Dear Men: she's not a cougar if she’s your age.


A friend of mine said that his neighbor’s ex-wife is on the same online dating site that he’s on, and that she sent him a smile. “She’s an older woman”, he said excitedly, “A real cougar”. When I probed further, I learned that she was his age. 


This same man once said that he keeps meeting women with a lot of wrinkles. Again I probed further only to discover that these wrinkled ladies were his age or, at best, just a few years older. He seems to be under the impression that though they themselves looked as wrinkled as bloodhounds,  he managed to reach middle age magically taut. Research shows that men generally have a much more positive body image than women and even over-estimate their own attractiveness. Some men may literally not see the flaws in their appearance.  Gee, what a surprise.


I know another man who said that he liked older women. He was 50 years old. I said, “You mean women in their sixties?” Nooooo, he meant women in their 40’s.  “That would be women younger than you”, I corrected. 


Guys - as a general rule, if you have to subtract from your age to arrive at a woman’s age, then she’s younger than you. Also, a woman is neither older, nor a cougar, if she’s the same age as you. 


Another man of 50 years old very proudly said “I like women my own age”, as though this made him special. It doesn’t. That a man would find himself compatible with a woman his own age is not remarkable. It’s reasonable. A woman his own age would have as much life experience as. She’d have similar cultural references. She’d even know all the words to H.R. Pufnstuf. There’s comfort in being with people who you relate to and who can relate to you.


On that note, I’ve seen innumerable profiles of men over 45 years old seeking women anywhere from 20 to 50 years old.  Be warned, if you can form an intimate long-term bond with a 20 year old, then chances are you won’t relate intimately to a woman 30 years older. When I see these major spans between age groups, I tend to think that the man is casting a wide net because he’s desperate. It’s a red flag. And, by the way, when I hear a man say that a woman who is several years his junior is “mature” for her age, it makes me wonder if he’s simply immature for his.


There is a point to my prattle. That is - some guys need to get a grip on reality.  The sooner you do, the sooner move onto more important attributes. Whether you’re attracted to younger, much younger, same age or older, pick someone with whom you’ll love growing old with. The point of being on a dating site isn’t to bag the hottest, the youngest or the smartest. It’s to bag the best one for you. 


An important role of your dating profile is to weed out people who aren’t suitable for you. If you write it in a way that truly represents you then it will attract the kind of people who are your best matches – based on your personality – not your unrealistic view of yourself.  For help, check out the samples or fill out the free personality quiz at