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When it's cold, most of us reach for our winter coats and now the clothing has also been coined as the latest toxic dating trend as singletons seek short-term comfort in ex-partners during cuffing season.

"Winter coating" is when someone decides to reach out to an old flame - anyone from a former hookup to a previous relationship - amid the colder and darker months in the hopes of gaining a seasonal partner to see out the winter with.

But once the spring and warmer weather arrive, the winter coat can be taken off and put back in our wardrobes - in other words, the seasonal relationship has reached its course.

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According to experts at the dating app, Inner Circle, more than half (52 per cent) of the 1,150 UK singles surveyed have had an ex reach out to them in hopes of reconnecting, but 71 per cent admitted it didn't work out.

They also predicted winter coating to increase due to the current cost of living crisis which experts believe will push people to reconnect to share living costs as Inner Circle noted how 41 per cent of UK singles are dating less due to rising costs.

Not the mention, getting back together with an ex means you don't have to go through the time and money of dating and meeting someone new.

(Though as we can see from the stats, winter coating is not exactly a successful option).

Crystal Cansdale, resident dating expert at Inner Circle: "This year, with the pressure of costs going up and people cutting back on dates, there’s the added risk of singles going back to old flings."

"If someone is winter coating you, it might feel exciting to hear from them again. They’ll be steady and dependable through the winter and it might seem like they’ve changed. But when the first sign of spring comes around, history will repeat itself and they’ll disappear into thin air."

She added: "Winter coating takes toxic cuffing season behaviour to a new level – and unless you’re 100 per cent on the same page as the other person, it has to stop."

Overall, the consensus is perhaps to just use actual winter coats to keep yourself warm instead of winter coating.

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