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If summer is the weekend of the entire year, then August is definitely the Sunday of summer. Yes, there is still plenty of fun to have, but you know that fall is right around the corner and you must start planning for it. One of the greatest traditions that comes with autumn arriving is the subsequent arrival of cuffing season. There are people who don’t believe in this phenomenon and feel like this is all childish and immature, but they are probably the same people who hated on people watching the eclipse, and we don’t need that type of negativity in our life. In order to help those who are interested in participating in the season but aren’t necessarily sure how to go about it, the below is a general calendar on how cuffing season works in the modern day and age.

Scouting (Aug 1st – Labor Day): Proper preparation prevents poor performance. This phrase sets the tone for this time frame. Yes, it is still summer and still hot outside. But, as any Game of Thrones stan will tell you, Winter is coming and with that, you must start the planning process. This involves taking a serious look at your surroundings and taking note of anything that may catch your eye. The end of your scouting period is Labor Day, the unofficial end of Summer and the start of changing leaves and changing rosters.

Training Camp (Day after Labor Day – Halloween): Life is a game and if cuffing season is an actual season, then there is a preseason attached to it as well. All your favorite sports (basketball, football, baseball, etc.) have a pre-season before the games really start to count and cuffing season is the same. After the last hurrah, Labor Day weekend, it is time to buckle down and figure out how your season is going to look. During this training camp, it is normal for people to get cut with little regard and to sign new prospects who’ve shown potential. Rosters are in flux as people try and scramble to find the situation that is right for them to enter the cuffing regular season.

Start of the Cuffing Regular Season (Halloween Weekend): Why does Halloween weekend signal the start of the regular season? It’s pretty simple, the NBA, NFL, MLB, etc. always makes sure the that the start of their season is a big production and a huge event. We see the champions from last year get their rings, we get marquee matchups from high profile teams. Also, we get to see how our new rosters perform when the lights are on and people are watching. Halloween weekend is the fall event that brings this all together. Whether it’s the partner costumes or the Halloween parties that always seem to get a little out of hand, Halloween is where the world is put on notice on your roster status and where we stand as we roll into the dog days of late fall.

Trade Deadline (Thanksgiving): Sometimes things just don’t work out in life. Even Outkast once said “you can plan a pretty picnic, but you can’t predict the weather”. [https://youtu.be/MYxAiK6VnXw]  Every year there’s a big free agent signing or a No. 1 draft pick that just doesn’t pan out how you expected. My Browns fans know about this far too well. (Dwayne Bowe & Cam Erving to name two). Cuffing season is the same way. You find out that the person you thought had all the potential, turns out to be nothing more than potential, in fact you’re totally incompatible (he’s #LawrenceHive and you’re #TeamIssa, one of you likes Michigan and the other likes Ohio State, etc.) If this happens, we encourage you to terminate your contract immediately, but please do it before Thanksgiving. Why thanksgiving? Because Thanksgiving is about family, in fact most of the winter has holidays that are family oriented, and you don’t want someone to meet your family who you’re not sure about. Avoiding all of those “what happened to your little friend” questions if the person you bring to Thanksgiving doesn’t come to Christmas should be all of our goals to be honest.

All-Star Game (Christmas): In the NBA and Major League Baseball, the all-star game is considered the unofficial halfway point of the year as well as a chance to showcase those people who have been exceptional in the first half of the season. Christmas is the same way when it comes to cuffing season. We are an extremely materialistic society, who often turn Christmas into “how many cool gifts have I received.” Combine that with another (often bigger) family event and we have the All-Star Game of cuffing season. Generally, if people make it through the trade deadline that is Thanksgiving, they’ll still be on the active roster for Christmas, considering they are a month apart.

Super Bowl (Valentine’s Day): This is relatively self-explanatory, the holiday built around love (and an aggressive marketing campaign from Hallmark) is the pinnacle of cuffing season. If you make it all the way here, you can consider the season a success. Between Christmas and Valentine’s Day is generally the time were most breakups happen, so avoiding that trend is a cause for celebration, and gifts, and chocolate (if you’re a woman) and seeing your woman in some relatively nicer clothes (if you’re a man).

Renegotiation Period (Feb 21st – St. Patrick’s Day): The renegotiation period starts a week after Valentine’s Day, to allow our brains to take back control of our actions from our feelings. We are enough removed from the highs (or lows) of Valentine’s Day to examine how we feel about the person we just spent the winter with and to decide if we want to continue spending time with said person or to cut all times and start anew and fresh. This period ends on St. Patrick’s Day because when you combine St Patrick’s day with March Madness that usually is scheduled near the same time, it truly has potential to be the first crazy, debauchery filled moments of the spring, and you want to know where you stand before hand.

Moratorium (March 18th – Memorial Day): this is the true offseason of cuffing season. If you’re in a committed situation, there’s not a lot of reason to change that unless unforeseen circumstances come into play. If you are a free agent, you’re generally not pressed into signing an agreement with a partner because you understand that summer is looming. Those people who go into hibernation during the winter, come back out into the wild during this time frame, as well as college graduations and extended job offers, saturating your local neighborhood with new options for your roster. This is the period to be still.

Start of Summer League (Memorial Day Weekend): The start of the summer has endless possibilities. Some people choose to find someone for the summer because it’s generally cheaper to date due to the influx of free events the summer often brings. Other people choose to live their best life, channel their inner Issa or Kelli from Insecure and enjoy as much as their body will allow. Summer League in the NBA is a time of hope, projections and fun, with fewer rules and restrictions on the game itself. The same can be said here.

In order to do better, you must first know better, and hopefully this calendar can be a guide on how to properly execute cuffing season and to flourish in whatever role you choose for yourself this fall.

*Calendar subject to change based off feelings, alma mater’s homecoming and unexpected weather changes


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