Sure, summer may get all the credit as the season “of love,” but if you believe some of the world’s top relationship authorities, fall is actually when we really choose to open up our hearts. For proof, here you’ll find 17 expert-backed reasons why autumn is in fact the prime season to fall deeply in love. And if you’re in a relationship and thinking about taking things to the next level, here are the 15 Signs Your Partner Is Marriage Material.
Cooler weather generally means people are less occupied with get-togethers and trips. “Fall is different from the crazy rush of summer, when life is busy and we are out playing,” says Margaret Bell, a counselor and life coach. “Fall is a time that we start to slow down, take more time, and relax. This allows you to get to know someone without feeling rushed or hurried because of a million things to do,” she adds. If you’re still feeling like you have an endless to-do list, try these 15 ways to triple your productivity so you can finish work and get to your date on time.
“Being physically cold makes people crave emotional warmth,” points out Scott Valdez, founder of Virtual Dating Assistants. “As fall approaches, casual summer trysts are traded in for a relationship that will last through the long, dark winter months. In fact, more singles update their status to ‘in a relationship’ and ‘engaged’ during the fall months than any other time of the year.” You could be one of them if you follow the 7 Expert Dating Tips from Silicon Valley’s Top Millionaire Matchmaker.
That means date night is already planned. “Fall is when all the Oscar-worthy movies start coming out (it’s a thing, Google it), so it’s a great time to plan weekly movie dates with your new love interest,” says Stacy Stahl, Site Director of How He Asked by The Knot.
“Colors have an impact on you, and fall colors, with their warm reds, yellows, oranges, magentas, and browns are associated with heightened emotions and passion, as well as joy and playfulness,” explains Rhonda Milrad, LCSW and founder of online relationship community, Relationup. “The fall environment with all the changing colors of the trees and plants gets you in the mood for love.”
Something about fall makes people feel more ready for a lasting relationship, experts say. “People take breaks from dating in the summer and come fall, want to renew their energies to embark on the journey of searching for love on Match, Tinder, Bumble, EHarmony, Our Time, OkCupid, and so on,” says Darlene Corbett, a psychotherapist. For advice on which online opportunities can lead you to true love, check out our list of the best dating apps.
“People tend to ease up about their body image in fall,” says April Masini, New-York-based relationship and etiquette expert and author. “Bikini and beach season bring with it naked romps, but the reality is most people are anxious about stacking up to the competition in swimwear. Sweaters, mittens and wool trousers give everyone a little chance to focus on who they’re with, rather than just their abs or other body parts. This creates a more relaxed dating environment in which to find romance.”
In terms of dating season, fall is pretty stacked. It’s honestly hard to plan a bad first date during this time of year. “Pumpkin patches, apple-picking, corn mazes, hayrides, cookie baking, football games, and more! There are so many activities to do to bring you closer to love,” Stahl says.
Fall brings with it a fresh-start-feeling that doesn’t just apply to those who go to school. “Summer is the season for carefree flings. Anyone who got single over the summer to take advantage of the vacations, nice weather, or possibly to look for a partner upgrade, is now ready to get steady,” says Carlos Cavallo, a dating advice expert.
While lots of people are focused on pairing up before the holiday season, many of the fall holidays themselves are actually great opportunities to meet potential mates. “Halloween is the big cheese of sexy holidays, so enjoy and host Halloween events,” suggests Masini. “And then there’s Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s for family, office and neighborhood festivities,” she says. Use these social gatherings as an opportunity to be around new people.
“In the fall, you start to notice that the days are getting shorter and the evenings longer,” Milrad says. “You begin to spend more time in darkness, alone and in your home. You quickly realize that the evenings are long and that you want someone there with you.” There’s nothing like a little bit of loneliness to make you feel ready for love.
Call us pragmatic, but this is a pretty great advantage. “At a relationship’s beginning, there is usually always some underlying pressure to do more, see more, and experience more together,” says Stacy Karyn, online dating consultant. “However, if the blossoming of your new relationship happens to be during fall, you can always resort to pie baking, apple picking, and farmers market strolling for your romantic activities.” We like to think of it as minimum investment for maximum rewards.
Because nothing says commitment like matching. “Whether you’re dressing up for Halloween together, twinning in L.L. Bean duck boots, or buying matching sweaters for upcoming holiday parties, there are so many opportunities to coordinate your outfits and have fun getting to know each other while you’re at it,” says Stahl.
“For a good portion of the United States, we are no longer in air conditioning mode, and the nights are getting crisp,” says Cavallo. “This makes for great ‘Netflix and chill’ nights binging on House of Cards.” Or just lounge in front of your fireplace, if you’re classy like that.
There’s something about fall on its own that feels amorous. “Add romance and love to the changing seasons and you can almost hear the soundtrack to your personal love story playing,” says Masini. “Fall covers a great trifecta: brisk weather, crunchy leaves, and orange, yellow and browns all over the place. This is sensual in a way that summer isn’t. It’s more sophisticated and it’s a great arena for a love affair to begin.”
You’ve probably heard this term before (if you haven’t, it’s supposedly a derivative of “hand-cuffing”, because you’re connecting yourself to another person), and there’s a scientific reason it exists. “Cuffing season refers to the human tendency to wind our energy levels down and prepare for winter,” says Scott Carroll, M.D., a psychiatrist. “Humans don’t hibernate, but our energy levels decrease and we naturally gather with others to help our survival. That means we are neurobiologically more prone to bond with someone at this time of the year.”
“People don’t want to show up solo at holiday parties, so they’re more responsive on dating sites and apps,” says Valdez. “From Labor Day picnics to Halloween and Christmas soirees, the number of get togethers you’re invited to usually increases toward the end of the year. That ramps up the pressure to meet your +1, which is one of the reasons daters typically get a higher response rate during the late fall and winter months.” If you’re already got a plus-one but are looking for the perfect outfit, check out The 15 Best Looks to Wear to a Fall Wedding This Year.
Let’s face it: Whether it’s right or wrong, lots of people don’t want to be alone during the the holiday season. “You have a good three to four month span of dating to find someone suitable for the holidays,” says Cavallo, which makes people more eager than ever to put in the effort go the extra mile when it comes to coupling up, making it easier for you to land someone amazing. And if you’re already coupled up but need a reminder about why that’s a good thing, here are 20 Reasons Why Fall Shouldn’t Be an Excuse for a Relationship Cooldown.
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