A girl one attempts to begin a relationship with in late fall-early December to last until the weather improves and girls start going out again. The winter wife allows a young male to secure companionship during a relatively barren period in the dating market.
Generally, the male does not intend to make the winter wife a long-term girlfriend, and so the characteristics he prizes are slightly different. A slight decrease in physical beauty or intelligence will be overlooked if the girl is low maintenance, unlikely to take a breakup badly, and lives relatively close to his home (one does not want to have to pay for dates or incur expenses traveling to hook up with the winter wife). As the weather improves, the winter wife becomes more disposable, and a break-up becomes more likely, although the qualities that make her an ideal winter wife may cause the male to reconsider and continue dating her.
Dave: So are you and Emily serious? You hang out with her a lot.
Mike: Nah, she's just my winter wife. I'll probably dump her before Valentine's Day, since spring will be just around the corner.
Mike: Hey babe, I think you're great and everything, but I think it's time to see other people.
Emily: Is this just your way of avoiding taking me out for Valentine's Day?
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