Have you ever heard a woman being described as a “cougar,” or if you are a woman perhaps you’ve been called one yourself? Did you ever wonder what people meant when they said that? Perhaps you’re someone who has heard from countless people the apparent benefits of dating a cougar and now you want in on the action. If so, this could be just the blog for you — our complete guide to dating a cougar.
Background: What is a Cougar?
Put simply, a “cougar” is a woman who actively seeks the company of younger men. Cougars are a relatively new phenomenon, arguably a product of women’s empowerment through the 1980s and 1990s, leaving a generation of women now in their late 30s and 40s who have money, property, power and influence in society. More importantly, they’re single and looking to mingle.
What Age is a Cougar?
While cougars are older than their male dates, they are not what you’d objectively call “old.” We aren’t talking about seniors dating 20-somethings here. The typical agreed-upon age at which a woman is called a cougar is 40 years old, but many argue that if the age difference is big enough, a cougar might be as young as 35 years old. The truth is there’s no fixed definition, but it is a term most commonly associated with women aged 40+ years.
There are some who apply the term “Puma” to those women under 40 who actively seek younger men. For others, however, this is just splitting hairs.
What is the Man Called in a Cougar Relationship?
When learning about cougars, you might have come across the term “Manther” and thought that it was the name for men who date cougars, but that’s wrong. “Manther” refers to the male equivalent of a cougar, in other words older men who seek younger female partners. Some terms that have been attached to the younger men that cougars date include (but are not limited to):
- MILF Hunters (MILF – Mom I’d Like to F***)
- Cougar Chaser
For our blog, we’ll refer to these guys as “panthers” to avoid any confusion, and to keep the big cat theme going.
How Common are Cougar Relationships?
There’s not a great deal of hard data on this subject, but as it turns out there is some data that suggests up to a third of women age of 40 and 69 are dating younger men — defined as any man 10+ years younger than themselves — which means there are already a lot of active cougars out there, with perhaps a lot more wannabe cougars waiting in the wings.
And why not? In this age of empowerment, freedom and equality, why shouldn’t women have the option to date freely and openly at any age as men do? As women continue to gain financial clout in society, and as they increasingly take hold of senior positions in companies in government, it’s inevitable that power dynamics shift and the cougar becomes as commonplace in people’s minds as the already somewhat stereotypical view of an older man and younger woman paradigm.
How Do You Attract a Cougar?
For those who are interested in meeting a cougar, what’s the best way to make the first step?
Head to Cougar Town
We’re not talking about Courtney Cox’s hit TV series here, but rather the places where you might meet cougars. In the modern age, the most efficient option is to hit up an online cougar dating platform such as CougarLife.com, and AshleyMadison.com. Alternatively, you could use your current mainstream dating apps such as Tinder but adjust your profile to suggest you’re interested in meeting cougars, and use filters to ensure you only find women of a certain age in your area.
Another good app for cougars is Bumble, the app that puts women in control of the online dating process. Cougars are invariably wealthy, successful and “switched on” women who like to have a bit more control over things. Therefore, Bumble can be a nice platform on which to find like-minded cougars. If online dating isn’t really your thing, why not try some classy local venues like the bars of your nearest 5-star hotels, or perhaps bars that play music from the 80s and 90s that cougars love.
Know Your Cougars: Alpha Vs. Beta
Believe it or not, there’s sub-classification even within the world of cougars, even outside the one we mentioned above for 30-something cougars, or “pumas.” If you’re serious about meeting a cougar, then you need to know with some seriousness what it is you’re really looking for. Broadly speaking, people talk about two main types of cougar: alpha and beta.
Alpha cougars are perhaps the ones people are most familiar with, in that they are the more active, sophisticated, and wealthy; actively out there looking for guys to satisfy their appetites, both sexual and intellectual, among other things. Beta cougars, on the other hand, are considered those older women who are primarily interested in sex with younger men to help themselves feel better about their age, appearance or other circumstances. Some might argue that there’s elements of both in all cougars, but for now at least there seems to be that distinction between the two types. Therefore, be sure you know what kind of cougar you want to meet, and what drives them.
You Do the Chasing
You might think of cougars as older women chasing younger men, just as older men often do with younger women. In fact this isn’t the case, and cougars are the opposites of their male counterparts in more ways than one. While Manthers may like the thrill of the chase, cougars like that thrill to be transferred to you, their potential “prey.” As topsy-turvy as it may seem, most cougars like to be chased rather than the other way around, so be prepared to do a lot of wooing, and don’t expect a rapid result, either.
Stick to Any and All Appointments
One thing that cougars really can’t stand is men that blow them off at the last minute to do other things. Outside of a very genuine emergency, you should keep any and all appointments you make with a cougar you have met and/or started dating. These women do not mess around and don’t like to be messed around. A big trigger might be a younger man making excuses not to keep a date with their cougar so that they can go play video games with friends or something. You have been warned.
Listen, and Be Willing to Learn
One thing that cougars really love is younger men who aren’t just attractive, but most importantly willing to listen, and willing to learn from a cougar. Women in their 40s have a lot of worldly experience, and can teach men in their 20s a lot of fantastic things, be it about sex, life, business, and more. Those men who appear cocky, uninterested, or unimpressed by cougars are doomed to be without cougars’ company for a long time to come…perhaps a beta would still be interested, but where’s the fun in that?
How Do You Date a Cougar Woman? Some Tips
If and when you do meet a cougar you like and things have started well, then here are a few additional tips to help you keep it going.
Don’t Be Shy
Just as cougars don’t like to do the chasing in the relationship, they also don’t like shy and quiet guys. It’s yet another way that cougars differ from Manthers. Cougars like their panthers to be articulate, confident, sexy, unique and forthcoming. Sure, they need to leave enough room for humility and listening, but that’s just a part of the full ensemble of traits that cougars love.
Forget the Age Gap
You may know she’s a cougar, and she may know she’s a cougar, but you need to make sure that you’re not focusing on that in your relationship. Ignore the “cougar” label, and ignore the age gap. Just enjoy the amazing company that you have come to find yourself in, and the many benefits that come with being with an older, wiser, more sophisticated and more successful woman. Treat her like a queen, and you’ll be richly rewarded — just don’t mention the age or labels!
Tune Out the Judgment
Here’s the thing…as someone dating a cougar, you will inevitably face a certain degree of judgment from other people. Some of it will be directed at you in particular, and some at the cougar you’re dating, with more still aimed at the pair of you. If you let that kind of judgment get to you, you’re not only succumbing to the hypocritical whims and fancies of a jealous mob — for that is what they are — but also jeopardizing what could be one of the best relationships of your life. If your cougar knows you care about the judgment, she’ll likely drop you like a sack of potatoes.
Keep Things Simple: No Games
Finally, and perhaps the most useful piece of advice for those dating cougars: forget everything you thought you knew about dating. Forget all the tricks and tips your male buddies and peers told you, because cougars aren’t interested. They’ve seen all the tricks, and played all the games and they are wholly unimpressed with the lot of it. So, if you’re serious about being with a cougar, wise up and forget the theatrics. Keep it simple; keep it honest; keep it real.
Dating a cougar can be rewarding in more ways than one, so hopefully our guide gives you some key insights into how to do it right.