Cougar Town, Sex and the City, The Graduate – cougars have been present in popular culture for quite some time, but have never been more greatly represented on TV and film as they are right now. There is something of a fascination with this creature in modern media, the toyboy-seeking sexual predator, and it seems to have led to an increased acceptance of the age gap between younger men and older women.
What is a cougar?
A cougar, roughly put, is a woman who dates a younger man – whether done in a serial fashion or as a one off doesn’t really matter. It’s the people around them who decide whether the term is an appropriate one or not.
Typically we think of a cougar as a very attractive sexy woman in her thirties or forties, but it’s probably more accurate to say that it’s the age difference that makes her a cougar rather than her age itself. For example, a guy of 18 who is dating a woman in her late twenties is likely to think of her as a cougar, even if that age doesn’t normally associate itself with the term.
How to date a cougar
The main thing to remember when dating a cougar is that the age difference means you are going to be treading on unfamiliar ground. She will be different to those girls you are used to dating with ten years or so extra life experience to draw upon and to have been shaped by.
Of course, the same basic rules apply to dating a cougar as they do any other woman. Just to give you guys out there with little to no experience of dating the older woman a helping hand, follow the rules listed below to ensure smooth sailing on those uncharted waters.
#1 Make sure you’re up to it. There’s a reason that the term “cougar” has been used rather than “panda” or “kitten,” for example. Cougars are fierce and wilful animals, so much so that even a full grown grizzly bear would hesitate to take one on. And there you have it. If you plan on dating a cougar, you’d better make sure you have the energy and ability to satisfy and keep up with her.
Women hit their sexual peaks between their mid-thirties and forties, and when they hit it, they really do hit it. If you have anything less than an atomically fierce sex drive, then you may want to think twice about the whole thing. Otherwise she will end up unsatisfied and likely to look elsewhere. [Read: 8 crucial moves you need to turn her on]
#2 Don’t mention the C word. The C word being “cougar,” of course. Just because you consider her a cougar, doesn’t mean that she wants to be thought of that way. The word implies that she is an older woman and that certainly won’t be how she wants to see herself. In fact, avoid the whole age thing altogether. Treat her as a lover and a human being, and if you do have a regular penchant for the older lady, then you’re probably best off keeping that to yourself.
#3 Love her, love her kids. There’s every chance in the world, although not a given, that the older female object of your desires comes with a readymade family. Unless she has made it clear that the relationship is purely physical and you won’t be going anywhere near her kids, then you must be prepared to get involved.
If you don’t, if there is any contention or even the slightest feeling that you’re being dismissive, you will be sent packing and she will immediately cut you out of her life without a second thought. That is one fight that you just can’t win. [Read: 9 things you can’t overlook when dating a single parent]
#4 Be a man. Just because she’s got herself a toy-boy doesn’t mean she wants you to behave like a child. A cougar is a real woman and she wants a real man in her life – that’s why she went for you in the first place. So stand up to her when she gets fierce with you, don’t back down, whimper and grovel – give it back to her. Take control of the situation, be assertive and prepare yourself for some truly earth-moving make up sex.
#5 Be exciting. One of the reasons that she has probably gone on the prowl is that she feels she has lost the buzz in her life. Everything seems a little humdrum. Maybe she’s recently split up with a long term partner who was dragging her down, a couch potato, a domestic sloth. The last thing she needs in her life right now is a repeat performance, so be spontaneous, interesting and exciting. Give her that little bit of zip that she’s felt has been missing all this time. [Read: How to make sex even more exciting]
#6 Step it up. Don’t forget that the age difference means she has a number of years’ experience over you in all areas imaginable, and she will be a lot more difficult to impress than the usual girls you are used to dating.
This means that you really do have to pull out your ace card on every occasion, whether regarding the kind of restaurants you are taking her to, the gifts you are buying her, the sexual adventures you are ensuing upon, or whatever else. Otherwise she’s just going to think of you as an unsophisticated child, and go off somewhere else looking for the complete package.
#7 Paint your tongue silver. We have already discussed the fact that talking about her age is a no-no, but it is something that she’s going to be aware of – more so now that a younger man is on the scene. Consequently, any compliments that you can throw her way are going to be highly appreciated, making her feel confident and self-assured, and bringing out the sexy mature goddess side to her that so attracted you in the first place.
#8 Don’t be a control freak. If you’re used to getting your own way all the time in a relationship, and that’s the way you want to keep it, then you’re probably barking up the wrong tree. A sexy, sassy, mature woman isn’t going to respond to your every whim and command like a silly little teen would and is likely to make you look like a fool for trying. It might be an idea to moderate your approach or suffer the consequences. [Read: 20 glaring signs you’re being a control freak]
#9 Prepare for the baggage. There can sometimes be a lot of baggage when you date a cougar, and I’m not just referring to the children. There could be ex-husbands and boyfriends to contend with for a start, with consequent financial and property ownership issues. But there also may be issues with the stigma surrounding age gap relationships, whether from the general public, or even family and friends. Be prepared to batten down the hatches and weather out the storm.
#10 Establish the boundaries. Last but definitely not least, this is probably the most important thing that you can take with you from this list, specifically referring to what kind of relationship you’re both after. She may, for example, just be after the physical relationship that she has up until now been denied, and may not care for anything deeper.
The same might be true for you. What’s important is that you have a frank and open discussion about this at an appropriate point in the relationship, to ensure that no one ends up getting hurt.
[Read: 10 casual relationship rules to keep it casual]
Luckily, the stigma surrounding dating an older woman has become far less significant than once was the case. If you’re thinking of dating a cougar, then adhere to these rules to ensure that all runs smoothly.
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