I'm a card-carrying cougar. I have been a consistent member of the "Cougar Club" since my husband passed away. For the past 4 ½ years, I've been dating a man 15 years my junior. In addition to my personal experience, I host an Internet talk show called LoveEncore. It's about dating, sex and relationships the second time around. I've interviewed guests and experts about the subject of older women dating younger men, and noticed that these episodes received more views than any other by a landslide. I've received a plethora of questions and comments from all parts of the world on this hot topic. I'd like to debunk cougar myths and give the facts as to what dating a younger man is really like.
The "Urban Dictionary" states: "Cougars are gaining in popularity—particularly the true hotties—as young men find not only a sexual high, but many times a chick with her shit together." I think of a cougar as a confident, independent, young-spirited woman who happens to prefer the company of younger men.
Myth #1: A cougar is the hunter who preys on the innocent younger man.
Fact: Who hunts whom? Some guys are naturally drawn to older women like any other physical "type," such as preferring blondes to brunettes. I've discovered that somewhere along the way those attracted to cougars have had a prior positive experience with one. A cougar exudes self-confidence, which makes her a highly desirable conquest to a younger man. Often it's the younger man who approaches the older woman in hopes of a purely sexual no-strings-attached relationship. Contrary to popular belief, the older woman isn't the predator—in fact, it's the quite opposite.
Myth #2: A relationship between an older woman and younger man isn't viable, he'll cheat on her with someone his age. Look at Ashton and Demi!
Fact: Wrong! Ashton and Demi's problems were less about the age difference and more about her insecurity and his infidelity. Demi Moore may have set the stage for the "Cougar Era", but her self-esteem issues were not consistent with those of the typical cougar. The older woman who attracts a younger man is young-spirited. She gets bored with older men who many times lose their "joie de vivre" as they age. She's independent and spontaneous which fits well with an energetic younger guy. Cougars like their freedom and younger men are more apt to be comfortable in a less traditional relationship. Ashton was unfaithful because he's a cheater.
Myth #3: A younger man won't be able to maintain the interest of an older woman. They have nothing in common—for example they like different music. He's probably not able to carry on a conversation with her.
Fact: When I first started dating my boyfriend, I hated his taste in music. Now I only listen to indie-rock. He's developed a taste for fine wine, since it's one of my passions. Being open-minded about different tastes and interests is good for any relationship. Age has nothing to do with IQ score. Cougars have been known to stay up late at night chatting with their younger men about the meaning of life.
Myth #4: The younger man will ultimately want children and will dump the older woman who already has a brood.
Fact: This is an issue for any couple when one wants a child and the other doesn't. Having children isn't a priority for every man, and if he loves the woman he may choose her over his need to procreate. He may be in a relationship with an older woman because women his age are listening to the ticking of their biological clocks. In fact, many younger men gravitate to older women who won't pressure them to get married and have children.
Myth #5: A cougar won't fit into younger man's social circle or vice versa.
Fact: The couple may experience some negativity especially in the initial stages of the relationship. I've personally been subject to a few snide comments such as: "Is that your son?" or "Dude, does she get a senior citizen rate at the movies?" Like any atypical relationship, there will be people who support the couple's choices and those who put it down. The couple should be prepared to deal with everything from admiration to hostility from friends, acquaintances, and family.
Myth #6: A cougar is going to get old and become unattractive to the younger man.
Fact: Cougars keep physically fit and tend to look much younger than their age. Any woman will age over time—probably not as gracefully as a cougar. She has the financial ability, motivation, and time to eat healthy and exercise. If a man is in a relationship with an older woman, he's usually there because of her personality as much as her looks.
Myth #7: An older woman will miss out on her "golden years" while he's establishing his career. She'll want to travel and socialize which won't work with his schedule.
Fact: The younger man has less baggage like an ex-wife and children. The older woman is independent and will find ways to keep herself entertained. She has her children and career to keep her busy.
Myth #8: A younger man finds women his age to be sexier. They have less wrinkles and weight from pregnancies.
Fact: Men find cougars sexy regardless of their imperfections. They describe the older woman as more adventurous and experienced in bed. The energy of a cougar is very alluring to the younger man. Sex is usually an area where this couple excels.
Myth #9: Kids will never accept the younger man dating their mother. Parents will resent the older woman for thwarting their son from having children.
Fact: Eventually, children and parents of the couple will see the loving relationship, and respect the decision that the couple has made to be together. They will recognize that the couple deserves to be happy.
Myth #10: A relationship with a cougar isn't viable and won't last over time.
Fact: This has been proven wrong countless times. If the couple stays together for many years with the obstacles and stigma that society places on them, they are usually in a very strong deeply connected relationship. These relationships are based truly on love and not on how many birthday candles they blow out.
We don't mean blurting something out after you've had too much merlot, but the desire to tell him intimate details about your life means you trust him—a major component of successful long-term love.
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