I’m a woman in her 40s who has dated a lot of younger guys, and I am currently starting a movement to ban the word “cougar”. I hope you all will join me.
I HATE THAT TERM. Calling a woman a “cougar” implies that the woman is a sort of predator. That we prey on the youth. I mean, just look up the word in the Urban Dictionary. Nearly every definition is derogatory and insulting, and implies that the woman is some desperate divorcee who lures unsuspecting pizza delivery boys into their lair, like porn stars in some cheezy 70s blue movie. What a (*$(*#(D*() joke!
That characterization couldn’t be further from the truth. I don’t go to bars, seeking out boytoys. They come to me. In fact, it’s usually ONLY younger guys who hit on me when I’m out. Sometimes, it’s because they have no idea I’m in my 40s, because I take pretty good care of myself and look younger. But when they find out the truth — that I’m old enough to be their unwed teenage mom — that just gets them even more hot and bothered.
No, 20something guys are the REAL hunters, and these days it’s a status symbol to bag your own sexy Mrs. Robinson or Stifler’s mom.
Don’t get me wrong — there are benefits to dating younger. The obvious benefit is the sex. I mean, it’s always good. Phenomenal, in fact. It’s been said many times that men in their 20s and women in their 40s have equally matched sex drives, and are incredibly sexually compatible, and I can attest to that. The problem is, when the sex is that good, you want to keep doing it. And the longer you keep doing it, the more likely one or both parties are to get attached. Love is no respecter of age differences, and it has a way of creeping up on you when you least expect it or want it.
And that’s just a recipe for disaster. If YOU get attached, you’re likely to get your heart broken because these guys don’t look at you as a longterm relationship prospect. If THEY get attached, you could end up spending way too much time teaching them how to be in a serious relationship.
You find yourself saying things like,”no honey, it’s not cool that your girlfriend has to bail you out of jail for getting too drunk every Friday.” “No, sweetheart, you can’t keep flirting on Whats’app with that ex you dated in high school while you’re supposed to be committed to me.” “Yknow, darling, it’s really NOT a good idea to spend your entire paycheck on a new Playstation” etc.
And don’t get me started about the societal double standard. It’s quite alright for a 50 year old man to marry a WOMAN half his age, but put the shoe on the other foot, and everyone loses their damn minds. When I was 40, I met a 23-year-old I ended up dating off and on for 4 years. I got jokes like “oh hey, it’s 5:00. Don’t you have to pick Justin up from day care?”
His friends ribbed him with remarks like “Does she pack your lunch for you?” Secretly, though, I think everyone envied us. A couple of his friends even hit on me (I guess they thought since I was dating a younger guy, I must like ALL younger guys). And behind closed doors, female friends my age were all like “you go girl. Get yer groove on” and all that.
Despite all the jealousy and the high fives from your peers, I’m gonna be honest with you. Dating a younger guy can be more work than it’s worth. They are actually HIGH MAINTENANCE. Yes, the impulsivity and sense of adventure they bring to your life can be a lot of fun. Some of my best times in the last 10 years involved dates with younger guys who got me to let my guard down and have adventures I probably would have never engaged in, otherwise. Because sometimes you just need to be tooling around the grocery store in an automated cart, tipsy, making a fool of yourself at 2am. Or popping some weird green pill and dancing among elfen people at a Topanga Burning Man party.
But that same impulsivity can come back to bite you later, when they act carelessly and hurt you — oftentimes without meaning to, but the effect is the same. Just like the guy 17 years my junior I dated for 6 months who told me one week, “I’m falling in love with you”, then dumped me 2 weeks later saying, “The feelings aren’t there.”
The fact is, you can’t bring someone up to your level. You can’t do a Vulcan mind meld and impart the extra years of experience that might prevent someone younger from treating you like some shiny, disposable toy.
So sometimes, you just have to walk away, and hope that there might be at least ONE..just ONE SINGLE GUY your own age who isn’t out trying to bag his own 20-something. Isn’t it interesting that there’s no predatory term for THOSE guys??
Copyright 2017. S. Wade