Fall marks the start of cuffing season — that time of year when you hang onto someone to stay warm with through the cold months. But cuffing’s not for everybody. Maybe you’re like me, wanting something serious and long-term. Luckily, post-pandemic attitudes show that 71 per cent of people now prefer a long-term relationship. So perhaps the notion of “cuffing season” is becoming a thing of the past.
There still is, and will always be, a mixed bag of people out there. I’m sure we’ve all gotten a little hurt before, shuffling through that mixed bag, so to avoid being led on, heartbroken, or weirded out, here are some things to watch out for. If there’s one thing you take away from this, let it be this: listen to your gut above all.
- Their values don’t align with yours
Whether dating casually or more seriously, if both your values don’t align, conflict or self-compromise will arise in the relationship, leading to unfulfillment and long-term disharmony.
- They seem to be only interested in one thing
If your date constantly asks you to come over to their place or to yours, they most likely aren’t interested in taking it further than one night. They may also be looking for a friend with benefits. To prevent disappointment, get clear on what you’re both looking for from the very start.
- They’re catfishing
Do they avoid video chats? Are they promising in-person meets, but bail last minute? Maybe you’re being catfished. Stats indicate 54 per cent of people lie on their dating profiles and catfishing psychologically affects 35 per cent of victims, according to Review42. Watch out for dramatic stories about illness or deaths, which may be excuses to break up without having to be honest.
- You can’t be yourself around them
Sometimes, you’ll come across a person who’ll try to convince you that your lifestyle is flawed, and you should do the opposite of what you’re currently doing. They may even try to do something you’re not okay with. Rather than giving in, practice saying no, even if it’s hard at first.
- They don’t speak your love language
After a couple weeks of dating, you both should have an idea of how the other person likes to be shown affection. No need to have the same love language(s) for the relationship to work, but you both do need to be willing to display love in the way your partner prefers, without feeling pressured.
- There’s unwillingness to get to know you
They’re distant, keeping you at arm’s length, and you initiate communication more often than they do. When they do respond, it’s one short, boring text. If you’re paranoid about their level of commitment, then it’s most likely a one-sided love affair.
- They’re supposedly always busy
Even the busiest people make time for those they care about. It’s a matter of priorities. If they’re not making time to speak to or see you, they’re probably not that interested, and it’s time for you to move on.
- Overstepping boundaries
It’s normal — and possibly unavoidable — to overstep each other’s boundaries at the very beginning of a relationship. What’s not okay is disrespecting boundaries after they’ve been clearly communicated. This may indicate control issues or something else, like insecurity. If you continue to let things slip, things might get worse over time.
- You’re unsure how they feel about you
First, this can be solved by simply asking. But in the case that the answer is vague and leaves you with even more questions, you should definitely run for the hills. Genuine interest and care should not leave you wondering.
- Making rude “jokes”
Nobody wants to be with someone who makes them feel bad about themselves. So, if that’s what’s happening with your significant other, let them know it hurts. What’s also a red flag is dating someone who makes inappropriate “jokes” about others, too. If they defend their behaviour and refuse to apologize, you should reconsider the relationship.
Josephine Mwanvua | Contributing Writer