Even the most dedicated singletons have spent years trying to find a winter partner. 

This year, however, it seems that fewer daters succumbed to the pressures of so-called “cuffing season” and are still living a single life. 

Research from dating app Badoo revealed that less than a third of UK singletons are looking to settle down this winter, and almost half want a to take a more relaxed approach to dating. 

The app called this year ’nuffing’ season. It stated that Gen Z singletons were less keen to start winter relationships than their Millennial predecessors. Their primary goal was to ‘date casually, have fun’.

It seems that singletons don’t feel pressure to be with one person during the colder months. This is due to a combination of getting used to spending time alone during lockdown and enjoying meeting new people after long periods. 

Research from dating app Badoo revealed that less than a third of singletons are looking to settle down this winter, and almost half want a to take a more relaxed approach to dating this year. Stock image

Badoo, a dating app, found that less than a quarter of singletons are looking for a place to call home this winter. Half want to be more relaxed in their dating lives. Stock image

Badoo’s Brand Management Director Natasha Briefel said that people no longer want any restrictions, but they want to have fun after the restrictions of lockdown. This led to a rise of ‘zero pressure dating’.

She said the key to navigating dating at this time is to bea honest about what you want, whether that is to date casually, see how things go, or to find someone to connect with a bit more seriously. 

She said, “You’ll find it if your honest and open, and if you don’t immediately, that’s okay, too.”  


Winter is approaching and singletons would rather spend their evenings at home with a partner, rather than going out and meeting new people. Find a short term partner to help combat loneliness in the cold months. 

These are the dating terms that you should know, and they don’t include ‘ghosting” or ‘catfishing”. 

Fleabagging: This is the behavior of repeatedly dating the wrong men, like Phoebe Waller Bridge’s character from Fleabag. 

Glamboozling: Dates normally mean a new outfit, or at they very least  five minutes in the work toilets applying some lippy and mascara.

You’ve been glammed up, but then you get bamboozled or stand up at the very last minute.

Caspering Ghosting is a cruel thing. After a while you thought you liked someone, they suddenly disappear.

Casper, the friendly ghost, is a great way to let someone know you’re about disappearing on them. 

FlashpanningWe’ve all been there. The honeymoon period in any relationship is always the best. Most people want to be in it forever.

However, most of us  stay through the tough times and don’t run away when the romantic, exciting parts, have vanished. 

A flashpanner will not hesitate to ghost you after realizing that romance and fun have ended.  

Zombie-ing: This is when the ghosted person suddenly appears and acts as if nothing has happened. They can continue where they left off.

Benchmarking: This is when daters aren’t ‘into” someone enough to commit, but they want to keep them on their sidelines as an option.

Breadcrumbing This is when someone pays attention to just enough to keep someone around and keep the hopes of a long-lasting relationship alive.

Cushioning: “Cushioning” is a dating strategy that allows people in a relationship to chat and flirt with others. 

Yellow carding:The same as a yellow card for a footballer, it refers to calling out a boyfriend, date, or other person about bad behavior.  

You’re not going to dump them – but by signaling your dissatisfaction, you’re telling them that their benching and glambozzling are unacceptable.

Exoskeleton-ing Have you ever heard from your ex via Instagram or Twitter. You’re not the only one –  more than a fifth of us have been through this.

Exoskeleton-ing is a term that refers to the discovery of skeletons in the’social media cupboard’ by one of your date(s). 

Relationship expert Rachael Lloyd at dating website eharmony explained: ‘Cuffing season is the time of year where single people begin looking for a partner to settle down and get cosy with over the winter months. 

Think long nights spent on the couch, endless boxes and romantic candlelit dinners. It exists because singletons are more motivated to stay in their homes than to escape loneliness in winter. 

“The shorter days can also impact mood, and we are wired to seek deeper connections when it is cold, dark, and wet outside. However, it is not uncommon for couples to simply fight off winter blues and then find their own way when spring (and warmer weather) arrives.


Singletons are less likely to find a partner this year because they have become more comfortable spending time alone during the pandemic and are more open to meeting new people after long periods of isolation. 

Rochelle Knowles, founder of Mindful Eyes, said: ‘People have become more secure being on their own because of isolation during the global pandemic.

“Because the mental health movement grew during the pandemic,” Gen-Z values working with themselves, facing their fears, worries and limiting beliefs before entering into a relationship. With the understanding that they would bring a happier version to their next relationship. It is much more difficult to ‘work on yourself’ when there is another person involved.

‘Being single allows one to be completely self-sufficient, you can watch the TV shows you want to see, eat the food and indulge in the things that you really enjoy, something many people have become accustomed too after years of isolation. 

Rachel shared that many singles over 20 have no interest in getting married to one another this winter. 

“During the pandemic they realized they could be on their own and could enjoy family and friends without the desperate need to commit to a significant romantic relationship during the colder seasons. Instead, they embrace all the fun that comes from meeting and dating new friends. 

‘Additionally, this week’s news about rising infection rates means that singles shouldn’t miss the chance to have fun winter dates while they still exist. 


Rachel claims that the tech savvy Gen-Z generation of daters are less likely to settle for a winter partner because they know they have a world of other singletons at their fingertips, as well as being less traditional than previous generations. 

She stated that ‘Choice is the key factor’. “Gen-Z is tech-savvy and has many options for dating. 

They are more open-minded and less bound to tradition than any other generation, generally speaking. They have witnessed the pressure on older generations to conform with certain narratives, such as settle down by 30, and are now rebelling against these authoritarian ideas. 

They are more focused on enjoying the present moment and not pleasing others. Their focus is on pure happiness and freedom.


Experts claimed that singletons are happier dating in winter this year, but that cuffing season is likely to return in future years as more people embrace the ‘comfort’ of seasonal relationships. 

Rachel stated that singles are less likely to settle down with a partner in winter due to the pandemic, overhanging effects of three lockdowns within 18 months, and Rachel’s comments. 

“Cuffing season” will likely return as singles embrace the ease and comfort of shorter-term relationships. 

Rochelle said: “Humans will always desire affection and company, it is from the pack mentality. 

“During the pandemic individuals, their ability and confidence to be by themselves has increased, so they have less need/want/wish to be around others. However, there will always be a need for company and human to human affection during colder and darker months.