As is the case with most things dating related, “Cuffing Season” is a label you’ve either heard of but can’t pinpoint, or haven’t heard of but think sounds vaguely inappropriate. Plus, you know it has different implications in Miami than everywhere else.
A quick Google search indicates that the term “Cuffing Season” appeared in our cultural vernacular about three years ago. The Huffington Post explained it like this: “During the fall and winter months people who would normally rather be single or promiscuous find themselves along with the rest of the world desiring to be ‘cuffed’ or tied down by a serious relationship. The cold weather and prolonged indoor activity causes singles to become lonely and desperate to be ‘cuffed’.”
Of course, cold weather is a relative term in Miami – no, wearing UGG boots when it’s 75 degrees does not classify as cold weather behavior. Nevertheless, when the temps drop and we head to Publix seeking ingredients to make hot chocolate and homemade pumpkin spiced lattes, we find ourselves wishing we had someone else was there to share it with.
The good news? Despite what you’ve heard, Miami is chock-full of eligible singles. Plus, if you’ve had a loveless year and don’t want to hear abuela say “Mija, porqué no tienes un novio?” again at Noche Buena this year, you’re in luck. Here are five tips to get cuffed by Christmas.
Scour the dating sites on purpose
Using a dating app is by no means a new idea, but swiping left/right with purpose seems to be a lost art form. If you’re on Tinder or Bumble looking for love, then take the time to ask real questions and give real answers. Under no circumstances should you match with someone and say “hey.” Messages fly at a mile a minute on dating apps – the people who take the time to show a genuine interest in the person on the other side of the screen will rise to the top of the list of eligible suitors. And weed out the hook-up hounds who will invite you to grab a drink at Blackbird Ordinary, then text you to at the last minute to “just come over to my place and have a drink.”
Avoid the Miami pitfalls
Don’t name drop. Whether it’s the name of the door man at Story or your third-degree connection to one of the Estefans, name dropping is one of the “So Miami” qualities that no one is impressed by. Plus, it’s you that we want them to be interested in, not who you know. Also, don’t flake at the last minute. The last-minute ditch happens with such frequency that you’ll often get bonus points just for making plans and following through. And showing up on time!
Actually ask them out!
Saying “I have this thing you can come to if you’d like” is not the same as asking someone out on a date. Do it on purpose. Make it clear that it’s a date. If you’re worried about putting yourself out there or seeming too old fashioned, the truth is that if the other person is a serious candidate, those concerns will go out the window. Real relationship seekers will appreciate the effort and the clarity of knowing you mean business. But don’t go all out on the first date. Coffee shops, as cliché as it sounds, are great for first dates. They’re inexpensive, intimate but not intimidating, and you can bail out in under 30 minutes if you’re not feeling it. Try Crema Gourmet Espresso Bar on Miracle Mile and you can both grab gourmet sandwiches if things are going well.
Be consistent and step up your effort
Don’t go all Joe’s Stone Crab just because you had one or two good dates (you’ll be going there to exchange Christmas gifts once you’re Facebook official). Instead, show thoughtfulness. Try dinner on the Grove Marina and then take a walk down by the water, or do a free Wednesday night movie on the lawn at New World Symphony. Dating in Miami doesn’t have to be expensive. Beyond that, be a real person. Court them. Pick up the phone once in awhile. Pay attention and log the details that make that person unique. Use those details as input for things you’ll do to show them affection later on. Heck, bring them a 3:05 Cafecito. Nothing builds intimacy faster than consistency and attention to detail.
Lock it in.
Remember, if you’re going to be cuffed by Christmas, you’re on a timeline here. So after you’ve hit up a Miami Book Fair International event with her and introduced her to her favorite author, tell her you’re serious about her. Don’t just assume she knows. And then ask her to Joe’s Stone Crab for a romantic holiday dinner, then take a walk along the South Pointe Pier and make out until you’re exhausted from it. Boom. You’re cuffed.
David Berry is a Miami-based dating writer and entrepreneur. His debut book, ‘The 10 Phases of Dating,’ was released in October 2016. Pick up a copy on Amazon!