Cougars Need To Be Cautious
I'm a "Cougar": an independent, young spirited woman who prefers the company of a younger man. I unwillingly entered "Cougar Kingdom" at age forty-seven, due to my husband's tragic death. I didn’t want to jump into anything serious, but I did want sex and companionship. I found being with younger guys perfect for my needs. They were energetic and fun, while not expecting to be in a “relationship.” Being a “Cougar” worked for me! However, as I reflect back on my first year as a “Cougar,” I wonder how I survived both physically and mentally with the risks I’ve taken.
A myth about “Cougars” is that they’re ruthless predators of younger men. I found this to be a huge misnomer. Younger men approached me, not vice versa. I had never lived on my own, never dated in my , and was naive to what it was like being "out there." While I was married, technology had drastically changed the singles’ landscape. Facebook, sexting, tweeting, Internet dating, and even cell phones were new and potentially dangerous traps for “Cougars.” I recently heard a horrifying story about a woman in her forties who was beaten, raped and kidnapped on a date with a twenty-eight-year old. It opened my eyes to something that I didn't realize at the time - this “Cougar” could have been me!
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The “Cougar” had met a guy at a bar. They started a texting and phone relationship, and made plans to see each other the following weekend. She went to dinner with him, and he invited her back to his apartment for a nightcap. The nightcap turned into a nightmare! She made the fatal mistake of leaving her phone out when she went to the bathroom. He became enraged when he saw that she had texts from other guys. He raped her and held her captive in his apartment for eight hours before she managed to escape.
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“Cougars” are just as vulnerable as any girl in her! As mothers, we tell our daughters to be safe and use good judgment, but somehow it's easy to forget to heed our own advice. As “Cougars” we’re expected to know how the game is played. Facebook, texting, and Internet dating are all new components to the scene, and knowing how to navigate them is key. Being a Cougar doesn't give you the physical strength to defend yourself against a man of any age. We may have claws, but that’s where the physical similarities end. Just because we seem to be confident in our sexuality doesn’t mean that we are ready to jump into a one-night stand.
Here are some of my own personal experiences, which could have resulted in disastrous results: