DEAR ZORA

It's Time to Cancel ‘Single, Sad Girl’ Cuffing Season

First of all, do men have a sad boy season? I think the fuck not.

Elisabeth Ovesen | NYT Bestselling Author
ZORA

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Illustration: Techi/RawPixel

I recently returned to California after a gap year in New Jersey, where the weather is primarily wet, and the skies are usually dark. There were maybe two weeks worth of solid sunshine all year, and as someone who has spent the last 22 years living in the Golden State, I was not amused. After six months, I could feel the seasonal depression creeping in. With snow all winter, rain nearly every day in the spring, thunderstorms in the summer, and more rain and dark clouds in the fall, every season in New Jersey felt like an end-of-the-world Will Smith movie.

Born in the Caribbean and having spent half of my life in Los Angeles, I'm a sun goddess. I wake when the sun rises and get sleepy when it sets. I love the rain but not in droves, and I need the sun to peek through the clouds by the afternoon, or I cannot function at full capacity. I have generalized anxiety disorder and bouts of situational depression, so it's vital to my mental health and well-being that my surroundings feel as safe and upbeat as humanly possible. The Northeastern seaboard with its dank, dark seasonal displays is not the place to be for a person like me. All that to say, seasonal depression is real, but this is not an essay about that.

Every year around this time, single women feel sad for no reason other than they've been told they should. For these women, it's not about the change of season, per se, but that the progression from summer to fall to winter means the nights will be longer and cooler, and God forbid they don't have a man to warm their cold, lonely bones. For those living in cities that snow each year, being single is certain doom. Whatever shall a single gal do if there isn't a dick nearby to validate her existence, distract her from her goals, and eventually play with her emotions and ruin her happiness?

It's called cuffing season. It coincides with Sad Girl Fall and does Krispie Kreme Deliver at 1 a.m. Winter, and it's canceled. First of all, do men have a sad boy season? I think the fuck not. This is the kind of patriarchal malarkey that women have invented, fed into, and weaponized to make healthy women feel as if something is or should be wrong with them. Elle magazine says you're probably "Sad that the world is on fire, literally and figuratively. Sad that summer is over. Sad it's getting cold out. Sad it's cuffing season, and you're still single. Sad your summer fling has ended. Sad the year is pretty much over."

Wut?

Every generation has its doomsdays, and now, it's our turn. Am I supposed to cry in the shower because of it? Summer begins and ends every year. Am I supposed to hurl myself down a flight of stairs every fall and again in winter? I've been alive 43 years, and I'm blessed to see another one, especially amid a pandemic. Am I really supposed to feel sad about the passage of time and the privilege of witnessing it? Summer flings are meant to come and go, literally. Am I really supposed to bawl over seasonal penis and then desperately try to book a boyfriend in time for the holidays?

Girl, bye.

Cuffing season is as moronic as sad girl season. Just as single women are looking for cock, company, and comfort, single men who miss their mommies are looking for women to cook chicken and dumplings and do their laundry. They lay up with lonely women all through the chilly season, and then as soon as the first day of spring hits, these shiftless men are in the wind. They've raided their fi-fi bags’ fridges, treated women's bodies like fast-food drive-throughs, and made promises they have no intentions of keeping. Sad women have given these men wifely privileges on seasonal penis passes. Then, in the warmer months, they find themselves immersed in a much-storied summertime sadness. And this sad girl shit never ends.

Instead of committing to being run down and ran through this time of year, work on yourself instead. Make this the Get Your Shit Together season. Cool and cold months are the perfect time to plan and prepare for the warmer months. There are much better things you can do with your time instead of lamenting over being single, trading dumplings for dick, and feeling sad about basically everything. You can:

  1. Focus on better eating habits instead of giving your body over to traditional holiday foods entirely. Enjoy, but don't overindulge. Try eating a salad before each meal, instead of the other way around. You'll still be able to eat the foods you crave, just a lot less of them.
  2. Exercise daily and focus on reaching your fitness goals. When it's cold outside, at-home workouts are made more accessible and fun with free YouTube trainers, inexpensive equipment found on Amazon, and even a SPIN bike for under $500.
  3. Update your résumé and cover letter to reflect the position you'd like to hold in the coming year. It’s time to focus on upward mobility and this TikTok fave has some super useful tips and templates.
  4. Upgrade your supplement and beauty routine. We all feel better when we love the way we look and when our bodies are properly nourished. Try a new facial routine or all-in-one hormonal support and vitamin.
  5. Learn something new and valuable to your personal or professional life. This website is a really fun place to start if you want to learn from the pros.

Barring legitimate mental health issues, do not give in to the Single Sad Girl cuffing season melodrama. Instead, give yourself a lot of extra love and care so that when things start heating up again, you'll emerge feeling healthy, happy, and whole. Read about hygge (pronounced hoo-ga), the Danish philosophy of comfort, togetherness, and well-being. It might help you find pleasure in something other than seasonal peen. Use this time to heal and read up on how your body holds onto trauma, and maybe you'll find healthy and healing outlets for your feelings through fall and winter. Whatever you do, be kind to yourself. Follow your bliss, wrap yourself in joy, and be grateful for your singlehood. There is nothing sad about taking the time to love on yourself. After all, how you care for yourself now sets the bar for how you will allow others to treat you later.

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Elisabeth Ovesen | NYT Bestselling Author
ZORA
Writer for

3x New York Times bestselling author, art enthusiast, and design girlie living between Los Angeles and New York City