Technically, there are four seasons, but I like to think of Winter and The Holidays as two distinct entities. The Holidays are their own special thing — a whirlwind of lights and fun and being hungover at the office on a Wednesday. The Holidays end with a splash, making a champagne fountain and entering the New Year clutching the hands of your friends, or making out with that dude you winked at, then cornered at midnight. After the dust settles, the fog lifts, everyone starts to make their way back to their regularly scheduled lives — that is Winter.
Winter is long, it is the interminable darkness of three to four months until Memorial Day weekend. Winter is losing gloves on the subway and runny noses, and spending time alone because it’s too cold to get anyone to leave their house. Winter is a time for introspection, reflection, eating a lot of cookies, and falling into a state of weird, depressive hermitude that may lead you to consider the Winter Boyfriend.
Loneliness is a real, quantifiable feeling, and it amplifies in the period after The Holidays. Activities die down, social calendars quietly return to their pre-holiday state, and most sensible people enter a prolonged state of retreat. If you’re the kind of person who relishes your alone time, Winter is your best friend. If you’re more inclined to bask in the company of others, Winter is that shitty part of the year when you end up at the local bar with that friend you don’t really like all that much, but are grateful to see someone, anyone’s face. For some reason, being alone in Winter is harder than most other times, and even the most stalwart person will fall prey to the want of a warm body.
That’s when the need for a Winter Boyfriend chafes, because, even the most confident, happy, pleased-with-her-life woman will question her need for male companionship. Even the woman who savors the shoveling of snow from her walk and finds watching television alone, in peace, an underrated pleasure will wonder. On a night when the temperatures dip below zero, and she’s staring at the air conditioner she has yet to remove from her window, she might find herself thinking, It might be kinda nice to have someone I could call to help out with that stuff.
If you desire a Winter Boyfriend, there are ways. A simple right-swipe on Tinder could net you the perfect companion for couch cuddles, Seamless-binges, no-strings-attached sex and a taller-than-you person to change the lightbulbs. The best thing about a Winter Boyfriend is that the parameters are similar to that of a Summer Fling — there’s a tacit agreement that the shelf-life of this particular entanglement is brief. The want for a Winter Boyfriend is born out of necessity, out of a need to fulfill every human being’s desire for companionship. It is spurred on by cold weather, the sight of dudes carrying winter weight and wearing a lot of flannel. The levels of commitment don’t have to be high, or particularly deep. As long as both people understand the rules, then you will enjoy a brief relationship that traffics in the pleasures of domesticity and the joys of almost-casual sex, awash in the mutual understanding that life is sometimes a little easier with a warm body around.
Once you’ve locked this thing down? The world is yours for the taking. The Winter Boyfriend gives you an excuse to stay in, to watch movies, to hang out on a couch in sweatpants and wool socks. The Winter Boyfriend is someone you can call to come over, but won’t overstay his welcome the next day. The Winter Boyfriend knows his place, understands the situation, and respects it. And, best of all, the Winter Boyfriend is a crackerjack way test out your romantic waters. If you’re commitment-phobic, recovering from a long and protracted breakup, or just aren’t really sure if you want to give up the many joys of being single and doing you, the Winter Boyfriend is just the ticket. It’s the relationship equivalent of trying before you buy. A Winter Boyfriend will help you figure out your feelings about being in a relationship, about how it feels to let someone else in, and what kind of sacrifices you’re willing to make. A Winter Boyfriend is training wheels for your Spring Commitment or Summer Fling. A Winter Boyfriend isn’t for everyone, but there are plenty of reasons to consider one.
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