Older Women Younger Men – Debunking the Cougar Myth

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May December relationships in which one partner is 10 years or more older than the other are more common than ever before. Regardless, societal pressures and prejudices still remain. Older women courting younger men are known as ‘cougars’ – women that ‘prowl’ for young ‘prey’.

The men we spoke to ranged from the late 20s to early 30s, and the women typically late 30s to late 40s. Does this conjure up images of boys with mummy issues and controlling women whom no ‘real’ man would put up with? Or, the past-it gal suffering from a midlife crisis desperate to prove she’s still attractive to young men?  Maybe she thinks that she would have to use pheromones attraction techniques to snag a man for some fun or a cosy relationship.

It shouldn’t. Perceptions around the term cougar vary from humorous to downright insulting. These women were not bossy, and neither were the men compliant. Indeed the men we encountered had already dated and prefer older women. They admired the women’s life experience and said girls their own age ‘are too immature’. An older woman’s life experience can equal self-confidence that translates to faith in her man – understanding his need for space, downtime with friends etc. Men find these traits refreshing, because they seem so rare! Counter intuitively, women with their own lives increase their appeal because men feel they can ‘breathe’.

Also older women are usually more accomplished than younger ones so are ready to devote more time to a man. But if you’re thinking younger men are looking to be spoiled by a rich woman, think again. The men we encountered were all professionals with their game sorted. Some though were happy for the woman to take the lead in all areas – yes maybe in that arena too!

You see, today’s older woman is vibrant and fun loving. Younger men’s energies match her own. Apparently this zest for life seems to have gone AWOL in her male contemporaries. So how can older women increase their chances of meeting younger men? At Speeddater’s Older Women Younger Men monthly meetup – see www.speeddater.co.uk. Attendance numbers are tailored, which keeps the evening focused. Speeddater are the no 1 dating events organisation in the UK, and currently the only company serving this niche market.

Can a May December relationship last? Caveats may include the man wanting to delay procreation whereas the woman, perhaps for biological reasons wants children sooner. If she’s already a mum, a younger man may find her ready-made family hard to ‘navigate’. Other cons include family disapproval and not being taken seriously by society. Long term, older women may also worry about aging and her man’s subsequent wandering eye. Needless to say couples must enter such an arrangement with eyes open and possibly more honesty about their expectations and how to take them forward.

Next month we’ll be bringing you the ‘flip’ relationship – Older Men Younger Women!

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