Be wary of 'winter coating' this cuffing season (Photo: bojanstory via Getty Images)
As the nights draw in, so does cuffing season – the time of year where single people couple up with short-term partners for cosiness and comfort(s) to get them through the colder and lonelier months of the year.
But, if you’re on the lookout for love (even if its just to pass the time) be warned, there’s yet another toxic dating trend you need to be wary of – and you may have fallen victim to it already.
“Hey, how’ve you been doing?” isn’t an unusual text from exes when they appear out of the woodwork looking to rekindle a romance long gone – but if you humour it this festive season, you could end up being ‘winter coated’.
Winter coating is when people hit up those they’ve dated, hooked up with, or even been in a full-blown relationship with, to convert them into an easy seasonal partner to see through the colder months.
Just as we brush off our winter coats to keep us cosy and shove them to the back of the cupboard at the first sight of sun, ex-lovers can be company, then cast off as soon as spring kicks in.
According to experts at the dating site, Inner Circle, winter coating is set to rise this year as singles look back to old flames who can share the costs of living.
The dating site’s research found that more than half (52%) of singles have been on the receiving end of a message or call from previous love interests, but a whopping 71% said that the rekindling didn’t work out. And with the cost of dating rising alongside everything else, we can expect to see more of this.
Crystal Cansdale, resident dating expert at Inner Circle, said: “This year, with the pressure of costs going up and people cutting back on dates, there’s the added risk of singles going back to old flings.
“If someone is winter coating you, it might feel exciting to hear from them again. They’ll be steady and dependable through the winter and it might seem like they’ve changed. But when the first sign of spring comes around, history will repeat itself and they’ll disappear into thin air.”
She added: “Winter coating takes toxic cuffing season behaviour to a new level – and unless you’re 100% on the same page as the other person, it has to stop.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.