Can you have a cougar relationship?

After a breakup, if they've been single for a while, or if they just feel like it, some men and women choose to consider exploring what society has in recent years labeled a "cougar" relationship. It can be exciting to find a different avenue to walk down, a road which has never been traveled. Maybe it stems from a fantasy to be with a much younger (or older) person, or maybe it's an attempt to keep up self-esteem when all internal courage has been shattered. Whatever the reason, the choice of who one dates should ideally be for the right reasons and at the right time.

In the world of animals, a cougar is a stalk-and-conquer mountain lion. A cougar is quick, smart, and always on its toes, always ready for an attack. The survival of the fittest leaves a cougar always at the top of its game. And in the dating world, the same definition can suit the "female cougar". When an older man dates a much younger female, a concept and practice that has been around as long as time, it's called a "May-December" romance. But when roles are reversed and the female is the elder, we're heading to Cougartown.

A cougar is a female, approximately 40 years in age (give or take a few years), who dates much younger men, possibly in the 25 year old age range. She may be married, bored in a relationship, unmarried, or recently back on the market. According to, "The most commonly-accepted definition of a cougar is a woman 40 years of age or older who exclusively pursues very young men. The onset of the cougar years is hotly debated. Some feel that a cougar can be as young as 35, but women of this age would not be viewed as cougars unless their sexual conquests were no older than 25; the ten-year age difference seems to be an unspoken but accepted minimum between partners."

Just like the animal, a female cougar's prey range varies depending on her wants and needs. There are some young men who find this intriguing and search for the older woman. It gives them a sense of manhood, and an ability to have "one up" on their counterpart male friends. One website,, has a plethora of information for the young male stallion, AKA "cougar bait", on how to land a cougar:


"If you're a fearless cougar hunter, please go ahead and take your chances by approaching the next hot older woman you see in public. It's a risky business though and you're on your own because this guide into how to date a cougar steers clear of such unreliable methods. Here we recommend the two proven places to meet a cougar woman: 1) the bar and 2) online dating sites."


Two famous dating sites for cougars and male studs are and The websites continue to direct a confidence cheering session for these cougar baiters and says, "So go find them, and when you do, be confident, be cool and remember the reason most cougars are looking for a younger man is because they're bored of the slipper wearing, couch potato guys of their own age. That's why you have to exude energy, fun and sexual appetite if you want to secure a date with a cougar in a bar."

Whether you are over 40, divorced or separated, as a woman, you have every right to date whomever you feel comfortable with. And as a young cougar bait, you also have the right to choose the woman you want to spend your time with. Ask yourselves the following questions. When you are ready to start dating again, see if dating someone your own age is more suitable, or if you'd like to venture into the cougar world. Whatever you choose, be safe, be smart, and have fun.

Potential Cougars:
1) Have you been divorced, separated, or are still or newly single, and only want sex?
2) Are you divorced and tired of "real" commitments?
3) Are you at a point in your life where you are financially stable, career-oriented, and only have time for quick rendezvous?
4) Do you want more children? Do you have children?
5) Do you care if you are dating someone who may still live at home with their parents?
6) Are you bored with life, yet afraid to skydive, and are looking for excitement?
7) Do you want a trophy by your side in public or this a behind the scenes affair? Would you introduce the bait to your family, friends or your children?

Potential Cougar bait:
1) Are you tired of needy, clingy chicks your own age who only want to get married?
2) Are you looking for a formal commitment?
3) Do you want children?
4) What will your parents say? Are you ready for the critics?
5) Will you be able to keep up with a cougar? Do you like aggressive and confident women who know exactly what they want?
6) As your friends start to marry and buy homes, are you able to watch, as you dance to the beat of your own drum, following a different life plan than most?
7) Can you afford to date a cougar? Do you know how to keep a cougar happy?


While there are no right or wrong answers to the questions above, the questions are meant to give you pause and think about your intentions and expectations. Based on how these questions resonate with you and how you answer, you should get a sense of whether exploring a cougar relationship is the right move for you. As with any relationship, success depends on the timing, your mindset, and the other person involved, so anything can work as long as both partners are open, honest, and respect each other.


Have you been (or do you know someone who's been) in a cougar-type relationship? How did it turn out? Do you think cougar relationships can last? Why or why not?

This article was originally published at Shine. Reprinted with permission from the author.