Cougar Town, Sex and the City, The Graduate – cougar dating has been present in popular culture for quite some time. But it seems like now, the appeal for older women is higher than ever!
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 an age gap between younger men and older women.
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. [Read: 44 dating secrets to find a sugar momma and date a wealthy older woman]
So, a word of advice. If you want to refer to a woman as a cougar, especially if you want to have her as yours, then you best not ever call her that to her face.
In fact, we’ll go one step further. You really should stop anyone else from calling her a cougar. It is a slap in the face and makes a woman feel like she’s old.
On the flip side, it’s understandable why a guy might find an older woman so alluring. There are many advantages that cougar women have over younger women. [Read: How to make an older woman fall in love with you]
Sure, they might not have perky breasts *at least if they are natural*, but they also don’t go on and on about shallow things that no one cares about or spend a lifetime getting ready for the evening.
Cougar women know what they want, and they want the man in their life not for what a man can do for them, but because they really just like him.
Here are some reasons why cougar women rock. [Read: Score a MILF – 17 secrets to pick up and hook up with an older woman]
Cougar women are old enough and experienced enough to take care of themselves. Whether they have been on their own or separated from a man at some point, they quickly learned that the only thing a gal can rely on is herself.
Cougar women don’t expect you to coddle or to baby them. They are independent and not going to weigh you down.
A mature woman has been through more life experiences and has likely learned that there is more to life than the newest Gucci bag or the latest Fendi purse. [Read: When does age difference in relationships matter?]
More concerned with the world around them and cultural things like politics, they have something to bring to the table other than shallow conversation centered around things that simply don’t matter.
In the same manner, cougar women aren’t looking for you to take care of them. They have the financial means to care for themselves.
Although they do like it when you show a little care by picking up the tab once or twice, they aren’t impressed by fancy jewelry, nor are they looking for big-ticket items on their birthday. [Read: May December relationship – 22 truths, problems, and why it works so well]
They have been there and done that.
Older women have had time to develop their own careers and find out what and who they want to be. That means that they are done focusing only on their needs and what they want in life.
Getting the selfishness out of their system, they are more apt to push you to fulfill your dreams and to take the back seat so you can have the time to figure out what you want to do.
Most cougar women aren’t looking for much. What they definitely aren’t into is commitment. There is no biological clock guiding your time or your relationship. They are willing to take it slow and casual. [Read: Age gaps – the new trend in relationships]
Most aren’t looking for anything long-term, just someone to hang out with who can relate and make them laugh. The absence of pressure and pushing for the next level is a very enjoyable advantage.
Not only do cougar women understand “me” time, they understand that guys need their time too. They aren’t prone to being jealous and demanding all the attention or the time that you have to give.
If you want to hang out with the guys, you aren’t going to get a passive-aggressive “okay.”
They will schedule their own evening and enjoy it without you. No guilt is involved, you are welcome to have your own life outside of them. [Read: Signs you’re spending way too much time together]
Okay, a little bit of a side track, but when you date cougar women, they have it all together. The reason that you date a cougar is that, although she is older than you, she is still the hottest girl in the room.
That means that not only has she aged better, but her skin isn’t all complex, and neither are her moods. Much more even-keeled, a cougar isn’t going to take out her hormonal roller coaster on you.
Is there anything worse than going out with someone who has no idea what they want? If you can’t choose between a movie or dinner out once in a while, that is fine. [Read: 30 sassy traits of a feisty girl that makes her incredibly attractive]
But, if a girl is constantly putting the pressure to make plans on your shoulders, it can become slightly irritating.
Cougar women know what they like, what they want, and what they don’t, and aren’t afraid to voice their opinion. The lack of guesswork they have you do is very refreshing.
When you are loved by cougar women, they love you because they admire and see you as a man.
Not a boy toy as the rumor would suggest, cougar women like their men because they have something to offer that is more than the guys their age. [Read: Dating age rule – what’s an acceptable age gap for a couple?]
Whatever it is that you possess, she isn’t afraid to tell you how awesome you are. When a compliment is warranted, it is given freely.
An older woman isn’t interested in playing games. She doesn’t care if you stay in the relationship or not. If it doesn’t work, she likely wasn’t looking for a commitment anyway.
When you date a cougar, there is no such thing as dating rules. If you are annoying her, she will let you know. In reverse, if she likes you, she isn’t going to waste time playing hard to get. [Read: How to make a girl like you without asking her out]
What she says is what she means.
Unlike girls your age who are looking for something more long-term and commitment-oriented, cougar women aren’t into pushing you to meet family members.
Not wanting to make you a staple in her life any more than you want to be, your time is all your own.
You don’t have to go on couples’ dates and aren’t beholden to family get-togethers. She is her own person and is not interested in dragging you along as a showcase. [Read: Casual relationship – what it is, why people like it, and 20 firm rules]
Even if the latest and hottest club is the place to be, there is a good likelihood that the last thing she wants to do is get caught up in the nonsense.
Older women just have too much on their plate, and too much life experience, to care about trivial things like being seen in the latest place. She simply does things because she wants to and enjoys them instead of trying to climb some sort of social ladder of who’s who.
She cares about the people who are worth it, no one else, because she is calmer and appreciates what is real in life. [Read: 23 types of relationships to define your love life]
Cougar women aren’t into drama. They aren’t going to try to get your attention by making up some story about their ex or trying to set it up to run into him. Mature women aren’t about making a big deal or inviting drama into their life.
In fact, at the first sight of drama, they are out the door. When you get to be older, the last thing you want is to be drawn into something that is a waste of time and energy like self-imposed theatre. [Read: Attention-seeking behavior and why some girls go looking for drama]
Most cougar women are well-established in their careers, too. So, this could work to your advantage if you play your cards right.
Let’s say that you are just starting out your career in the financial services industry. If you’re lucky enough that she also works in finance, she can introduce you to a lot of people who could help you in your career. [Read: How to balance your career, social life, and dating life]
So, you might want to ask her if you can attend some social gatherings or business networking events together. Remember, when it comes to someone’s career, they say “it’s always who you know, not what you know.”
Women your age are probably interested in getting married and starting a family one day. And a cougar is probably past that stage of her life.
She probably already had her kids and either isn’t looking for more kids or can’t have them anymore because of her age. [Read: How to seduce an older woman and make your fantasy come true]
With a younger woman, you always have to worry about birth control failures and having an unwanted pregnancy. That is an underlying fear for a lot of people of childbearing age.
But with a cougar, you can just focus on the raw, wild, naughty sex without a worry in the world. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?
When women are younger, they have a lot of dreams and their self-esteem tends to be low. They care too much about what other people think about them and want attention and to impress other people. [Read: Casual relationship rules to keep it casual]
They also can be bossy with their boyfriends. Many of them have high expectations of how their partners should treat them and how they should act. They also want to change the men they are with if they can.
But a cougar is past that. As people get older, they care less about what other people think. Plus, they realize that they can’t control or change anyone else – only themselves. Therefore, a cougar is much more low maintenance than a woman your age.
As we said earlier, it’s likely that a cougar has achieved a decent level of financial success in her career.
She probably has her own house, cars, retirement fund/investments, and some extra cash in the bank. [Read: Older women dating younger men – what’s in it for the woman?]
Maybe her kids are even grown, so she doesn’t even have to spend all of her money supporting them anymore. So, what is she going to do with all that extra money she has?
Well, she might spend it on you! Maybe she’ll take you on vacation, buy you a new wardrobe, and take you to fancy restaurants. You might live the good life if you are dating a cougar!
As the saying goes, “practice makes perfect!” Cougars have had decades of experience in the bedroom. And the more experience someone has, the better their skills are. And sex is no different. [Read: 24 sex tips for men and secrets that make any woman wet and want more]
She might have a lot more tricks and toys that the two of you can try than a younger woman would. And because she’s probably been with more men, she has witnessed the moves they had that she liked.
In other words, she can teach you a thing or two and turn you on in the process.
You might be interested in a cougar, but how do you know if she’s interested in you? Don’t worry, there are several signs you can look for to know for sure. [Read: Does she like me? 32 subtle signs she sees you as more than a friend]
When a woman is interested in a man, she flirts. So, if an older woman tends to turn every conversation into flirty banter, it might mean she wants you.
She might ask you your opinion on her new dress or lipstick in order to make you notice and compliment her.
She might act quite mature around other people, but she’s different when she’s with you.
Her tone of speech might change, and she could speak more like a child to show she is interested in you. The excited “little kid” persona she takes on is giggly all the time around you.
If she casually asks you if age matters when she’s talking to you, then she probably wants you. [Read: How girls flirt – 22 signs she’s flirting more than just being nice]
She might even talk about a woman she knows who is considerably older than the man she’s dating and ask your opinion about them. This means she wants to know if you’re open to dating someone older.
A cougar who is interested in you will either flat-out tell you that she’s single and is looking for someone or she might hint about it without making it obvious.
For example, she might say how much she would like to find someone to try out a new restaurant with or tell you that she hasn’t been on the dating scene for a while. [Read: Dating a MILF – why guys love them and reasons why they’re the best]
Sure, sharing dirty jokes with friends is pretty typical. But if an older woman only shares them with you, then that means she’s comfortable being herself around you.
She also doesn’t mind you seeing her naughty side. She’s hoping that you will see her in a more sexual light, so that’s why she does this.
The main thing to remember when dating a cougar is that the age difference means you are going to be treading on unfamiliar ground. [Read: How to make an older woman fall in love with you]
She will be different from 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 to 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. [Read: Midlife crisis in women – 27 signs, how it hits you, and what you feel inside]
There’s a reason that the term “cougar” has been used rather than “panda” or “kitten,” for example. Cougars are fierce and willful animals, so much so that even a full-grown grizzly bear would hesitate to take one on.
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. [Read: Crucial moves you need to turn her on]
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.
The C word is “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. [Read: What is courting? The modern-day gentleman’s guide to wooing a lady]
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.
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. [Read: The things you can’t overlook when dating a single parent]
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.
Just because she’s got herself a boy toy 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. [Read: How to be a man – 25 traits to define manliness the way it should be]
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 makeup sex.
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. [Read: How to make sex even more exciting]
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 zest that she’s felt has been missing all this time.
Don’t forget that the age difference means she has a number of years of 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. [Read: How to court a woman – the meaning, and 23 gentlemanly ways to woo her]
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.
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. [Read: 20 glaring signs you’re being a control freak]
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.
There can sometimes be a lot of baggage when you date a cougar, and we’re not just referring to the children. [Read: Emotional baggage – how to help someone put it down and find freedom]
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.
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. [Read: How to set boundaries in a relationship – 19 rules for a healthy love]
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 gets hurt.
A cougar doesn’t want to date a scared little boy. She likes a guy who acts like a man. It doesn’t matter how old you are, she wants you to be assertive. [Read: 17 confident ways to be more assertive and speak your mind loud and clear]
She might be successful in her career and have her life together, but a woman still wants a man to take charge sometimes. You can’t be a weak beta male.
So, that means that you should be the one to “chase” her and not vice versa. You should also do the little things like taking the lead in a restaurant or getting things done in your daily life.
There is no need to rush a relationship with a cougar. Younger women tend to want to rush things because they hear their biological clock ticking. [Read: How to take relationships slow but not so slow that it ends]
But there really is nowhere to rush to with a cougar. That’s because sometimes these relationships are not permanent or long-term. They are simply to be enjoyed in the moment.
While she is enjoying being with a younger man, she still might be a little self-conscious about her age. After all, it’s difficult for women to get older, especially when they are beautiful and successful.
So that’s why it’s very important that you ignore the age gap between the two of you. Don’t mention it, don’t dwell upon it, and don’t talk about it. Act like you don’t even notice it. [Read: 41 signs she wants you to chase her and must-knows to pursue a woman]
You can also just act like you are the same age. Just be very casual about it and act like it’s no big deal.
Now that you know how to date a cougar, there are even more things you should know when you actually start doing it. Be sure to keep the following things in mind:
You might already know why you want to date a cougar. It might be because you like older women because they are more mature. [Read: 21 secrets and ways to ask a girl out on a date and get her to say yes]
Or it could be just something fun that you want to try. Either way, you know you are enjoying dating her.
Dating is a two-way street. Your cougar knows exactly why she’s dating you, too.
It could be because you’re young and hot and she wants to show off her trophy boyfriend. Or maybe the two of you just really click and have a great time together. [Read: Romantic dinner date ideas – 17 fun dates you will both never forget]
Depending on how old your cougar is, she probably has very different priorities than you. She might be an empty nester or still raising kids.
On the other hand, you might still be into the party scene. Being at different stages of life brings different priorities for everyone.
Sure, you want to impress your cougar when you are dating her. But she doesn’t want you to be fake. [Read: How to be yourself – 26 steps to un-fake your life and love being you]
You don’t have to pretend to be rich or that you are the life of the party if you’re not. Just be yourself, be real, and she will appreciate you for it.
Not everyone understands cougar dating. A lot of people probably think it’s a better idea to have a smaller age gap when it comes to dating, especially when the woman is older than the man.
But that’s okay. It’s none of their business so you just need to ignore them. [Read: Lessons to deal with judgmental people]
You could be of the “player” mindset since you’re still young. Perhaps you’re used to being a bit mysterious and/or stringing girls along.
But you can’t do that with a cougar. You have to be straight up and honest. Otherwise, it won’t work.
Remember, we said that she very well could be sensitive about her age. If that’s true, then she might not like being called a cougar. [Read: What do women want in a man – 41 traits that make a guy VERY desirable]
You might think it’s cute and funny to call her that, but she might not appreciate it. So just avoid that term altogether.
Along the same lines that you don’t want to call her a cougar, you also don’t want to focus on how old she is *or how young you are*.
There is no need to dwell on your ages unless you want to be a “Donnie Downer.” Just have fun and live in the moment. [Read: How to look older – 20 instant hacks to hide a baby face and look mature]
Now that you have decided that you want to date a cougar, where in the heck do you find one? Believe it or not, it’s easier said than done. There are a few cougar dating sites you can try.
This site is easy to navigate and use, with some thoughtful touches and features. The membership base is large – about 500,00 profiles. The profiles feature a self-written section that gives you a great sense of who the people are.
Courgared was founded in 2007 and is another popular site. People can join for free without hidden costs. According to the site, this is not a “sex dating” site. They have approximately 378,000 registered users. [Read: The 17 best dating apps for men  to help you meet the one]
Date A Cougar was founded in 2005, so it is one of the more well-established cougar dating sites on the internet.
The user base for Date A Cougar is approximately one million members. The price for membership is around $35 a month.
GoCougar is not one of the more popular dating sites. They tend to keep their membership number to themselves a bit. [Read: The pros and cons of using dating apps to snag a date]
But the best guess anyone can find is that there are probably between 7,000-8,000 users.
This cougar dating site features members from across the globe, but most come from the United States, Canada, and the UK.
You can find friendship, dating, or long-term relationships here. They have well over one million members, so the chances of you finding a cougar here are good. [Read: 29 fun apps like Tinder and alternatives to get you more matches and dates]
Just like with anything in life, a cougar relationship can work. However, there are some factors to consider that will either contribute to its flourishing or to its demise.
Both the man and the woman need to be on the same page about what they want out of the relationship.
If one of them just wants hot sex or casual dating and the other wants a long-term relationship, it won’t work. They need to agree on the long and short-term goals. [Read: Couple goals – 58 fake and real ideas you MUST add to your relationship goals]
While most people define a cougar as being at least 10 years older than a man, there could be a larger age gap too.
Ten years is enough, but if the age gap is 15, 20, 25, 30, or more, then that probably won’t work. The smaller the age gap the better.
Getting into a cougar relationship might sound like a great idea for both people in the beginning. After all, it’s exciting, new, and maybe something neither of them has tried before. [Read: 34 big relationship red flags most people completely ignore early on]
But if one or both have not thought about all the possible pros and cons *especially the cons* then they might change their mind down the road which could lead to a breakup.
Cougar dating isn’t just all about sex. If this type of relationship is going to last long-term, then there have to be other areas of compatibility such as personality, lifestyle, and values.
If these don’t line up between the two of them, then it probably won’t last. These are very important fundamentals of any relationship. [Read: 25 deep questions to ask a girl to see if you’re compatible together]
This is one of the biggest factors that determine whether or not a cougar relationship can work. Sometimes two people get into a relationship because it’s fun in the beginning, but then it leads to more.
So, if both people are genuinely in love, it can work long-term. Love is the glue that keeps couples together, and cougars and their cubs are no different than anyone else.
[Read: Dating in your 30s – All the changes you have to be prepared for]
Luckily, the stigma surrounding dating an older woman has become far less significant than it used to be. If you’re thinking of dating a cougar, then follow these rules to ensure that all runs smoothly.
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