New Trend: Should You Lock in a "Winter Boyfriend?"

Some people get into relationships simply to keep their hearts from freezing during the coldest months.

The other evening, a friend of mine stopped by my place. It was the first night of a very chilly wintry streak, and as she began taking off her coat, she mentioned she'd read my blog post from a few days ago. She said, "If there's any argument for waiting, it's weather like this!" Then she added, "Who wants to schlep around dating when it's freezing out, and you can't wear anything very sexy without looking like a crazy 'ho' who cares more about showing off her legs than catching the flu — but you don't even really want to wear anything sexy, either, because it's too damn cold! I HATE THIS WEATHER!"

"May I take your coat?" I said meekly.

"I've had a rough few days," she said.

She said she was feeling rather down on her luck, romance-wise. All her friends seemed to be in relationships except for her. Nonetheless, she added, if she were in a relationship, and someone broke it off right now, with three months of cold weather to go, it would depress her so much that she might have to stop everything — stop doing her hair, stop bathing, stop working out, stop checking email, stop getting dressed in the morning — and spend the entire season calling in sick, wearing her Wonder Boys terry cloth robe, ordering Malaysian take-out, and watching Arrested Development DVDs.

She went on to say that she knew some advertising guy who said he always "locked in" a "winter girlfriend" before too much of December got away from him. "He explained the 'phenomenon' by saying he liked having someone steady to cook dinners with and watch movies at home with — and he added that it's well known that a guy will always break things off with the 'winter girlfriend' as soon as spring arrives, when his libido kicks in with the onset of sundresses." Moreover, she told me, the "winter girlfriend" is a thing — a well-known phrase and dating practice.

Somewhat disbelievingly, I Googled it ... and lo and behold, she's right. It was right there, defined (grammatically incorrectly) in Urban Dictionary.

Then I searched for "winter girlfriend craigslist" and three ads for winter girlfriends came right up — one in Seattle, and two in Dallas. (Does it really get that cold in Texas?) I searched for "winter boyfriend" and found even more Craigslist ads — two more out of frigid Dallas, one in L.A. — that well-known frostbite capital? — and one in Chicago.

Anyway ... is it just me, or is advertising your desire for a seasonal fling not the best way to meet someone? Also, have you ever been someone's winter girlfriend, or winter boyfriend? If so, did the two of you talk about how you'd be loving each other only until the mercury jumped? Or did you keep your nefarious intentions under your (mohair) hat?