CHICAGO: The weather has turned cold, officially kicking off cuffing season, the time of year when singles look for short-term relationships to get through the chilly months.
Chicago had a landscape ripe for cuffing season last fall, ranking fourth on the list of top 10 cities in the nation that were having the most sex and looking to casually date.
But this year, as the COVID-19 pandemic has tilted just about every aspect of life on its head, how will dating continue to be impacted, especially during a time when it typically soars?
Bela Gandhi, founder and president of Smart Dating Academy in Chicago, said she doesn't see any "significant detriments" coming to the dating space this fall and winter. In fact, she thinks there will be an increase in singles searching for relationships, keeping cuffing season alive and well.
"I don't see why (cuffing season will be) any different this year, and in fact, it may be even greater because so many people aren't going to be traveling to see family during the holidays," she said, "so it's going to be even more pointed, like 'Jeez, I don't want to be alone for the holidays.'"
The desire for a relationship — whether temporary or long term — likely hit singles harder once the busyness of life halted, explained Gandhi.
"We can normally shroud ourselves from that (desire) with lots of friends and happy hours and work events, and all of a sudden when the music stops, you're like, 'Wow, it's me, myself and I,' and humans are wired to have a partner."
Video dating, now a larger part of dating culture, could be a reason why cuffing season may not be too impacted this fall and winter.
According to the annual Singles in America survey by dating app Match, 1 in 5 singles have gone on a video date since the pandemic started.
The survey, in its 10th year, questioned more than 5,000 singles throughout the United States who varied in age, ethnicity, income and background.