Cuffing Season Is Over And The Snow Storming Dating Trend Is Here

The term "cuffing season" has come a long way since its first appearance on the outsourced online slang-word glossary, Urban Dictionary, in 2011 (via Insider). Now, it's a full-blown legit term found in the trusted Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Cuffing season is loosely defined as a period of time during the colder months when singles search for short-term love connections (when they maybe otherwise wouldn't) to pass the chilly days away. Between November and February, you may find more cuddly couples shacking up together than any other time of the year.

Since the fall and winter months are often considered a lonesome and isolating time, where people are less likely to leave their heated homes in favor of snuggling on the couch, it's no wonder romantic and intimate relationships blossom. But once the sun starts to beam a little warmer, and people start to trade in their fuzzy socks for flip flops, those relationships formed during cuffing season may come to an abrupt end — and that's where the dating trend "snow storming" comes in.

What is snow storming?

When you no longer want to be in your cuffed-up winter relationship, the only logical step for some would be to say "sayonara." Now there's a term for that: snow storming. Originating from the dating app Wingman, snow storming is essentially the act of cutting off your current short-term lover during (or right after) the standard cuffing season months (via Stylist). And, hence its name, it can be quite a tumultuous practice, considering it typically requires an abrupt end, followed by the lack of a thorough explanation.

For some, snow storming may seem heartless, right next to other hurtful relationship terms like "ghosting" and "breadcrumbing" — especially when the breakup comes with no warning signs. However, according to Jess Carbino, Ph.D., and former sociologist at Tinder and Bumble, ending a relationship that was formed during cuffing season may not require a lot of explanation and time, given the relationship may have mutually developed for the sake of avoiding loneliness.

"Dissolving the relationship in a way that's a bit more abrupt makes sense because the emotional ties and the entanglements do not feel as strong," Carbino told Well+Good. Therefore, you may find that ending your cuffing season relationship necessitates a quick rip of the band-aid. But that doesn't always mean ghosting or radio silence. While there are instances when it's okay to ghost someone, if there's mutual respect in the relationship, it's a better idea to communicate your feelings — even if it was a short-term fling.

Can snow storming be a respectful practice?

Ending a relationship is never a fun experience. It requires careful thought and consideration, especially when you know it could potentially hurt your partner. But if you need to cut ties with your short-term boo, you may wonder if snow storming is the way to go. There are mixed opinions on this practice, but relationship expert Kate Mansfield told Metro that suddenly exiting a relationship can be harmful.

"The only situation where snow storming is a good idea is in an abusive or violent relationship, where discussing it or delaying leaving might put you in danger," Mansfield told Metro. "Aside from escaping a dangerous or toxic relationship, there are no pros to snow storming. It is selfish, reactive, and unhealthy to leave a relationship without communicating or trying to at least reflect on what didn't work."

Others, like former sociologist at Tinder and Bumble, Dr. Jess Carbino, say snow storming can be done respectfully. "Fundamentally, if you explain to somebody that you've come to realize this is not right for you moving forward, most reasonable people will respect that," she told Well+Good. As we enter the warmer months, and you find yourself wanting to break it off with your cuff buddy, snow storming (in a kind and gentle way) may be the dating trend you need to move on to sunnier days.