Do You Have Seasonal Dating Disorder? It’s A Real Condition

If you follow a specific pattern of dating throughout the year, you might have Seasonal Dating Disorder (SDD). As its name suggests, it means that your dating follows the seasons: you want a relationship in winter and single life when the weather’s warmer. Here are 14 symptoms of this common trend.

  1. Your love life heats up during winter. We’re in cuffing season now, otherwise known to the rest of us as autumn and winter. It’s when you want to start dating someone so you’re not alone during the cold months. You’d rather be sipping hot chocolate with a sexy guy than be on your own.
  2. You don’t want to be single for Christmas. You can’t bear the idea of being single over Christmas, which is one of the most romantic dates on the calendar. So you make sure that you’ve got someone around that time of year without fail.
  3. You want to be single in summer, though. Once the festive holidays and winter have passed, the weather warms up and you throw out the guy you’ve been dating along with all your knitwear. You love being single during the hot months when you can hook up with guys without strings attached.
  4. You can’t commit. You can’t stay with someone for longer than the holidays. In fact, by the time the New Year rolls around, you’re already thinking up excuses so you can dump your lover in time for summer’s fling season.
  5. You feel trapped in relationships. You want to be in a relationship when it suits you, like when you want to stay indoors during the cold months with someone who warms you up. If the guy hints at prolonging the relationship beyond winter, you feel claustrophobic and want to GTFO.
  6. You like the freedom you get from this arrangement. You can pick partners for winter and then toss them out and love single life in summer. It sounds perfect, doesn’t it? You get the best of both worlds in the same year. But the consequences aren’t pretty.
  7. You could end up settling. You can’t always find a great guy to have a short-term relationship with, even if you start searching for him before cuffing season begins. It’s just not possible every year, which means that you might get with a guy you’re not that into just so you can have someone. WTF?
  8. You avoid single life. You might say you love being single during the summer months, but chances are you’re on the lookout for flings during that time. And when you’re searching for a BF to keep you company over the festive season, you’re probably busy AF dating guys so that you find one who tickles your fancy. You’re never actually giving yourself the time to be completely single and you’ll probably enjoy it if you do!
  9. You could be lying to yourself. You say you want to be single over the summer or you really love being in a relationship in winter, but what’s really going on? There could be something deeper. Maybe you like the benefits you get from dating, such as sex, but you fear getting too close to men. You’d rather jump into casual relationships so men don’t expect too much from you. But is it worth it? You always end up alone and back to the dating drawing board.
  10. You can become desperate. When autumn rolls around, you start looking for someone to spend cuffing season with. That means you might download a dating app or two, or go on lots of dates with guys you meet in RL to find the right one. You risk dating burnout because of your desperation to find someone. Geez, and dating’s supposed to be fun!
  11. You risk ghosting. When you want to end things with your winter boyfriend, you might not know how to send him packing. You might resort to tactics like fading him out, where you slow down how often you text him, or you could end up ghosting him. That sucks because Seasonal Dating Disorder is turning you into a dating drama queen!
  12. Cuffing season is glamorized. You might want a partner for the winter because it just seems so romantic to kiss under the mistletoe and have long walks in the snow. But reality check: how is this guy special to you? You’ve known him since autumn! He could be a total psycho, for God’s sake.
  13. You might go back to ghosts of Christmas past. If you can’t bear to be single this festive season but you haven’t met anyone interesting, you might think it’s fine to dip your toe back in your ex-boyfriend dating pool. That means resurrecting guys you’ve cuffed and dumped in previous years. Now things are just getting messy! This is a sure way to make your holidays super stressful and awkward, with a huge side dish of guilt for playing with people’s emotions.
  14. You’re in your twenties. Apparently, Seasonal Dating Disorder is really common with people in their twenties, say experts. And, in order for you to have Seasonal Dating Disorder, you’ve dated according to the seasons for the last three years. Hmmm. Maybe this year it’s time to break the pattern?
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.