Love, Sex

10 Myths About Dating Older Women — As Written By A Real-Life Cougar

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10 Myths About Dating Older Women, Written By A Cougar

I'm a card-carrying cougar. I have been a consistent member of the "Cougar Club" since my husband passed away. For nearly five years, I've been dating a man 15 years younger than me.

Technically, that qualifies me as a cougar.

According to, the informal definition of "cougar" is "an older woman who seeks sexual relationships with much younger men."

Urban Dictionary takes it even further, sharing that "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 like to think of a cougar as a confident, independent, young-spirited woman who happens to prefer the company of younger men.

RELATED: What Milennials Can Learn From Older Women About Sex And Dating

Here are 10 common myths about cougars, and the real facts about dating older women:

1. A cougar is a hunter who preys on an innocent younger man.

Who hunts whom? Some guys are naturally drawn to older women like any other physical "type," such as preferring blondes to brunettes.

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.

2. A relationship like that isn't viable he'll cheat on her with someone his age. Look at Ashton and Demi!

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. Their relationship featured a beautiful older woman and a younger man, certainly, but that doesn't mean it typifies the cougar relationship.

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.

There are many more celebrity cougar couples out there than just these two!

3. A younger man won't be able to maintain the interest of an older woman.

When I first started dating my boyfriend, I hated his taste in music. Now I only listen to indie-rock. And 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.

RELATED: 7 Secrets You Never Knew About Cougars (As Written By One)

4. The younger man will ultimately want children and will dump the older woman who already has a brood.

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.

5. A cougar won't fit into younger man's social circle or vice versa.

A 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.

6. A cougar is going to get old and become unattractive to the younger man.

Cougars, like me, tend to keep physically fit and like to look much younger than their actual age. Any woman will age over time — but probably not as gracefully as a cougar. She has the financial ability, motivation, and time to eat healthy, exercise, and maintain her skin and beauty routines with visits to the dermatologist.

More importantly, if a man is in a relationship with an older woman, he's usually there because of her personality just as much as her looks.

RELATED: 10 Reasons Men Prefer Sex With Older Women

7. A cougar will miss out on her "golden years" while he's establishing his career.

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.

8. A younger man finds women his age to be sexier.

Men find cougars sexy regardless of their imperfections. They describe the older woman as more adventurous and experienced in bed. A cougar's energy is very alluring to the younger man. Sex is usually an area where this couple excels.

9. Kids will never accept the younger man dating their mother.

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.

10. A relationship with a cougar isn't viable and won't last over time.

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.

RELATED: The Honest Truth About Why Cougars Seek Out Younger Men

KarenLee Poter, MSW, is the host of the KarenLee Poter Show on Dating, Love, Sex and Everything In Between, as well the author of A Cougar's Guide To Getting Your A$$ Back Out There.

This story first appeared on YourTango in 2014