The time of year when singles rush to couple up ahead of winter – known as ‘cuffing’ – is upon us. New data suggests that, after two years of lockdown dating, this trend is set to be bigger than ever. However, Candy-Ellie Graham warns us that it isn’t worth cuddling up to just anyone


Cuffing season is the name given to a seasonal behaviour trend where singles seemingly settle for and hook up with someone less than ideal to avoid spending the cold winter nights alone.

In moments of loneliness and ‘love tank’ fuel shortages, a ‘situationship’ in place of a relationship can seem very appealing. Physical touch and presence can do far more than a voice at the end of the phone and, after all, doesn’t the Bible say that man was not made to be alone? So surely God would understand the need to have a little kiss and a cuddle, even if marriage isn’t an option…wouldn’t he?

If this is your mindset, you are not alone. I once rationalised like this, and so do many Christian singles who are tired of waiting. Although the term ‘cuffing season’ wasn’t known to me back then, I went through periods when I would jump into ‘situationships’, looking for comfort and companionship. I was getting older and my love tank was empty; exhausting myself by serving extensively at church and attending every church programme simply wasn’t filling it!

The lasting pain of soul ties

Deep down I was still struggling with childhood rejection and emotional trauma. I wanted affection, but my quest for kisses and cuddles with men who had no demonstrable intention of marrying me often led to sexual encounters that left me feeling worse.

And it was more than just a feeling; it transcended the guilt of sexual sin. Sin opens us up to torment in the area in which we have sinned, but I actually didn’t feel like myself any more. This was because part of my soul remained entangled after every sexual encounter.

I had sexual soul ties.

Let me explain. God designed sex to occur within marriage because it is more than just a physical connection. It binds two people together and makes them one. That connection is designed to remain long after the activity has taken place. My quest for momentary affection did me more harm in the long run. In fact, I believe it was one of the reasons I stayed single.

Untangling and breaking free

Breaking my sexual soul ties and addressing the root cause of my willingness to partake in such activities were key parts of my healing journey. Once I had done this, I was able to be fully present and available for God’s choice of life partner.


Helpful resources

To find out what is involved in breaking soul ties, watch Candy-Ellie’s video series about sexual purity (the first is also embedded above):

Breaking sexual soul ties

Why people struggle with sexual sin

Sexual purity prayers