Dating a Cougar? Tips and Advice
Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher, Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon, Madonna and every new boyfriend she has — these are a few famous women who have gone younger when it comes to their men. Once upon a time the common story of a young woman being whisked away by an older man has expanded to include young men and older women.
An older woman represents wisdom and confidence. She knows what she wants in a relationship because she’s had a few in her lifetime that taught her exactly about who she is.
Like wine, she is refined and sophisticated, but there is still that something extraordinary you can’t quite put your finger on. The only downside has to deal with everyone else’s reactions. If you or someone you know is dating a cougar, here is some advice on how to deal with the world around you.
“Oh I have a son that age…”
One possible situation you may have to deal with is the fact that her children might be around your age, and in some cases older. It might not necessarily be a huge deal to them, but there could be some awkwardness in the beginning. If you’re 28 and the woman you’re dating is 46 her kids could be in their twenties.
They might act weird when you first start coming around, but after awhile will have to get used to the fact that their mother is happy with you. If there is some tension, just be patient and ensure them that you’re serious about this relationship.
They could feel like it’s a phase for their mom and that you’re just her “boy-toy.” Make it known that your intentions are the opposite and in time, they will have to accept you because you’re who their mom chooses to be with.
Not only will you have to deal with her children getting used to the age difference, you may have to encounter her ex-husband at family events such as birthdays, weddings, graduations, etc. Not every ex-husband if going to be as welcoming as Bruce Willis, so it’s best to be prepared for some possible tension.
Upon meeting you for the first time, he may crack a few jokes to break the ice like, “Hey I was doing shots in college when you were teething,” or “This song came out when you were learning how to walk.” There’s also the possibility that he won’t joke around and will just act standoffish. This could be an indication that he’s jealous.
There are divorce situations where the man ends up with a younger woman or leaves his wife for a younger woman. It’s not that it’s necessarily accepted, it just seems more common and today’s women are changing that stereotype and breaking the pattern. In time, her ex-husband should get over the age factor but if he doesn’t, you two may have to address the issue and have a talk with him.
Age Is Nothing But a Number
On the other end of the spectrum, where the people in her life will be dealing with your age, you may experience some questions from the people in your life. Your parents, family and friends, upon learning you have a new girlfriend will probably ask you how she is.
Once you let them know, they could be surprised. Your friends may crack some jokes here and there and if it makes you uncomfortable, let them know that it is not okay. Your parents, on the other hand, might be concerned and think that you’re being taken advantage of.
Not every situation will be like this one, especially if the people in your life don’t care how old a person is and their sole concern is for your happiness. Just remember to be prepared just in case anyone makes either of you feel uncomfortable.
She Is Beautiful and Wise
When a man and a woman in a relationship are close in age, it is as if they’ve experienced a lot of the same things around the same times. In the case of the cougar, she has experienced a lot of things before you have so she is armed with knowledge and wisdom.
It might seem weird when you both reminisce and she’s talking about her first marriage and you’re talking about your first girlfriend in high school, but realize that there’s a lot to learn from someone who has experienced so much. If she’s been through a couple of marriages or a long one, her views on relationships will have a certain kind of depth that yours won’t.
If she’s raised children, her idea of family might be different than yours. She may have a successful career that she’s worked hard at for years, so her idea of responsibility, commitment and dedication will also have a certain depth to them.
This is not to say that you don’t share some of the ideals that she does or that you have nothing to offer in terms of wisdom and experience. In fact, you may be the breath of fresh air and inspiration that she’s been lacking for so long. Maybe she never got to explore new things and you’re the one who can do this with her.
You both have different perspectives on various aspects of life. Keeping in mind where the other is coming from will only strengthen communication and make your relationship stronger.
The Health Factor
One difference between dating a cougar and a younger woman is that she will hit certain health marks before a younger woman does. As much as this shouldn’t be an issue, the truth is that it’s a reality that you both have to be prepared for. If she’s in her late forties or fifties, she may have to go through menopause.
If you both want to have a child, there are possible risks you should be aware of. According to an article at www.socalfertility.com, there is a sharp decline in the monthly fertility rate due to the reduction of eggs remaining in the ovaries of a woman over forty.
If you really want to have children but are having problems conceiving, other options to consider are in Vitro Fertilization (IVF), a surrogate mother, or adoption. It’s important to be educated about these options and do as much research as possible before committing to one of them.
Relationships Are the Same No Matter What Age
In reality, dating a cougar should be no different than dating any other woman. However, the people around you and even complete strangers can pass judgment and have their own opinions on your relationship.
If she has children, it might take them awhile to warm up to you. The same can be said for ex-husbands and your parents warming up to her. Patience, communication and understanding can help deal with any issues that come up. The most important thing to remember is that you love each other and no matter what anyone says, you deserve to be happy!