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casual dating Abandon cuffing season - this year it's all about 'nuffing season'

Post-lockdown singles seek to put the ho-ho-ho back into Christmas

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Actress Kristen Stewart

Actress Kristen Stewart

Dylan Meyer and Kristen Stewart

Dylan Meyer and Kristen Stewart

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Actress Kristen Stewart

Abandon cuffing season - this year it's all about 'nuffing season' as post-lockdown singles seek to put the ho-ho-ho back into Christmas.

Another week, another makey-uppy dating term, after match-making app Badoo revealed that less than a third of singletons are looking to share their Quality Street this winter.

After getting used to hogging the remote control, almost half, meanwhile, want to 'date casually and have fun' in the run up to December 25, in a trend swiftly given the hashtagable nickname by the website.

Cuffing season - as in, to 'handcuff' yourself to one person for the cold winter months - was first floated by the online Urban Dictionary in 2010 as "the time of year when people are looking to be in a relationship".

Collins dictionary made it formal in 2017 when it shortlisted the term - defined as "the period of autumn and winter, when single people are considered likely to seek settled relationships rather than engage in casual affairs" - for its word of the year.

Although it sadly lost out to 'fake news', the concept has caught on, with Facebook's spike in status updates to "in a relationship" in the countdown to Christmas as proof.

But it's not just about the embarrassment of being left alone under the mistletoe. Science also shows how humans may have been seeking the warmth of others in a bid to survive as the mercury dropped, not unlike a hibernating hedgehog.

And pass the mince pies after one study established that men therefore found women with a bit of blubber most attractive during winter, while testosterone production also peaks around November.

"People don't want any more restraints," said Badoo's Natasha Briefel of this year's so-called 'nuffing' forecast for nightclubs across the country. "They just want to have fun."

Dating app Hinge went one step further when it billed cuffing season 2021 a period of "sexploration" for the men and women who've spent the past year-and-a-half iso-dating.

In a survey of 3,000 users, 45pc said they would like to try new things in the bedroom this winter, which, at a bare minimum, presumably means 'things' other than bingeing on Tiger King 2 alone.

One person who won't have to snuggle up to an extra long hot water bottle to feel all warm and fuzzy this festive season is Kristen Stewart.

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Dylan Meyer and Kristen Stewart

Dylan Meyer and Kristen Stewart

Dylan Meyer and Kristen Stewart

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The Spencer star this week confirmed "it's happening" after girlfriend of two years Dylan Meyer popped the question.

While Ye (or Kanye West to anyone who's fallen behind on their celebrity name change gossip) doesn't seem exactly sure which camp he falls into after describing ex Kim Kardashian as his "wife" this week, because there "ain't no paperwork" yet.

Still, at least the newly single rapper - who previously splashed $1m on five Mercedes for his missus last December 25 - will escape the last minute panic shopping this year.

That's almost e-nuff to make anyone embrace a wonderful single life at Christmas.

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