Dating is hard. Let me repeat—dating is hard, so, so hard. Unfortunately, love, relationships and how people cohabitate together have become more similar to game playing, than developing serious long-term relationships. That couldn’t be more evident than the fact that some of these behaviors have actually become “trends,” just like the “winter coating” dating trend.
While dating, not only do you have to watch out for creepy strangers, but in today’s dating world, you absolutely need to be aware of ones that at one time were closest to you—your exes. Not only is it possible that you got burned once by them, but you may get burned again, this time by a whole new trend that’s been popularized, known as “winter coating.”
Here’s how to recognize the warning signs and keep yourself from being just another “winter coat,” thrown aside when spring comes (again, maybe?).
Related: Do You Keep Falling for Narcissists? Here’s How To Break the Cycle
What Is Winter Coating?
Winter coating is the direct act of hooking back up with an ex in hopes of benefiting from them, especially during the colder months.
People are reaching out to their past partners and rekindling relationships with only selfish intents—using their ex during the cold, dark winter months for a little bit of warmth and comforts, such as money and housing (and a little wink-wink too), without any intentions of continuing the relationship after the seasons change and weather warms.
Then, they ditch the “winter coat” (that’s you) as soon as you are no longer an advantage—usually occurring as the season changes to spring.
Basically, they use the other person for personal and emotional gain (we all get more nostalgic during the holidays anyway!), and then drop them like a soggy, wet dog biscuit as soon as the sun starts peaking and temperatures rise.
Related: It’s Not You, It’s Me: 101 of the Best Breakup Quotes and Messages
Why Is Winter Coating on the Rise?
With the current inflammatory economy, you bet more and more people are finding ways to weather the winter—including, but not limited to—using their exes!
20 percent of Americans are already dating less because of inflation, with 77 percent of daters saying that it would be easier to date if they had more money, according to a recent study from Lending Tree.
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So, it makes perfect sense that the act of “winter coating” is on the rise. They are already familiar with your financials and housing. To take advantage of this familiarity, they just have to weasel their way back into your life.
Is Winter Coating the Same as Cuffing Season?
Don’t confuse “winter coating” with another popular internet term unabashedly known as “cuffing season.” Cuffing season is similar, but this involves single people who are looking to hook up with someone (not necessarily their “ex”) strictly for the luxury of being with someone during the winter months—starting in October and ending somewhere near Valentine’s Day.
Related: 75 Winter Date Ideas to Warm Your Heart and Heat up Your Love Life
How To Know if Someone Is Winter Coating You
You need to be vigilant when it comes to any communication from an ex. Make sure you clear those rose-tinted glasses and see things for what they really are.
Maybe even ask some questions before diving too deep, too quickly into a rekindled relationship.
Here are some questions to ask yourself before falling head-over-heels (again)
- How long has it been since I have heard from my ex?
- Did we end on good terms?
- Were they unfaithful?
- Did we split finances, food and housing before, or did I take care of most of it?
- Are they wanting to just hook up or get back together?
How To Prevent Winter Coating
Since winter coating is really just a new twist on “friends with benefits,” it really isn’t all that bad if you are both on the same page. But if that’s not what you’re personally looking for, make sure to have open and honest communication after you both reconnect. Don’t assume that they just really love you and want to get back together and everything will be a fairy tale etcetera, etcetera.
Communication is key.
Ask outright about their intentions, and what exactly they want out of getting back in contact with you again, making sure you are both on the same page before taking the relationship any further.
Set clear boundaries from the get-go.
Maybe you too want a short-term, comfy partner during the colder months, but that is for you to decide and establish upfront.
Nobody wants to find out the hard way that it was all an illusion. Ugh! Dating is hard enough.
Next up, 250 Questions To Ask A Guy the Next Time You’re Feeling Stuck