After 20+ years of formal international research on the topic of younger men dating older women, I am seeing the Cougar dating trend changing. I am excited to see the last barrier to male / female relationships finally being dissolved and seeking its own level toward permanence. There are still older women who want a boy toy or a no strings attached relationship. They may be permanently fed up with seeking something long term, do not want to remarry and enjoy the freedom of having a friend with benefits where there is limited or no drama. And that's fine. As I often say on my Cougar dating site, "There is a lid for every pot." But what I am noticing and hearing from both men and women on my site is that the younger men who are not "thrill seekers" or inexperienced at Cougar dating and the women who have gained positive experiences dating younger men and do not want to go back to dating men their age or older are looking for something more long lasting, meaningful and, dare I say it? Permanent.
Yes, statistics from my site are showing that some 90% of women are looking for love and perhaps even marriage to a younger man. The BBC reported in a documentary that 25% of our neighbors across the pond are happily married to younger men. 30% of older women are open to and dating younger men in the United States. Although there are many newcomers to Cougar dating, 45% of women who have dated younger men before and do not plan going back to dating men their age or older. I am finding that the older Cubs, primarily mature young men in their late 20's to 30's and older, are interested in long term relationships, especially if they have previously dated or been married to older women. The Boy Toys (which is what I call the 'serial players' tend to be men from ages 18 to mid and even late 20's who are inexperienced with women, laboring under what I have termed "The Myth of Stiffler's Mom", or thrill seeking with as many women as they can get preyed upon by. Yes, Virginia, the 30 year old male virgins do exist, and many of them are looking for an older woman to show them the ropes. The interesting thing is, once they experience a well rounded relationship with an older woman, they are way less inclined to suffer through the immaturity, selfishness and lack of life experience of a girl their age or younger. This is when many Boy Toys convert to devotees of Cougar dating. As one young Cub from Atlanta told me, "I was not looking for love. I wanted to hunt as many Cougars as I could and just have fun. and then I met this wonderful woman from New York." He is totally in love; and is not love grand? He went from wanting to work his way up the age ladder to falling head over heels with his Cougar woman. I just love when people find each other, and as I often say, "there is a lid for every pot."
Since Cougar dating is becoming more mainstream in the United States, more and more women are coming out of the closet. I am seeing more women from the midwest and the southern states joining the site this year over last year, when the majority of members were from larger cities such as Los Angeles. The UK and Canada have historically been "out" and you'll be hard pressed to find anyone who has not heard the term "Cougar". Hate it or love it, it is here to stay so women are starting to embrace it and define it for themselves. It is losing its derogatory connotation and men are finding that there is no "one definition fits all" Cougar. As the myths of the leopard print wearing, female predator gives way to soccer moms, secretaries, bank tellers, attorneys, the every day woman replaces the adolescent male fantasy, and women are becoming more comfortable looking at men 7 years or more their junior and saying, "Why not?" And more and more younger men are telling me they are falling in love with their Cougar women.
Mainstreaming Cougar dating is leading to world wide acceptance of this cross generational dating trend; a trend which is here to stay. My members are coming out of the closet to their friends and family members. Actuaries will even agree that statistically speaking, it just makes sense for an older woman to meet, date, mate and marry a younger man. I spoke with a retired Harvard trained medical doctor recently who told me that biologically it made more sense for a woman in her sexual prime to date and marry a man in his sexual prime. The women enjoy being with a man who is attentive, affectionate, energetic, vital, protective, fun and has less baggage than his older male counterpart. The men love being with a woman who is nurturing, mature, has life perspective, knows what she wants, is not needy, insecure or shallow. The pots have found their lids. The lids have found their pots!
It is only a natural segue and an easy look into the Cougar crystal ball to see the obvious: There will be more long term Cougar and Cub relationships and marriages just around the corner. Thrill seekers, however, need not apply.