What does Cuffing mean?

Getting into a relationship with someone

When two individuals decide to be in an exclusive dating relationship, it’s known as ‘Cuffing’. The term takes inspiration from handcuffs, symbolizing the bond between two people.

Though the exact origins of ‘Cuffing’ are a bit uncertain, it’s believed to have first appeared around 2011 in various college newspapers. It was used to describe people entering into serious romantic relationships.

The term ‘Cuffing’ gained traction on social media in the fall of 2013, and it particularly stood out during the fall of 2016. Since then, it’s popularity tends to spike every year from September to December, a period often dubbed as the ‘Cuffing Season’.

People have different reasons to ‘cuff’. Some are in search of a serious relationship, hoping that it may eventually lead to marriage. Others may simply want a companion to spend the fall and winter holidays with, so they don’t have to face the holiday season alone or deal with annoying relationship questions from family members.

Example for using ‘Cuffing’ in a conversation

Hey, have you heard of this term ‘Cuffing’?

Yeah, it’s when two people get into a serious relationship.

Oh, I see! So, like, they’re exclusive and all?

Exactly! It’s like they’re handcuffed together, you know?