It’s “Drafting Season” For Dating—Be Careful Or You Could Get Hurt

It’s nearly winter and the festive season—in dating terms, that means “drafting season” is nearly over. You might be participating in it even if you don’t realize it, or someone could be planning on drafting you. Here are 12 things you need to know about drafting season so you don’t spend the silly season with a total loser.

  1. Dating gets serious at this time of the year. Summer flings are over and people are getting ready to settle down and cozy up with a special someone during winter. Sound family? Ah, yes, cuffing season is nearly upon us. It’s heavily linked to drafting season.
  2. Right, what’s cuffing season? It happens when the weather starts to get cold. People who usually like being single feel like they want to be “cuffed” (or tied) to someone with whom they can stay indoors, cuddle up, and enjoy the winter. Sort of like hibernating with someone, really, just without so much sleep and much more sex. Now, “drafting season” is the phase leading up to cuffing season. It’s when you’re searching for a person to make your winter boyfriend.
  3. There are lots of players. This trend is similar to drafting season in sports, hence its name—there are lots of players, and you might actually be one of them.
  4. You’re experiencing the winter dating rush. Perhaps you’ve already started to feel lonely AF as a single, and want to get out there to find someone special. Yup, you’re drafting. You might’ve just joined Tinder to see what’s out there, or you’ve told your BFF to set you up with some catches. You’d really like to spend the holidays with someone instead of having yet another year all alone.
  5. The pressure’s on! Drafting season probably came about because there’s so much pressure to have someone, especially over the holidays. Think sharing hot puddings, kissing under the mistletoe, and taking romantic holidays together. That feels so much more appealing than sitting at a Christmas lunch being drilled by family members about why you’re still single. Ugh.
  6. It’s normal. Don’t feel bad if you’re a little more open to guys’ date invites than you were in March. Sometimes “drafting season” is a good thing: it takes you out of your comfort zone and who knows who you might meet there? Maybe a great guy is really just around the corner, after all.
  7. Drafting season has a nasty side, though. Drafting season isn’t always about trying to find someone to date who you’re genuinely interested in, and who you can see yourself getting into a relationship with. Serious drafters tend to feel the pressure to date in the short-term just so that they have someone over the holidays. It could be anyone who’ll keep their bed warm. Ugh. They’ll likely dump this person in the New Year, usually after Valentine’s Day so that they’ve sailed through all the romantic holidays without being single. So messed up!
  8. It’s based on the fear of being alone. If you’ve just started dating someone and he seems pretty desperate, or he moans about how terrible single life is, he could be feverish about drafting season. Another sign he might be a desperate drafter is if he’s talking about introducing you to his folks at Christmas this year even though you’ve only been on two dates and known the guy for a week!
  9. Drafters need to move fast. Of course, you can also spot a drafter by how fast he moves when asking you out. If he’s trying to rush you into dating him or becoming his girlfriend, beware! If he’s quick to snap you up, he’ll be just as quick to drop you after the holidays. He’s in such a rush because the holidays are nearly upon us and he has to RSVP to the Christmas party next month.
  10. Last year’s cuffer could be this year’s drafter. Remember the guy you enjoyed cuffing season with last year? Yeah, now he’s crawling out of the woodwork, hoping to hook up again. He’s probably just keen to lock you down as a snuggle buddy for the holidays. This sucks if you actually had real feelings for him. FFS.
  11. Don’t fall into drafting season quicksand. It’s easy to think that having any guy is better than having no one over the festive season, but don’t get sucked into this trend because it can do more harm than good. Honestly, if the guy’s just using you or he’s someone you’re not keen on dating but just want for those plus-one events, what’s the point of spending time with him?
  12. Being single is more fun over the festive season. Seriously, it might seem like there are happy couples everywhere on Facebook, but you’ve got something they don’t: all the eggnog, without having to share. Plus, you get to do whatever you want over the holidays without having to take someone else into account. You don’t have to worry about buying anyone gifts, except for you, of course – go on and spoil yourself a bit! Best of all, you don’t have to be tied down to a relationship that’s doomed to fail once the holidays are over and everyone resumes normal life.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.