Cougars are financially stable and mentally independent women in the 40+ age range looking to date younger men. They are women that look much younger than they are, whether through plastic surgery or staying healthy and being fit, that choose to date younger men for a variety of reasons.
For some it is about looks. Lori Seeber, who was recently dubbed the Queen Cougar of Edmonton, states that most younger men (or as she calls them puppies), “take great care of themselves and go to the gym.” For her the physical attraction has to be there.
Other Cougars like Rosa Hildebrandt, a 55-year-old businesswoman from Chino, Calif. who was crowned Miss Cougar Corona Del Mar in 2011, site similar-aged men as a reason for going younger. She dates younger men as “men my age do not approach me. Either they are dating younger women as well or not looking for commitments.” Age also is a factor for Fabulousness Jones, a 43-year old self-proclaimed Cougar in St. Petersburg, FL, as she feels, “full of youth so there is nothing about a older man I find attractive.”
A common thought (or myth depending on how you view the topic) that pops up when it comes to younger men dating Cougars is that the relationship is strictly based on sex. This is partially true, depending on who you ask, as Cougars are looking for men with a lot of energy. One Cougar interviewed for the piece mentioned that about 75 percent of the relationship she had with her younger boyfriend was based on sex, while the other 25 percent included having fun with someone and exploring something new.
And how about commitment? Well commitment is never a guarantee no matter the age of either party. As such, Hildebrandt’s motto is “if it happens it happens.” She is well aware of the risks in dating someone younger (like if he wants to eventually start a family) but she doesn’t let that stop her pursuits. Lori loves the fact that there is no expectations between a Cougar and a puppy, the relationship is more open and stress free. And some like Tobey are not looking for commitment and like the fact that it can be a fling.
Cougars are confident women, many corporate or in a role of power of some type. They have no shame in being seen in public with younger men, as long as they don’t act completely immature. They are attracted to the “youngish package combined with a more ‘mature’ mental package,” according to another Cougar interviewed. Someone who is a mixture of respectful, honest, humble, considerate, smart, goal oriented, eager to learn, willing to please and obviously good looking. Because hey when it boils down to it you have to make the Cougar purr!
1. Call her instead of texting
If a younger man wants to get to know an older woman better, he should start out by speaking over the telephone with her as opposed to texting. Women in their 40s and 50s did not grow up with the practice of “texting” and might consider it a bit offensive.
Additionally, it is difficult to get to know someone without being able to hear their tone of voice and the nuances of their speech. Text messages are capable of being misunderstood, which is not a good way to start things out.
2. Don’t play games
I have been told on more than one occasion that “older women don’t play games like younger women do.” I would like to comment that older women prefer a straightforward approach and definitely don’t like to play games. We have been around the block more than a few times and have heard every “come on” in the book, every back-handed compliment, and seen every trick ever devised by man to try and get over on a woman.
Of course, straightforward doesn’t mean vulgar or insensitive; we prefer honesty. That way we know where we stand and can make a decision based on facts.
3. Mind your manners
Older women do not feel as if you are insulting their feminine independence by opening the door for them. We grew up being taught that this was expected of men with good manners and good manners never go “out of style.”
4. Make her feel attractive
The biggest issue for older women when dating younger men is their concern about appearing “old and unattractive.” We don’t expect, nor want, false platitudes, but a genuine effort at making us feel attractive is greatly appreciated. We want to know that you are able to see beyond the signs of age to the woman within.
A special thanks goes out to Rich Gosse – the Executive Director of CougarEvents.com and the author of The Cougar Imperative: Why MidLife Women MUST Choose Younger Men – and Lucia – CEO of The Cougar Club – who connected me to the cougars interviewed in this piece.