It’s almost here! I can’t believe it’s coming around again so soon. It seems like just the other day I was writing to you all admonishing you not to settle (you can read it here) even in the face of a monster like cuffing season (and its first cousin engagement season). No, it hasn’t officially arrived, but the cooler evenings and chilly mornings I’ve been waking up to these past few days have reminded me that it’s definitely around the corner. With the last few days of summer winding down, pre-season has officially begun, and you may have even started receiving the “what’s up stranger” text messages. So, I want you to be ahead of the game, well equipped and not be caught off guard when the season does get into full swing.
In case you’ve been living under a rock (or anywhere other than the U.S. for my international readers) and have no idea what cuffing season is, allow me to briefly explain. It’s the time of the year where the temperature drops, the days become shorter, the nights become longer, and the desire to be in a relationship or some form of pseudo relationship becomes stronger. Otherwise single men and women tend to get tied down in a relationship and “cuffed” before the season is out (hence the name cuffing season). I know in some ways I may be making light of it, but this is honestly no joking matter. Many people have a really tough time during these Fall and Winter months and are left to deal with the consequences come Spring. 1 Peter 5:8 says “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour”. I don’t want you to be in the group of devoured ones due to weaknesses during this season so here are 5 mistakes you should avoid:
1. Don’t make the mistake of going back to your ex
You know which ex I’m referring to. You’ve probably already located him in your mind even before you finished reading that sentence. Don’t do it sis. Remember all the reasons it never worked out in the first place. If things were so great, the two of you would still be together. Do not let him charm his way back in with empty promises and clever words. Actions trump words. Always. If he really has changed his ways, it’s going to take much longer than a cuffing season for him to prove it. Let him pursue you, show some consistency and grow some fruit before you even consider jumping back in that boat. Sometimes many of us women have a fallback guy. It’s the guy we know we can always fall back on if it doesn’t work out with someone else or if we ever just want to be in a relationship. Well with God there are no fallbacks. There is no plan B, C, or D. There is only His plan for your life, including your love life. So, stop looking back and choose to keep going forward. Your exes are exes for a reason.
2. Don’t make the mistake of settling for someone you already friend zoned
Unless you’ve had a revelation that this man is actually your husband, do. not. do. it. Cuffing season has a way of making us talk ourselves into situations and relationships that we would otherwise never get ourselves into- all for the sake of not being alone. We like to tell ourselves “well I’ll just see where this goes.” A relationship is not something that you “just see where it goes”. A relationship is something that you’re intentional about with someone you are enamored by. You shouldn’t have to rationalize being with a person. You shouldn’t have to give yourself a pep talk to go on a date with him. You shouldn’t have to convince yourself that you’re doing the right thing. Real love and real relationships are not forced. They may take some work, but they never have to be forced. When you decide to settle, you’re just keeping a space occupied with a person who was never meant to be there. All, the while preventing the opportunity for the real thing to present itself out of your impatience. Don’t be that girl.
3. Don’t make the mistake of falling for someone with the wrong intentions
If you’re going to find yourself “cuffed” this cuffing season, make sure it’s with a person who has good intentions for you. You want to make sure he is not just being led by the weather or even worst, his own carnal desires. You will know a person’s true intentions for you by the way he treats you and his actions in the relationship. What does your conversations consist of? Are they edifying? Is he truly getting to know you? Are they limited to text messages? How is the communication? Does he reach out to you often? Does he ask about your day and seem genuinely interested? Is he consistent or kind of flaky? What does your time together look like? Does he just always want to “chill”? Is he taking you out on real dates? Is he protecting your purity and being respectful? Are you meeting his friends and some of his family? His fruit (what he is producing in the relationship as well as in his personal life) will tell you everything you need to know. Watch his actions and pay attention to his patterns.
4. Don’t make the mistake of cuddling/snuggling/rubbing and/or sleeping with someone who is not your spouse
Because the weather tends to be much cooler, the days tend to be shorter, and people tend to spend more time inside, Netflix and chill seems to be an obvious choice for some. I urge you, however, to not indulge in those types of activities with someone who has not paid the price to have all of you (marriage). Romans 12:1 says this: “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice--the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.” (NLT) As followers of Christ, although we live in this world, we are not of it, which means that we do not do the same things that the world does. We are called to be set apart and holy. Holiness is still God’s standard, whether it’s 2017 or 2137, and when people see you, they should be able to tell the difference between you and the world. So even though the weather is changing, and the temptation may come to have some cuddle time with your bae or a potential bae, choose to honor God instead. Do what Psalm 119:11 says and “hide God’s Word in your heart that you might not sin against Him.” It’s seriously not worth it. If you need more help in that area, you can read my blog about how I waited have sex until marriage here.
5. Don’t make the mistake of getting down and out because you’re STILL single
There’s something about the latter part of the year that tends to magnify the fact that you’re STILL not in a relationship and nowhere close to being married. Perhaps it’s watching everyone with their loved ones during the holiday season. Perhaps it’s all of the engagements that take place, or maybe it’s just the cold weather. It may even be the fact that you had such high hopes coming into the year and now that the year is dwindling down, it seems your chances at true love are fading. Whatever it is, you should not let it move you from your place of peace. Do not let a season, a year, an age or whatever else dictate when you should be in a relationship. And do not let whether or not you are in a relationship dictate your happiness. Decide that you’re going to be a whole, happy fulfilled woman right now in whatever season, place or circumstance you may find yourself in. God’s timing and His will is the only thing that should dictate our actions. The safest, most fulfilling place to be is always in the will of God, so don’t make any sudden moves just because of a season. Your suddenly can be right around the corner. You should always be anticipating the goodness of the Lord in your life because He is a good father. If you continue to stay in His will and walk in His ways, He will not disappoint, and you will see all of your heart’s desires come to pass. They key is to not get weary in doing what is right (Galatians 6:9) while at the same time being content with your own portion. Life is a precious gift, and it should be lived as such in and through every single season, even cuffing season.
Still Hidden in Him,