Cuffing season is cancelled

It’s no mystery that this can be a rough time of year, relationship-wise. For the Single Sirens among us, the holidays come with an extra layer of drama and complication that would maaaybe be a little more fun with a plus one. 

In other words, we’ve reached peak cuffing season.

To be clear, no one needs a romantic partner in order to be a complete and fulfilled individual. You are strong, you are beautiful and you deserve it all. Most importantly, you don’t need dude to have a good time. This year, as foretold by the sirens Ariana Grande and Carly Rae Jepson, it’s time to drop the desperation to pair and embrace ourselves instead.

I’m no expert, but I am pretty good at self-care in film form, and I’m a big advocate of treating yourself to an indulgent evening in. If you’re ready to revel in your own company, follow these steps for a flawless date night for one.

1. Sing

Put this playlist on, change into comfy clothes and light a few candles to set the mood:

2. Savor

While you’re jamming out, fix yourself a fancy dinner. One of my favorites takes only ten minutes to make, and it pairs perfectly with a cheap glass of white.

Kroger brand for the win!

Boil your water, and once you add in the fettucine/linguine, start heating your mussels so they’ll be done at the same time as your pasta. Top your noodles with a squeeze of lemon, a little grated parmesan and a sprinkle of crushed red pepper. Then settle down on the couch like so:

Don’t forget an extra bowl (left) to hold your empty shells!

3. Stream

What’s the best kind of man? A fictional one.

So let us forget, if we can, about the agonizing hellscape that is contemporary dating life. But instead of seeking refuge in dreadful rom-coms or cheeseball holiday flicks, let’s transport ourselves back to a more dangerous time, in a more romantic world…Where long-haired heroes with rippling muscles ride into battle on horseback and remove their shirts at regular intervals…

Anyway, we’re here for the unrealistic depictions of romance. So turn down the lights and select one of these steamy, sultry period pieces to get lost in. Before you worry that I’m getting off-brand, rest assured that these picks are riddled with oodles of violence and murder, too.

*Disclaimer: I’m sharing my personal favorites, so due to my selection bias these shows are all, unfortunately, extremely heteronormative. Please don’t hold it against me. I’d have quit men years ago if I could

Binge-able shows

Outlander

Hopefully you’ve heard by now, but Outlander is hands-down the sexiest show on TV for four years running. The lead actors have incredible chemistry and the evolution of the characters’ relationship is one of the most realistic you’ll encounter. This series has a great mix of gore, action and breathtaking scenery, but most importantly, it’s insanely hot. (On that note: Stephen better hope Sam Heughan never comes calling.)

If you aren’t caught up on season four yet, you know what to do.

Poldark

This remake is at the top of my list, because I’m told it’s very steamy with plentiful scenes featuring a hot, shirtless man and horseback riding along the beautiful rolling hills of Cornwall…mmmm don’t mind if I do.

Spartacus

For me, this was the show that started it all — and Gannicus’ oiled muscles may or may not have been my desktop wallpaper for the duration of 2012. The first season will always be my favorite thanks to the incredible and emotionally understated performance of Andy Whitfield, who died of cancer before he had the chance to share more of his talents with the world. His Spartacus is noble, principled, and unwavering in his dedication to his true love, which makes him perfect fantasy fodder. The shirtless screen time doesn’t hurt either.

But really, how can a show that was so clearly produced for a male audience do such a delightful job of satisfying the female gaze?

Vikings

I loved watching this show when it first premiered, and although I’ve fallen off the recent seasons, what struck me most about the first few episodes was how unexpectedly sexy the tone was. On the History Channel, no less! 

Also, I’m calling dibs on Ragnar as a baby/pet name. No stealing!!

Honorable mentions + shows I haven’t seen but am told are v. sexy: Game of Thrones, Rome, The White Queen & The White Princess, Penny Dreadful, The Tudors

Prefer movies?

This category is way harder to narrow down, but I feel compelled to spread the good word about the following:

The Outlaw King

This movie totally fits the “period piece with sexy long-haired leader man” trope and I really enjoyed watching it. Frankly I’ve never had such a crush on Chris Pine before, but I cannot confirm or deny that it’s because of the mullet.

Troy

OMG so classic. You’ve got Eric Bana (before he played the creep Dirty John) and Orlando Bloom…but most of all there’s Brad Pitt, delivering one of my favorite movie lines to Rose Byrne:

If you’re not done melting into a puddle and you need more romantic period movies, check this list.

And one final piece of advice:

What’s your cuffing season cure?

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