face the winter like a woman who not only knows how to survive, but thrive this season. Good guys are out there weathering the cold on their own too. When it comes to meeting men, it’s usually less about where to meet them and more about how to meet them. Here are some tips to get you started…and the rest I leave up to you.

01. Don’t go home.
This is a tried and true method for a.) Meeting men and b.) Avoiding the “if only I had someone here beside me” rabbit hole we fall into when we are at home and feeling blue.

It is very tempting to scurry home, where it's warm and cozy, to be by yourself after a long day at work. Resist this temptation. If your local Chinese delivery joint doesn’t also offer “date with an eligible bachelor” as one of their side dishes, you are not going to meet anyone sitting at home. Furthermore, there is nothing more disempowering then sitting at home wishing you could meet “someone.” Get out there and make that a possibility.

Make a commitment to schedule a happy hour, go see some live music, watch a hockey game at the local watering hole, go dancing, or take a class at least once a week. If you're wondering where all the single guys are, this is where: out in the world pursuing their interests and probably looking for girls. It’s time you join them.

After you have made good on your one night out during the week, you can allow yourself that much needed home time. One night, invite a friend for drinks or dinner. Then allow yourself one night to be alone—at home—to catch up on beauty sleep, paint your nails, or read a book. Most of us need a least one night like this to rest and gear up for the weekend—for which the same rules apply. Spend one night out and about and having fun. I know it’s cold outside, girl, but you can do it!

02. Make the first move.

Yes, I said it. When it comes to meeting guys, sometimes you are the one who needs to make the first move—especially if you and your girlfriends have opted for to do happy hour at a spot with a game on TV. You may not be interested in which teams are playing, but there's a good chance the guys at the bar will be.

Making the first move is not about hitting on a guy; it’s about engaging with them. Treat men you would like to meet as just that and don’t overthink it. Being engaging means smiling back when a guy catches your attention across the room, uncrossing your arms, and keeping your conversation open to newcomers. You don’t have to walk up to a guy and introduce yourself, but it wouldn’t hurt to smile and introduce yourself when there is an easy “in.”

Men typically want to meet women, but most men are pretty intimidated by them. So help a brother out by sending the signal that you won’t reject him should he want to talk. Making the first move by simply being engaging is the best way to meet a man.

03. Have fun.

Nothing drains your “get out there” stamina like feeling like you are heading out on a hunting mission and if you don’t come back with a kill, then the mission was a bust. I know this is probably the most annoying piece of advice ever, but “getting out there” is not about meeting men, it’s about allowing for the possibility of meeting men—and that is a big difference.

Leaving yourself open to the possibility of meeting a nice guy while you are out living your life is a much healthier mentality than living your life to meet a nice guy. Do things that you should do anyway, like catch up with friends and try new things. When you are grabbing a drink with a friend at a bar, remember that you are there to catch up with your friend, while allowing for the possibility of meeting someone new. If you and your friend are done chatting, are tired and want to go home, do it. Nurture your friendships and seek to inspire your passions. But engage those around you, particularly men, while you are at it. That’s what “getting out there” is really all about.