As the great poet Fabolous once said, “Been naughty all year trying to end it nicely / Summer [girls] turning into winter wifeys."

And so it goes: as the days grow colder and joggers go from hangover–chic to wardrobe staple, people who are usually content—nay, fulfilled—with single life suddenly feel the unmistakable and somewhat inexplicable urge to be in a relationship.

So, if more than casual hookups are your ~thang~, great. You finally have an excuse to triple text that babe who you hooked up with all Halloweekend. After all, they’ve probably been thinking of you all this time too, they just didn’t want to look clingy.

But for the rest of us who still reel at the mere thought of going to a non–boozy brunch on Sunday morning (because why else would you ever turn two meals into one), cuffing season can feel like a four–month long Thanksgiving dinner of elderly relatives bombarding you with the dreaded, “So, are you seeing anyone yet?” and the even worse, “Well, why not?”

As someone who is somewhat of an expert on not being cuffed—aka hasn’t had a significant other since my boyfriend in 9th grade called me emotionally unavailable for forgetting our 2–month anniversary—here are some tips to keep you on the market.

1. Remind all hookups that you have a really important meeting/interview/work in the morning:  But no really, I really need to be up early in the morning so we can’t talk about how awesome your cat is or how profoundly your life has been changed by the latest New Yorker article you read on Facebook. Otherwise I’d definitely be interested.

2. Become an Event Observer: $35 an hour, a snappy vest to protect you from rowdy freshman/the possibility of looking remotely attractive, and set plans every Thursday through Saturday night? Count me in.

3. Abstain from wearing any club apparel: Locust stop–and–chats are a surefire way to be not only charming but actually leave an impression on everyone who you talked to for all of 30 seconds. Leave no trace behind. Do you even go to Penn? Where will they find you on campus? 

4. Respect the art of the booty call: In the words of the legen—wait for it—dary Barney Stinson, the same rules apply to booty calls as they do to gremlins. Do not feed them after midnight and keep them away from sunlight (see rule #1) or you’ll be stuck with them all of cuffing season.

5. Ghost everything: Why stop at hookups, booty calls, and whoever you shouldn't have given your number to at 3 a.m.? Block anyone who even remotely looks like they would want to "get coffee sometime." Repeat after me: ghosts are your friends. 


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